Tips And Methods To Find A Lost Snake

Tips And Methods To Find A Lost Snake

Escaped ball python

The first time one of my snakes got loose I was lucky.

I was SO lucky in fact, that I actually found it before I even realized it had gotten out of its cage!

It was a three foot red tail boa that had pried open the top of its aquarium, then climbed under the shade of a lamp right next to the tank. When I went to turn the light on to check on my reptiles, I felt it coiled around the post of the lamp.

Not everyone gets so lucky, and finding an escaped snake can be a near impossible task if you don’t have a good plan.

If you’ve lost your snake, don’t panic! I’m going to help you.

Most duct work in houses is flexible. If you have a large snake, you can simply lift the duct and feel if the snake is in there. With smaller snakes, you may need to disconnect the duct and retract it all the way to see if it is in there.

9. Set up security cameras.

This can get a little pricey, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

You can pick up decent indoor security cameras for as little as $25 – $50. To be effective however, you’re probably going to want one for each room.

Most security cameras allow you to view remotely with your cell phone, which allows you to keep an eye out for your pet when you’re not home.

Don’t get your hopes up for motion activation though. Most motion sensors rely on PIR (passive infrared). They detect changes in temperature in order to trigger the camera to start filming. A snake probably won’t put off enough heat to trigger the sensor.

10. Additional tips

Here are a few final tips and methods to help you find your escaped snake.

  • Use a selfie stick with your cell phone camera and/or flashlight to see hard to reach places.
  • Consider passing out pictures to your neighbors. I don’t like doing this since it can freak your neighbors out, but as a last resort it’s worth considering.
  • Use your other pets (cats and dogs) to help you search. You can do this by keeping your home as quiet as possible and wait for them to become alerted to something. Pets usually like to be in the same room as you, so pick a different room each day to sit quietly in for several hours.
  • Move your snake’s enclosure to different rooms. Put the cage on the floor where it’s easy to get to, have all the heat and lights on, and place a FT rodent inside. Leave the enclosure in each room for a full day, then move it to a different room the next day.


Dealing with an escaped snake is never fun.

These animals were born to hide extremely well, remain still and in place for hours (sometimes even days), and keep perfectly quiet throughout it all.

I did not address finding your snake if it has gotten outside. If it happens to get out of your home, all you can really do is search and get lucky.

The steps and methods I’ve laid out for you will help you find your pet nearly every single time. If you don’t find it within the first few days however, do not give up.

Continue searching for your snake daily. Keep in mind it will shed at some point, so you have a chance of finding its skin even if it’s days or weeks after it went missing.

They are designed to go long periods of time without eating, and face many adverse situations. I would at the very least continue searching every day for a couple of months.

One last piece of advice. If you find your snake after it has been missing for several days or longer, watch it closely for signs of a respiratory infection and be prepared to take it to a vet if you see any signs of illness.

Further Reading

One of the most common topics I receive questions on, is snakes shedding their skin. People who have never owned a snake want to know how it works. New snake owners are always worried that.

Bonding with a snake isn’t like bonding with a cat or dog. You’re not going to have a pet that enthusiastically greets you every time you walk in the room, unless of course you’re there to feed on.

About Us

We are Paul and Brady. Paul began collecting and breeding reptiles starting with his very first ball python over 25 years ago. Brady studies, catches and does some amazing photography work with reptiles. We became best friends in 2012, and have immersed ourselves in the awesome world of herpetology. This site is where we share everything we have learned.


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