Ball pythons are cold-blooded reptiles. This means, in order to warm themselves, they have to expose themselves to the sunlight; and to cool down, they have to be in a shady region or soak in water. This is how they maintain their body temperature and survive in wild on their own.
For pet Ball pythons we have to take care of them by maintaining their vivarium temperature according to the season.
How cold is too cold for Ball Pythons?
If the temperature drops to 70 oF they won’t be able to survive. If this happens:
- They won’t be able to move and their body begins to shut down and eventually causing death from hypothermia;
- They won’t be able to breathe and there is a possibility of getting infected;
- They won’t be able to digest the food and the food will begin to rot inside of them instead of getting digested.
Can Ball pythons freeze to death?
Yes, Ball Pythons can freeze to death. This is why their vivarium temperature should never drop below 70oF.
How to bring your Ball Python back to life if they are frozen
Few types of snakes ever make it back to life after freezing. Many will die after suffering from the cold, which is why is it important to ensure you adjust the temperature. But if this happens and you would like to try to revive it, then it is crucial that you place them in a warmer region of the vivarium. Maybe after an hour if you see any movements then your Ball Python might survive, but they may die at any moment afterward.
The chances of your Ball Python thawing back to life are too slim. Even if they survive, they will become prone to many infections and muscular damages.
Protecting Your Ball Pythons from the Cold
To protect your Ball Pythons during winter you have to take care of their cage’s temperature and humidity. You have to use heat sources like heating pads and lamps during the winter season.
Keeping Ball Pythons Warm During the Nights
Maintaining the vivarium temperature is the only way to warm your Ball Python during the nights. Nighttime temperatures drastically drop and this heavily affects them, and may even lead to respiratory infections. As such, adjust the vivarium’s night temperature to 72 oF – 78oF.
To provide the required heat, you can use heat lamps, heating pads, and heat bulbs, but only use these devices at one side of the vivarium. Additionally, the humidity level of the vivarium should never drop below 50%.
It is quite hard to maintain the temperature and humidity during the winter, so ensure your snake won’t get cold by insulating the vivarium with towels and using a proper substrate.
Ball Python Eat Less During Winter
Ball Pythons eat less during the winter or may not eat at all even with the right cage environment. Do NOT force-feed them during this season. Continue giving them their food, but regularly clean up as well to prevent any form of rot. Remember that they can survive without food for weeks.
The Sleep Cycle
Ball pythons are nocturnal and may sleep up to 20 hours during winter. It is completely normal that they are less active during this season.
Transporting Ball Pythons during winter
It is quite dangerous to transport your Ball Python in winter, so avoid doing so as much as possible to prevent the risks.
If you need to take your Ball Python to its veterinarian this season via car, then follow these instructions:
- Preheat your car before placing your pet.
- In travel, carriers keep more substrate.
- Always use a small travel carrier because it will hold the temperature. The carrier should have a secure lid.
- Use heat packs, hot water bottles and cover the carrier using a blanket. You can even cover your snake in a sweater.
During the Summer
Do Ball Pythons like sunlight?
Ball pythons are nocturnal which means they are more active during the night. They don’t require sunlight. But once in a while, you may allow them to play in the garden if they like to bask in the sunlight, but only for 10 minutes.
Never take them out during a sunny day. They need only warmth, not heat.
How hot is too hot for the Ball Pythons?
Temperatures within the vivarium exceeding 88oF will give your Ball Python skin burns. If that temperature is maintained, they won’t be able to survive. It is always necessary to have a hiding spot for your Ball Python in the Vivarium.
Do Ball Pythons sweat?
No, Ball Pythons don’t sweat.
Protect Ball Pythons From High-Temperature Sunlight
Never place your vivarium near the window. Too much heat and sunlight will kill your Ball Python. Place a bowl of water in their enclosure so that they can soak and cool down their body temperature. There should be a hiding spot in their enclosure so that they won’t be exposed to light.
The temperature of the Vivarium should be between 75 oF – 82oF.
A hotspot to bask should be provided in their enclosure. The temperature at their basking spot should be between 85oF – 90oF.
The vivarium should also have a cool side and the temperature at that region should be maintained at 75 oF – 80oF.
They don’t require UV bulbs, Heat lamps, Fluorescent bulbs, or Incandescent bulbs during summer.
How Ball Pythons Cool their Body
Ball Pythons cool off their body temperature by soaking in water and retreating to their hiding spot. Ensure a constant change of water in the enclosure (2x a day) to help your pet.
Misting system for Ball Pythons
Ball Pythons does not require any special misting systems. A humidity level of more than 60% will heighten the chances of respiratory infections for your Ball Python.
Only during the shedding process should the humidity be boosted between 50% – 65%.
You can mist the cage by using a sprayer once or twice a day with room temperature water but make sure the substrate does not get soaked. You can spray on cage walls and slightly on the Ball Python. The main purpose of having a substrate in the enclosure is to withhold the humidity level of the cage.
The only way to take care of the Ball Python regardless of the season is to maintain the enclosure parameters. They have to be kept warmer and require high humidity levels. If you maintain those then, your Ball Python will have a healthy life.