When owning any reptile, you must prepare for how to handle their shedding. Not all reptiles shed at the same frequency. For example, how often do ball pythons shed?
Healthy ball pythons should shed every month to a month and a half. You may notice your python hiding more during this time, but that is perfectly normal behavior.
In this article, I’ll discuss the important facts related to proper shedding for ball pythons, including how to help your ball python shed without issue and what to do if there’s a problem with the shedding.
Factors Affecting How Often Ball Pythons Shed
A healthy ball python should routinely shed its skin every four to six weeks. This duration can vary depending on certain factors.
For example, your ball python’s enclosure should have the correct humidity and temperature. Otherwise, your ball python can get scale rot (or even die if the issue is serious enough). Your python’s enclosure should stay between 77°F (25°C) and 92°F (33°C), and the humidity should be anywhere from 50% to 60%.
Mite and tick infestations can also affect how often your ball python sheds. That’s because the entire shedding process can be interrupted by the resulting stress the snake experiences from the infestation.
If you notice an issue with your ball python shedding, it’s always a good idea to seek help from a veterinarian to find out what’s wrong. The solution might be as easy as adjusting the conditions in your pet’s enclosure or as difficult as administering medications to help them manage health issues.
How To Help Your Ball Python Shed
There are certain things you can do to ensure your ball python has an easy shedding process.
- Have a large water bowl for soaking. A python will go into the water to help the shedding process because it makes the skin softer and come off easier.
- Have a humidity chamber/hide. This is a must-have when you own a python because the humidity allows for an easier shed. Alternatively, you can get something like the REPTI ZOO Reptile Terrarium Hygrometer (available on Amazon.com), which allows you to accurately monitor humidity levels in your pet’s enclosure.
- Have rocks or branches. According to The Spruce Pets, rocks and branches allow your python to lay on and rub up against them to help the shedding process.
- Mist the enclosure. You can mist the enclosure with water to help humidity levels during shedding.
- Keep a close eye on your snake while it’s shedding. Even if the shedding starts off without a hitch, it helps to pay attention to anything that seems abnormal and warrants the intervention of a veterinarian.
A healthy ball python sheds its skin every four to six weeks. If your python isn’t doing this, it can be due to a health issue or improper humidity/temperature levels. Mites and ticks can also cause abnormalities with shedding.
Items like rocks and branches, a large water bowl, and a humidity chamber are great to have to ease the shedding process for your ball python.