What Happens When a Corn Snake Bites? (With Pictures and Facts)

Corn snakes are a very common snake to have as a pet, but there always can be the concern of getting bitten.  I looked up all kinds of questions and researched everything related to this for you and have your answers!

What happens when a corn snake bites?  Corn snakes don’t have big fangs and aren’t any more harmful to humans than a cat scratch would be. So luckily the answer that question can be considered nothing!

Learning that corn snake bites don’t hurt made me want to know more about their bites, whether or not they are poisonous, and more. So I did some more research below and found some exciting answers.

Corn Snakes Bites

Corn snake bites don’t hurt much. The only reason it would hurt would be because of the shock of getting bit. Taking into account that shock the pain would feel almost like the pain a cat scratch would inflict. These snakes don’t have big fangs which really helps to make them a safer pet. 

Corn snakes are not a harmful species of snake. They are actually quite good, especially when it comes to snakes, and make wonderful pets. They don’t hurt anything except what they are eating, which is great!

Now, I’m not saying that corn snakes won’t bite you under any circumstances, because they will. I am simply saying that they only lash out when they have reasoning to due to environmental problems they may be having or if they are hungry or stressed, or if they feel you have overstepped boundaries and they are not safe.

Are Corn Snakes Venomous?

Corn snakes are not venomous at all. These snakes are as harmless as they come. When bitten, you don’t have to worry about them being poisonous or venomous because they possess no such qualities.

Corn snakes are quite harmless, actually. They make a great starter snake pet for this and many other reasons!

You must be wondering, “if corn snakes are harmless and not venomous or poisonous, then how do they hunt their prey and survive in the wild?” Well, I have that answer for you. They bite for grip, then constrict themselves around their prey.

When hunting their prey, their first, rapid action is to strike their prey. This is to stop the prey from doing whatever it is doing and get a good grip on them. Then the corn snake will coil itself around the prey that it stopped and keep constricting until the animal is dead.

After the corn snake kills its prey, it will then proceed to slowly swallow it whole. The snake will often swallow its freshly-killed prey headfirst. If the prey is small, sometimes corn snakes will even swallow it whole. Crazy, right?

Do Corn Snakes Fangs Break Off?

Snakes fangs, no matter the type, do break off from time to time. But, do not be alarmed! This is completely normal. In fact, snakes occasionally lose their fangs so that they can replace them with new ones. This is to ensure that they are always ready to hunt prey.

There have been stories of snakes’ fangs staying in a bite victim after they have just been bitten and the victim freaks out because A) of course, they just had a snake fang in their arm, and B) because they are worried that it will inhibit the snakes’ feeding needs and abilities. However, have no fear! your snake losing its teeth occasionally is completely normal.

Corn snakes’ fangs are aligned in a row on the sides of their mouths. They are all the same length and have an important purpose of use. This usage is to move the corn snake’s prey back into its throat far enough so that the snake can swallow and digest its food. 

When a snake loses a fang, another will grow back so that the snake’s hunting and eating abilities are not negatively affected. Without shedding their fangs, snakes’ fangs would start getting dull and old and not work as well over time. The overuse of their teeth without proper care would lead to malnutrition.

So, it IS important that snakes shed their teeth because if they didn’t go through that process, they wouldn’t be able to properly hunt their prey and feed themselves.

What Percentage of People Die From a Corn Snake Bite?

There haven’t been any recorded deaths caused by a bite from a corn snake. This isn’t surprising when you consider a few factors:

  • These snakes are not violent
  • They are not poisonous
  • They are not venomous
  • They have small teeth
  • They only eat small rodents
  • They are small sized snakes

These snakes, as I have mentioned, are not violent at all. If these snakes are violent or lash out it is because they are stressed, upset about something, feel threatened, or are hungry. Those are the only reasons a corn snake will rarely lash out.

These snakes are also not in any way poisonous or venomous, also as stated before. They have no harmful qualities about them in the sense of poisoning. The only time you could be negatively affected by a bite from these creatures, aside from having to generally clean and bandage it, is that if it isn’t cleaned well enough it can very rarely get infected.

Corn snakes also have very small teeth. These teeth are barely enough to make a mark on your arm if bitten. They can’t hurt you any more than a cat scratch or a thorn scraping would hurt.

Another reason these snakes have never killed a human before is probably that these little guys literally can’t eat us!

Corn snakes are small and have small mouths. These snakes only eat small rodents like mice. They are the only thing that can fit in its mouth that they like. They wouldn’t even be able to fit someone’s hand in their mouth.

What Do You Do if You Are Bitten By a Corn Snake?

If you get bitten by your corn snake, do not worry! Everything is perfectly fine. As I mentioned earlier, corn snakes are virtually harmless! They have super small teeth and their bites don’t get worse than a cat scratch.

A corn snake bite won’t need any fancy treatment such as stitches or surgery or anything. Their bites don’t go deep if they end up latching on even when they try to bite you. They won’t go any deeper than a cat scratch would, which is super easy to deal with and quite the convenience compared to other snake bites you would encounter if you didn’t have a corn snake.

If you are bitten, it is very simple to deal with. Don’t freak out, for one. Freaking out will only scare your snake more. Maintaining a calm manner will help let your snake know that everything is fine and it will let go and relax and you can put it back in its cage.

If your snake latches onto your skin and won’t let go, don’t yank him off. You will want to make sure you are calm to let the snake know everything is okay. Do not be forceful and try to pry it off of your arm or wherever it bit. Doing so will tear skin which just expands the wound more and then you will have to patch it up with a Band-Aid and it might take a little longer to heal because of the extra damaged skin around the actual bite.

I have some tips for you that other snake owners have tried that will help get your latched snake off of you though! 

One of these methods is to gently run water over the snakes head. This should get the snake to release its jaw and let go of you.

Another method to try is to get some tweezers or a pencil and to carefully try to pry the snake’s jaw open. You won’t want to do this with your hand because squeezing the snake might frighten it more.

Aside from that, you trying to remove the snake’s jaw by hand could also possibly harm the snake’s delicate jaw which will inhibit his eating and everything and hurt the snake a lot, resulting in a lot of vet bill or possibly killing your snake.

After you get your snake put away and secured and calmed down, you will need to immediately tend to your small wound. To do this, you will simply need to wash it out with soap and water. This will help to prevent infection or the spread of bacteria.

You will then need to take your clean wound and bandage it how you would any other minor wound. Just put some Neosporin and a band-aid over it to keep out any dirt, bacteria, or other things that might cause a later infection. Again, this wound isn’t something you need to worry about unless it later gets infected.

If your wound gets infected, go to your physician to seek medical treatment or insight on how to get rid of it. If anything else seems out of the ordinary for your wound, you should also go see your physician. Basically, just don’t freak out and be smart about it.

Can a Corn Snake Kill You?

A corn snake cannot kill you. These snakes’ teeth are very small. Corn snakes also can’t hurt you more than a cat scratch can. They are a very calmly mannered animal that is a great first pet snake because it is so harmless.

These snakes also contain no venom, as I stated earlier. So, even if you did get bit, the only thing you would have to worry about is making sure the wound is clean and bandaged like any other wound would be.

Even if you ripped the snake’s teeth across your arm when trying to pull it off of you on accident, it would at most leave a small scar on your skin after it’s all healed up. These snakes are wonderfully harmless and great as a scaly friend to keep you company.

Are Corn Snakes Aggressive?

Corn snakes are actually one of the least aggressive snakes there are. They are very calm mannered and only bite if they feel stressed or threatened. These snakes are very well-behaved and make great first snakes because of their mellow manner.

The only time a corn snake will get aggressive with you, as I have previously mentioned, is if it feels threatened in some way. There are many reasons it could feel threatened, but none that can’t be controlled.

One of the main reasons that would cause panic is trying to reach for the snake from above. Corn snakes natural enemies come from above to strike down on them which is why these snakes are so paranoid about something hovering over them.

To prevent them from possibly striking you, try not to hover above their heads for long and make sure they see your hand when reaching into their habitat. Them actually seeing your hand and actions and not awkwardly or alarmingly lingering will reassure them that everything is okay and they will understand what you are doing.

Another reason your corn snake may get nervous is if you are nervous about holding it, your grip may tighten. This restriction of movement and pressure make the snakes super nervous which can lead to them biting you as well. To prevent this, just make sure you are comfortable when holding the snake and calm. If you are comfortable and calm, your snake will be as well.

If you just fed your snake, he could bite you as well if you still smell like his food. Shocking, right? You would think it might be able to see its a hand in front of it and not a mouse but, nevertheless, it only smells and retains that food is nearby and he wants to eat it.

To prevent being mistaken as food for your snake’s hungry appetite, wash your hands after every feeding to get rid of the mouse smell and use tweezers so that you are touching less of the mouse and won’t have as much of the scent on you to scrub off.

Related Questions:

How long do corn snakes get? These kind snakes grow up to 2 1/2 to 5 feet long. The size will tend to vary, for example, over gender. The male corn snakes tend to be larger than the female corn snakes.

How often do corn snakes shed? Corn snakes usually shed every few weeks when young. This will last until they are full grown in which these snakes may only shed once every few months.

How long does a pet corn snake generally live for? A pet corn snake can generally live for 15-20 years. This time span is shorter than that of a wild corn snake which would usually live for about 23 years.

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