10 Must-Have Items for Your Corn Snake Enclosure

10 Must-Have Items for Your Corn Snake Enclosure

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    corn snake enclosure

    With over 150 snake species in the world, choosing the perfect reptilian companion as a pet may seem like a difficult task. Among the many types of snakes, the corn snake stands out as the best choice.

    Corn snakes make great pets because of their docile nature and how easy they are to care for. They are easy to feed and don’t mind being handled. They are the perfect species to add to your family as a pet if you are a beginner snake parent.

    Before you adopt a corn snake, you need to make sure you have the right home to give to it. There are some important features you can’t leave out of your corn snake enclosure. We’ll cover the ten things you need for your corn snake habitat so you can make your new pet feel right at home.

    About Corn Snakes

    Most corn snakes originate in southern states. They are thin and have scales that range from an orange to a brownish-yellow color. These snakes also have a pattern along their back.

    The belly of a corn snake shows a black and white checkerboard pattern. This pattern also looks a little like maize kernels, which is where this snake got its name.

    Corn snakes can range in length from 24 to 72 inches long. They can live over 20 years, and even longer in captivity.


    People know and love corn snakes for their gentle demeanor. They don’t mind people and do well as pets.

    Most corn snakes won’t bite a human unprovoked. If a corn snake does bite, it isn’t venomous and doesn’t usually draw blood.

    Younger corn snakes will shed once a month, and older corn snakes shed several times a year. You can tell a corn snake is close to shedding when their eyes turn cloudy, and their scales change to a whitish color. This can be a time when corn snakes can be cranky, so don’t touch them during the shedding time.


    Corn snakes need to eat every few days. Smaller corn snakes eat food like tree frogs and lizards. Larger corn snakes nosh on bigger prey like birds, mice, and rats.

    If you have a corn snake as a pet, you will feed it frozen mice. You can defrost these mice at home and feed them to your snake using long feeding tongs. 

    When a corn snake eats, it constricts its prey. Once their prey is under control, they swallow their food whole.

    Mimicking a Corn Snake’s Natural Environment 

    When building your snake terrarium, you want to try to mimic the corn snake’s natural environment as much as you can. You can find wild corn snakes in forests, wetlands, and fields. 

    Corn snakes like to find a place to hide, but also love basking in the sunshine. They are more used to warmer weather than cooler weather. 

    10 Items for Your Corn Snake Enclosure

    A corn snake is the perfect beginner reptile for someone who would like to own a snake. Although they are easy to care for, you need to ensure they have a safe and comfortable home to live in. 

    Here are ten features your corn snake enclosure should have. 

    1. Choosing the Right Enclosure 

    Corn snakes need an area that is at least twice the length of their body for their tank size. If you do have a very large tank, make sure that you have plenty of hiding places and natural features so your snake feels secure. 

    You want to make sure you can see through your enclosure. This will allow your corn snake to get the light that they need. 

    2. Thermal Gradient Enclosure 

    A corn snake’s body temperature fluctuates with the outside temperature. It is known as an ectothermic animal. Because of this, you have to be mindful of how you heat and cool your corn snake’s enclosure. 

    Your corn snake enclosure should have a thermal gradient, or have both warm and cool areas for your snake to enjoy. Heat lamps are a good starting place for achieving a thermal gradient enclosure. 

    3. Thermometer 

    Be sure to have a high-quality digital thermometer in the tank. This will help you keep an eye on the temperature so you can ensure it doesn’t get too hot or too cold.

    To make a thermal gradient enclosure, you can put a heating lamp on one side of the tank. You can also buy a heating pad or heat tape to achieve the same results.

    The warmer area, the basking spot, should be around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The colder side of your tank should be in the mid-70 degree Fahrenheit range.

    You can mimic a natural night and day pattern by turning off the heating lamps at night. If you do this, make sure your tank doesn’t drop lower than the 70-degree range. If it does, you can buy a nocturnal heating device to keep your corn snake warm.

    4. Snake Bedding 

    When choosing the bedding for your corn snake enclosure, you’ll want to choose a substrate that doesn’t have any oils in the material. Oil can cause a snake’s skin to feel irritated. 

    The following options are suitable to use for your corn snake bedding:

    • reptile carpet
    • cypress mulch
    • paper towels 
    • paper-based bedding
    • Aspen wood shavings
    • coconut husks

    If you do use Aspen as bedding for your corn snake, make sure to replace it every week. This will help keep the bedding from getting too wet or dirty. 

    If you use wood shavings, coconut husks, and mulch, be sure you are feeding your snake in a separate space. You don’t want your corn snake accidentally eating bedding, as it can cause health issues. 

    5. Hideaway Box 

    One item you’ll want to add to your corn snake enclosure is a box or two that your snake can use to hide out in. Place one hideout box in the warmest area of the enclosure and the other in a cooler spot. 

    These hideouts will give your corn snake a place to go if they need some time away from people. They are also a way your corn snake can regulate their body temperature. 

    You can find hideaway boxes in both natural and synthetic wood styles. They should be big enough for the whole body of the snake to fit inside. If you get your snake as a baby, replace the hideaway box with a larger one as the snake gets bigger. 

    Make sure to keep an eye on how your snake is using these hideaway boxes. If they spend too much time in their cozy box, they may not be getting enough UV light exposure. 

    6. Humidity Gauge 

    Your corn snake will be most happy if their cage humidity is between 50% and 70%. A humidity gauge can tell you how humid the tank is at any time. 

    If the enclosure humidity gets too low, you can try a different substrate. One that holds onto moisture can keep the humidity up. Another trick is to add more water bowls to the tanks. 

    7. Branches

    Your little reptilian friend will want a place to climb. You can find what you need to make a corn snake playground in your own backyard. Twigs and small branches will encourage your corn snake to move around. 

    8. Water Bowl 

    Your corn snake should always have plenty of fresh water to drink. Keeping a bowl of clean water in the cage is a must. 

    Keep the clean water on the cool side of the cage. Keep it halfway full at all times to keep the risk of spilling it lower. 

    9. UVA/UVB Light 

    UVA/UVB lights can help keep your corn snake healthy and strong. Keep a UVA/UVB light on in the enclosure for eight to twelve hours, or about the time daylight would shine on a normal day. 

    UVA/UVB lights can weaken over time. For best results, make sure to replace the bulbs every six months. 

    If you do use UVA/UVB lights, make sure to keep them off for at least twelve hours a day. Too much light could throw off a corn snake’s sleep cycle.  

    10. Moss

    You can add moss as a final touch to your corn snake house. The best type of moss for a corn snake is sphagnum moss.

    This moss will help hold in humidity. Your corn snake will appreciate the humid space to hide out in, especially when they are shedding. 

    If you do use live moss, make sure to replace it frequently. Moss can get moldy if left in the enclosure for too long. 

    A Proper Enclosure Means a Happy Corn Snake

    Having one of these popular animals as a pet is a perfect choice for reptile lovers of all ages. Make sure your corn snake enclosure is set up with all the necessary items, and don’t forget to clean it every week to keep your pet healthy. 

    If you’re the proud owner of a corn snake and are looking for more information about your new pet, PetMarvelous has all the answers you need. Our website is chock-full of information that can help pet parents of all animals. Join our community by subscribing today


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