When your ball python is too active, it is an indication that something is wrong and bothering the pet. Usually, the first place to check is its enclosure, which will give you clues to the stress factors that are making the snake restless. So, what makes a ball python so active?
Ball pythons become unusually active due to discomforts such as high temperatures, low humidity, hunger, shedding, and lack of hiding places. The snake will become too active, moving around its enclosure trying to find food or enough space with suitable conditions to sleep in.
Are ball pythons active snakes?
Ball pythons are active at night and around dust and dawn, which is why they are referred to as nocturnal and crepuscular. During the day, these snakes spend most of their time burrowed underground or hiding undercover. Provide ball pythons with enough hides to make them comfortable when not active.
If you want to see your ball python active, watch it at night because this is the time they become active and start climbing and hunting all over their enclosures. The snake will explore every little space in its cage either out of curiosity or as an instinctive need to hunt prey.
Reasons why your ball python is too active
You’d expect your ball python to be inactive during the daytime, but you find the snake roaming around the enclosure. Increased activity when it is time to sleep and rest is a sure sign of discomfort which needs to be looked into.
Here’s why your ball python is so active:
1. Insufficient room to hide
Limited space is the most common reason for a ball python to be too active. The small enclosure makes them uncomfortable and they start looking for alternative places to crawl about. This can be a problem because it easily leads to increased shedding from constant contact with different surfaces and textures.
In other words, your ball python is not happy in its small cage so it starts exploring every inch of the limited space available.
Small bedding should make your pet feel more at ease by providing enough room even if it’s just an extra hide box or little tunnel where they can retreat when feeling threatened or anxious. It could also help prevent increased activity and stress levels in your pet snake.
2. High temperatures
A high temperature can have adverse effects on the health and wellbeing of your ball python, so it is important to keep the enclosure clean and cool enough at all times.
It will also give you an idea of what might be bothering your pet snake if it becomes restless or starts shedding more than usual. Therefore, if the pet snake is showing unusual signs of restlessness during the day, you might want to check the temperature of the enclosure.
I prefer installing a thermometer in the snake’s tank to help me monitor if it is too cold or too hot. Snakes, being reptiles, depend on the external environment to control their body temperature.
Since ball pythons have specific heating requirements, I would recommend you fix temperature problems to a recommended 75-80°F on the cool side and 80-85°F on the warm side to make the snake comfortable again and reduce its activity during resting times.
A shedding ball python often becomes restless in the cage due to shedding issues. It might even throw its skin all over the place as it tries to get rid of this layer that is not coming off easily.
Shedding sometimes happens with problems – when your pet snake’s old outer layer (skin) doesn’t detach from its new one and starts to form a tight bond with it. This process requires extra energy which makes them less active during daytime hours but restlessness could be present if shedding problems persist for too long.
To help make things easier on your pet, I would recommend giving him a warm bath or using an oil designed specifically for shedding pythons to release the dry layers so they can come off easier.
The shedding process typically lasts for 1-2 weeks but if shedding problems persist the ball python might need veterinary attention to help it shed properly and reduce activity during daytime hours.
4. Low humidity in the enclosure
Ball pythons are humidity-sensitive snakes and need to be kept in a humid environment. If the humidity is too low, it could lead to your ball python dehydration which would make them very restless as they can’t cope with high temperatures or keep themselves cool enough.
To avoid these problems, I recommend misting your pet snake’s tank on a daily basis so their skin stays moist and doesn’t dehydrate from exposure to dry air.
You should also provide sufficient water for drinking and bathing in the enclosure as to a small extent, it can also help with dehydration and low humidity problems.
5. The snake is hungry
If the pet snake hasn’t fed in a few days it might become restless and increasingly active. The hunger causes them to go exploring, looking for food sources, which is why you’ll notice their extreme movements in their enclosure. The ball python simply wants to go outside and hunt for prey.
Juvenile ball pythons can easily become so active even during the day especially if they are not fed regularly enough. You might want to try increasing their feeding frequency to stop them from moving around the enclosure too much.
Keep in mind – increased movements can also be a way your snake is communicating with you that they are hungry. If you haven’t fed them already, try giving them food and see if the activity will subside.
6. Attempt to escape
Increased activity can be a sign of attempting to escape. This is common if your ball python is new and not used to its enclosure.
The escape attempts can be triggered by the snake’s natural instinct to find a new place or some other disturbance in their environment that triggers this behavior.
It is important to note – escape attempts usually happen when the snake feels unsafe in its surroundings so it moves around more often and becomes restless as they search for an exit point outside of the tank.
This behavior can also cause injuries due to constant movement/activity like scratching themselves against walls or trying out different routes while exploring.
7. Searching for a mate
It is typical for males ball pythons to become more active in search of a mate especially during the breeding season between April and September. Female snakes release pheromones that attract males, so it is highly unlikely that you’ll see increased activity in female ball pythons.
However, for males, detecting pheromones can send them into a frenzy, which is why you’ll find them moving around too much in their enclosures. If you notice increased activity from your pet snake around this time period – don’t worry! It’s completely natural behavior as their bodies prepare themselves to breed.
Just make sure not to overcrowd the tank if there are too many snakes together so that mating can take place without any issues happening like injury or death due to fighting over territory and mates.
How to know if your snake is happy
As discussed above, the main reason why a ball python snake is so active is husbandry problems. Temperature, humidity, and other factors of comfort play a major role in the behavior of the snake.
But how do you know if your snake is happy? Here are signs your ball python is happy and comfortable:
- Calm tasting – Calm tasting is the way they will explore their environment. When touching objects or exploring, snakes use taste as a sensory input to understand their surroundings so it’s a natural response for them to lick and smell things in the enclosure.
- Sleep – If your snake has found its sleeping spot, it will spend most of the day there with occasional moving during feeding time.
- Unhurled motion – they will be moving with unhurled motions when exploring or resting respectively. If you notice your pet ball python doing these things it’s probably because they’re feeling content and secure around their environment.
- Normal feeding and drinking – if your snake eats and drinks regularly, it is a sign of satisfaction.
It does not take much to keep your ball python calm. Since these are very private creatures, provide them with comfortable hiding spots in their enclosures. This means getting the tank’s size right, keeping the temperature and humidity correct, and feeding them frequently enough. This way, your ball python won’t be too active during the day.
READ ALSO: Do Ball Pythons Like to Be Held and Pet?