African House Snake Temperament and Handling

The African House Snake, is generally regarded as a safe and easy snake to keep.

But what is the African House Snakeā€™s usual temperament?

The African House Snake is generally a very calm snake that is rarely aggressive and will not have a demeanor that can make you be fearful of them. Some of the younger African House Snakes are prone to biting but they will get over this phase quickly. This makes this snake quite easy to handle.

Unlike a lot of other snakes, the African House Snake is actually one of the best pet reptiles you can keep because of how it is comparatively safer and more docile.

This means that you can safely keep this snake without fearing that it might end up biting you a lot of times. Still, you need to make sure that you know how to properly handle this snake so that you can safely keep one as a pet.

What is the African House Snakeā€™s temperament?

Everything you need to know about caring for African house snakes in captivity:
Read our African House Snake Care Sheet (Complete Guide)

One of the different reasons why some people end up taking care of certain species of snakes is that they can be quite safe. While snakes are indeed known to be aggressive or even dangerous (especially when it comes to venomous snakes), there are still snakes that are nevertheless quite safe to keep as pets as they hardly ever show their aggression.

These are the pet snakes that tend to be quite popular among beginner pet owners because of how they are not as dangerous in terms of their temperament.

So, in that regard, the African House Snake is also becoming quite popular among different reptile owners because of the very fact that it is considered quite safe to keep as a pet snake.

But what is in the African House Snake that makes it safe? What is its usual temperament, which is what is supposed to contribute to how safe it is?

In that regard, aside from the fact that the African House Snake is nonvenomous, what makes it safe is that it has a temperament that is a lot milder than most other snake species.

It doesnā€™t come with the aggressive or even the defensive kind of demeanor that most other snakes have in the sense that it is quite calm even when around humans.

This allows the African House Snake to be quite safe to keep as pets as they are not prone to biting or attacking people out of nowhere or due to self-defense.

However, what you need to know is that adult African House Snakes are the ones that are calmer than most other snakes. Juvenile or younger African House Snakes are not as calm as their adult counterparts because they are still getting used to and learning more and more about their environment.

That means that juvenile African House Snakes are more nervous and defensive than their adult counterparts, and this is what may end up making them more prone to attacking or biting people.

Will African House Snakes bite?

african house snake biting it's owner's hands
African house snake biting: not as painful as it looks!

One of the concerns that some people have when it comes to snakes is their propensity to bite people whenever you come too near to them or whenever the snakes feel the need to defend themselves. In such a case, does the African House Snake fall under the category of snakes that do bite?

For starters, the African House Snake is less likely to bite compared to other snakes because of how it comes with a calm and somewhat docile temperament that you donā€™t often see in other snake species.

That said, there are still some instances wherein the African House Snake will bite you. But such instances can be rare or can easily be avoided.

For one, as mentioned, juvenile African House Snakes are not as calm as their adult counterparts in the sense that they are more nervous and more defensive because they are still trying to make sense of their world and surroundings.

As such, they may end up biting you but this behavior is something that will eventually go away as they get used to the environment around them and as they mature.

Another reason why an African House Snake is due to food. It is never a good idea to hand-feed any kind of snake because of how they will quickly associate your hand with food or smell the scent of rodents on your hands. To that end, your African House Snake will bite you if you hand-feed it.Ā 

Thatā€™s why the best way to feed your African House Snake or any other snake, for that matter, is through forceps or tweezers that will give some distance between you and the rodent you are feeding the snake.

Also, it is best to feed your African House Snake well enough so that it wonā€™t end up with a grumpy demeanor due to hunger.

The third reason why an African House Snake may bite you is when you actually mishandle it or when you become too rough with it. Any snake, when they feel unsafe around a person, will bite him/her in self-defense. Thatā€™s why you must know how to properly handle an African House Snake to minimize the chances of it biting you or showing its aggressive side towards you.Ā 

How do I handle an African House Snake properly?

All that said, it is now time for you to know how to properly handle an African House Snake. Follow these tips to ensure that you will be able to safely handle your African House Snake.

  • Do not handle it if you had just touched its food. The smell of the rodent might still be lingering on your hands and cause the snake to bite you because of that.
  • If you have a younger African House Snake, allow some time to adjust first before you try handling it. It might not be used to its new environment and may be under a lot of stress.
  • The moment that you sense that your African House Snake is stressed or on the defensive, do not handle it.
  • Do not try to handle your snake near its feeding time. And we mean before and after feeding time. Give your snake about two days before and after feeding time if you want to handle it.
  • African House Snakes do not like getting picked up from the head. Avoid doing so. It is best to handle the African House Snake from its body with both your hands securing to prevent it from falling.
  • Make sure that you do not quickly rush into grabbing your African House Snake because snakes can be quite jumpy and will attack anything that startles them.
  • You should allow a bit of freedom to your African House Snake when it is in your hands. Do not grip it too tight to the point of restricting its movement because of how that is how their natural predators tend to grip them.
  • We suggest that hold your African House Snake from under its body so that it wonā€™t end up falling.

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