How Long Can A Snake Live In A House

How Long Can A Snake Live In A House

Snakes can fit in incredibly tiny spaces. If its head fits, so will the rest of the snake because they are hyper-flexible and made almost entirely of muscle that helps them move.

It’s easy for pet snakes to escape and wild snakes to get indoors using small cracks. After that, it’s challenging to find them. How long can a snake live in a house?

A snake can live inside a house for its entire lifespan, as long as there are adequate resources to thrive there. Snakes require sunlight because they are cold-blooded, but indoor snakes find other heat sources like water heaters instead of sunlight to warm themselves. A snake in a home with rodents, heat, and water can survive for years.

How Long Can A Snake Survive In A House

How long a snake can survive in a house depends primarily on whether the home has what the snake needs. If there’s a route outside, a snake can hibernate indoors or shelter there and head outdoors when it’s hungry or cold.

That said, a snake that has all its needs met inside the house can live an entire lifetime without leaving.

According to CritterControl, “In perfect conditions, adult snakes live anywhere from 20 to 30 years, with natural predators and the encroachment of humans severely limiting the number of years most snakes live.”

In short, if your pets or other predators don’t make a meal of it, and the snake’s needs are met, it’s going to be around a while.

What A Snake Needs To Survive In A House

Snakes are biologically complex creatures. There’s even evidence that some snakes evolved legs and have since de-evolved them again because they weren’t valuable enough in the long run. However, they don’t need all that much to survive and live for many years.

Here are the necessities a snake needs to live.

  • Food – Snakes are carnivorous, so they need a source of meat. Because they are opportunistic eaters, it doesn’t need to be any particular meat source. Small snakes can eat insects, and larger snakes can dine on mice, rats, or other snakes.
  • Water – Snakes don’t drink a lot of water, especially desert snakes. Some species of snakes can even go for months without a drink. However, they do need some source for getting a drink when they need it. According to Treehugger, snakes drink by using the bottom of their mouths like a sponge to soak up what they need, so their water source can be a relatively shallow puddle.
  • Shelter – The house itself will provide all the protection a snake could ever need. However, a human home is unlikely to have appropriate breeding grounds just lying around for many species. Even if there were two snakes of the same species and opposite genders in a house, their chances of having viable babies aren’t great.
  • Heat – Snakes in nature rely on the sun to warm their cold-blooded bodies. In tanks, they often have hot rocks or other human-provided heat sources. Likewise, snakes could find heat in a house so long as the house is occupied and it has heaters, a fireplace, hot water pipes, or some other reasonable source of warmth to curl up near.

How Long Can A Corn Snake Live Lost In A House

A newly hatched corn snake might not live very long lost in a house. Very young snakes may only make it a month or two before they starve or outgrow accessible small food sources like cockroaches and other insects they find in the walls or other hidden areas.

Moreover, if they try to eat something too large and it becomes stuck, or the snake gets too cold while digesting, it can kill the young snake. Older, more experienced snakes have better odds.

A lost adult corn snake can survive and thrive in a human home for years. The average corn snake will live to be around eight to nine years old.

Depending on its age, when it escapes a habitat or wanders inside, there’s a fair chance it can make it the rest of its life so long as it has heat, food, and water.

How Long Can A Ball Python Live Lost In A House

Ball pythons that generally live in cages are more likely to be found again than other species. Although they are fast, capable, and intelligent enough to get away and survive quite a while, this species tends to stick closer to ‘home.’

If your pet ball python is lost in the house, check within ten to twenty feet of its usual cage.

Not all ball pythons stick around. If a member of this species takes up residence while lost in a house, it can live out its life there provided nothing goes wrong.

Since ball pythons can live up to thirty years, I’d say it could survive that long without leaving.

Moreover, ball pythons are the smallest members of their family and tend to max out around 182 cm or seventy-one inches.

That’s just under six feet long, which is significant but still small enough to hide out in cellars, walls, heating vents, and other inconvenient locations.

Helpful Tips To Know How Long A Snake Can Live In A House

Snakes get loose in houses for several reasons. Some follow the food inside or seek shelter and a place to nap or hibernate, while others are escaped pets. Some snakes even end up in our homes because of flooding or other severe weather.

Here are a few helpful tips to know how long a snake can live in a house.

  • The age, health, and food source of a snake will affect its chances of survival in a house. For example, an injured or sick snake is less likely to thrive, but a normal, healthy, relatively young adult snake won’t be too bothered by living alone in a house with the resources it needs.
  • An unoccupied house might make a great hunting ground for a snake, but it’s a less desirable long-term home because there’s little chance of finding warmth there.
  • Snakes have been known to crawl into cellars and even walls to hibernate for the winter. If you suspect a nonvenomous snake has taken up residence in your home, do not approach it. Unless the snake is a lost pet (and one you know personally), you should call a professional or leave it alone.

Final Thoughts

Snakes are survivors. They can go into a stasis-like state and survive months without food when there’s a famine. These clever reptiles can fit into much smaller spaces than most people anticipate and move more quickly.

Additionally, they are excellent opportunistic hunters with a keen sense of smell. An escaped or invading snake inside a house doesn’t need much to last a long time.

Hot rocks and frozen mice are great, but there are many other ways to exist, especially when the house has a mouse or rat problem.

Worst of all, luring snakes out again once they get inside somewhere you can’t reach is tricky at best.

Ted Smith

My name is Ted Smith and I’m the creator of I have a passion for educating people about animals and wildlife. I have been working with the National Wildlife Federation for the past 10 years and I became a wildlife blogger to help people become excited about animals and encouraged to care for these wonderful creatures.

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