Ball Pythons require minimal maintenance as they usually excrete small amounts of semi-solid fluid. Aspen and similar substrates allow for quick cleaning of feces and using one of our scoopers you can perform this task when defecation occurs. The bedding should be completely thrown out and the entire cage (including all accessories) should be washed at least once every four to five months with Quat TB Pet Area Cleaner, Deodorizer & Stain Remover or a mild detergent. If using paper towels for bedding, change all paper towels at least once a week.
Care Sheet - Python regius - World of Ball Pythons
Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding is generally the best substrate for Ball Pythons. Reptile keepers also use Zoo Med Repti Bark, Zoo Med Forest Floor Cypress Bedding or Zoo Med Eco Earth. Baby Ball Pythons can also be kept on paper towels or similar product until they become juveniles. Whichever you decide to use, stick to well-known products designed for use with reptiles and be careful of some commercial aspen brands as they may contain high amounts of dust or other contaminants that that can be harmful to your pet.
Ball Python Care Sheet | Exotic Reptiles
In the wild, ball pythons spend much of their time hiding or resting in underground burrows. A captive ball python needs at least one, preferably two concealed retreats within its cage. The floor of the cage can be lined with newspaper or reptile carpeting. Snake owners typically use wood shavings more for aesthetic appeal. Cedar and pine should be avoided because they can cause respiratory problems. Aspen shavings can be used, but they sometimes cling to prey and can injure the snake if it swallows them. Whatever bedding is used, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital recommends changing it weekly, at the same time the cage is cleaned and disinfected. Low branches, dry leaves or hay and rocks can also be added so the ball python has a variety of smells and textures to explore.
What is the best substrate for ball pythons
We particularly like aspen bedding for ball pythons. When using aspen bedding, we have had the best results when the substrate is kept 2"-4" deep in the cage. We rarely observe a ball python to burrow or push in the aspen. Rather they are content to live on top of it and pack it down into trails and depressions. When the ambient temperatures are low, we place a hide box down into the aspen over the area heated from underneath by heat tape or Flex-Watt strips so that they can sit in the box directly over the heat.My advice is to experiment with aspen shavings as a substrate / bedding material for your ball python cage. If it causes you any problems, whether it be the humidity level or the snake swallowing the shavings, you can always switch to a different type of substrate. If you ask 20 different ball python keepers about the pros and cons of aspen shavings as a substrate, you will probably get 20 different opinions. I have used it without any ill effect for many years. Other keepers have had problems with it. You’ll have to experiment to see how it works for you and your snake.