Snake Ticks

Snake Ticks are blood sucking parasites that are just as bad for your snake as they are for people. They can pass on quite a number of terrible diseases to your snake. Depending on what the ticks carry, or if left untreated, they can cause your snake to die.

Symptoms of Snake Ticks

Symptoms of ticks:

  • Rubbing on objects in their enclosure
  • Long soaks
  • Weight loss
  • Scale deformities or red spots

Usually with the above symptoms, especially red spots on their scales, people will suspect either ticks or mites. Ticks are a lot easier to see than mites are, and with a close inspection of your snake you should be able to spot them pretty easily.

Diagnosing Snake Ticks

The best way to diagnose a tick infestation is to look for the presence of small, dark-colored ticks on your snake’s body. If they’re found, it’s important to take your snake or reptile to a veterinarian for further examination and treatment. The veterinarian might also recommend blood tests or other diagnostic tests in order to determine if any diseases have been transmitted by the ticks.

Stages of Snake Ticks

Ticks go through four stages of development: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.

Egg Stage:

The eggs are laid in clusters on the ground or on vegetation.

Larva Stage:

The larvae hatch from the eggs and feed on small insects or other hosts.

Nymph Stage:

The nymphs then feed on larger hosts such as snakes or lizards.

Adult Stage:

Finally, the adults feed on blood from their host and reproduce.

Treating Snake Ticks

The treatment is fairly straightforward and can be done at home, or you can have your vet do it. Once you find a tick attached to your snake, rub the tick with a cotton ball that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol, then use tweezers to pull the tick off. 

Using alcohol first should help the tick release their grip and make them easier to pull off. If you are at all worried about diseases your snake might have gotten from the ticks you can have your vet take a look and they can prescribe medication based on what they find.

Preventing Snake Ticks

The best way to prevent a tick infestation is to keep the area around your pet’s cage clean and free of debris. Regularly check your pet for ticks, and if any are found, remove them immediately.

Finally, using an insect repellent can help deter ticks from entering their enclosure. Just make sure whatever you use is safe to be used around your pets.

Additional Information

Ticks can be a serious problem for snakes and other reptiles, and it’s important to take steps to prevent and treat infestations. By regularly checking your snake for ticks, keeping their enclosure clean, and using an insect repellent, you can help keep your pet safe from these parasites.