Do Ball Pythons Bite? Here’s the Right Answer

Having snakes as a pet is another ballgame altogether. Unlike any other pets, snakes demand very specific care from their masters. And when it comes to ball pythons, they are a notch more unique! 

Ball Python is one of the most famous pet snake species. And the reason why they are so famous is because of their docile and approachable personalities. However, there can be a concern among their owners regarding bites.

Do ball pythons bite? They mostly don’t. A ball python usually doesn’t attack humans. However, it still is possible for a ball python to bite you under stress or if it’s hungry. These are broadly two reasons for a ball python to bite you. 

That being said, there are some instances when a ball python ends up biting you. Here is everything you should know about ball python bites!

Do Ball Pythons Bite? Are they Venomous? 

do ball pythons bite

Ball pythons are ground-dwelling, non-venomous snakes that originally are from West Africa. 

Like mentioned above, ball pythons mostly do not bite their owners. They are very docile creatures and this is what makes them excellent pets. 

The reason why many go for this species is that these snakes are usually more friendly and adaptable as compared to other snake species. They can get used to being held by humans if done regularly and they also get attached to their owners over some time.

That being said, ball pythons can still bite! 

Ball pythons are, after all, snakes! And like any other snake species, they also can bite in some instances. 

A ball python bite is rare and if you are bitten by one, you shouldn’t panic! The bite wounds of a ball python aren’t severe, unlike other snake species. This is because ball pythons do not have fangs. 

Moreover, as the ball pythons are non-venomous, their bites are not at all dangerous similar to corn snakes. So, if you are ever bitten by a ball python, you shouldn’t freak out. With the right care, a ball python bite is easily treatable. 

Do Ball Pythons Have Teeth? And How Many?

ball python teeth

Ball pythons do not have fangs like most non-venomous snakes. However, they do have teeth!

Ball pythons usually have about 150 sharp teeth. These teeth are arranged in four rows at the top and two rows at the bottom and are usually quite sharp. 

Moreover, these teeth are barbed and curved inwards to hold the prey and kill it by constricting it in between the sharp teeth. 

Ball pythons make use of these sharp sets of teeth quite a bit while preying. As they are usually non-venomous, they make use of their sharp teeth to attack their prey. 

Ball python’s teeth vary in number and the number of teeth depends on the age of the python. If their teeth fall out, ball pythons are quick to regrow them as well. 

What Does a Ball Python Bite Feel Like? Does it Hurt?

ball python bite

A ball python is hardly severe, unlike many other snake species. A serious ball python bite is quite rare and usually doesn’t happen.

However, if a ball python bites you, it is going to feel like tiny pricks in your skin. The result of the bite would be seen in the form of puncture marks on your skin at the area of the wound. 

You shouldn’t worry about whether the bite will hurt or not. A ball python bite doesn’t hurt as much as you think.

A paper cut will hurt more than a ball python bite. So, it is best to not scare yourself in this regard. 

Editor’s Note
Still, it also depends on the kind of bite. If you panic when the snake bites you and you snap your hand backward, the chances are that the teeth will scrap out more skin than usual at a time. In this case, the snake’s teeth can also fall out.

Even when a ball python bites you, you can manage the situation pretty well by not reacting too fiercely. If you stay calm and composed, the wound will not be deep. 

How you take care of your wound after being bitten, also determines how long it will take for your wound to get healed. 

Reasons Why a Ball Python Bites 

Here are some most common reasons for a ball python to bite you!

When it’s Young

juvenile ball python

A ball python will bite you if it’s a juvenile. This is because a ball python is young and is still figuring out adaptation techniques. 

A young ball python is more curious, active, aggressive, and fierce, and can be clueless about what’s happening around it. Due to this, a young ball python can end up feeling threatened more easily resulting in more bites than usual!

Therefore, it is normal behavior if your ball python is young and biting you a little more than usual. It is just becoming used to being around you and learning your ways. 

If Held Improperly or Grabbed

ball python being held

A ball python will most probably bite you if you do not hold it properly. It should be held firmly and the whole body should be supported. If you do not hold the ball python properly, it will feel unsafe and threatened, and will therefore decide to bite you. 

Feeling threatened is one of the most common reasons for a ball python to bite a human. If it recognizes you as a potential threat, it is most likely for it to bite you.

You should make sure you hold your ball python carefully, supporting its full body and being careful, slow, and gentle. If you grab it forcefully, then your pet won’t like it! 

When Hungry 

hungry ball python

Your snake will end up biting your fingers while you are trying to feed it. It can mistake your hand for food.

A hungry ball python can be restless and therefore become impulsive. Biting can therefore be apparent in such instances. 

Editor’s Note
You should therefore feed your python with tongs so that it doesn’t mistake your fingers for food. It is also important to wash your hands after touching the snake food so that your fingers don’t smell like it. 

When Shedding 

ball python shedding

A ball python becomes quite restless, moody, and irritable during the shedding time. This is when it is best to give your pet the much-needed space for it to relax.

If you lurk around your snake during this time, touching it, and being insisting, it is likely for your pet to get irritated and bite you as a result. 

How to Treat a Ball Python Bite? 

When a ball python bites you, it may not be severe but if you leave the wound untreated, you can invite trouble. 

When wounds are left untreated, there is a chance of bacterial growth happening that might enter your bloodstream and cause infection. 

This is what you should do in case a ball python bites you:

When the ball python bites you, the first thing you should do is wash the wound thoroughly with warm water and soap. This will prevent infections. 

You can leave the wound as it is if it is not too deep. In this case, it is best to leave your wound open so that it can heal faster. However, if the wound is severe, you can apply bandages on the affected area to provide some relief. 

You can also apply some ointment that will aid your recovery. 

When to See a Doctor

If the bite is serious, do not postpone or avoid medical supervision. It is important to seek professional advice and get immediate treatment if the wound is serious. 

A serious wound can occur if the python remains clamped on your skin while biting for a long time. This can result in a deeper, more serious wound. 

You will have to assess the seriousness of your wound based on how much it hurts and whether you are bleeding too much. If there is a considerable rip-off, then it is best to see a doctor. 

In case foreign objects are sitting at the site of your wound, the doctor will take necessary steps to remove it such as tissue removal or surgery, in case, there is considerable damage to the nerves or tendons. 

In the case of Latching 

ball python wrapped around owner's arm

If the snake has latched onto your skin for a longer duration, the wound will be much deeper and it might hurt more. 

But there are ways to prevent this. When a snake latches on to your skin, you need to stay calm so that the snake doesn’t become more aggressive. 

If you try to forcefully get rid of the snake, it will end up latching even stronger, so it is best to avoid this by gently handling your snake and removing your hand slowly. 

You may not be able to avoid a bite this way but you will surely be able to prevent a severe injury. 

If your pet is aggressive and you are unable to control it, you can watch the video below:

How to Prevent a Ball Python Bite?

When it comes to ball pythons, it is best to keep in mind a few things to prevent getting bitten. 


Make sure you feed your Python at the same time regularly. And make sure you don’t handle your Python before and after their mealtime. 

This is because ball pythons are usually aggressive when they are hungry and will most likely bite you if you try to mess with them. The same happens when you try to handle them immediately after their mealtime. 

Secondly, make sure you feed your python with a long-handled tong. This way it won’t mistake your hands for food and bite you as a result. A hungry python will bite your fingers if you with it with your fingers. 


It is important to regularly handle your Python so that it gets accustomed to being held by you. 

Also, it is important to make sure you handle your pet by supporting its entire body. This way, it will not bite you. If you do not handle your pet carefully, it will recognize you as a threat and will end up biting you. 

Moreover, take extra precautions when the snake is shedding. It is important to give your snake space while it’s shedding. Because during this time your pet will be even more reactive and moody.


How to handle an aggressive ball python pet? 

If you want to handle your aggressive ball python, then it is important to give it some much-needed space. This will help your pet to cool down. Do not try to hold your pet when it is already aggressive. 

Are ball pythons dangerous? 

Ball pythons are not dangerous. Their teeth are sharp but they cannot do much harm to you, unlike other snakes. They can only curl around their prey and kill it by constricting it. However, their teeth are not very potent. 

Final Thoughts

Ball python’s bites are pretty manageable if you handle them carefully. A ball python cannot do much harm to you and their bites usually feel like a prick. 

If you do not act very fiercely, the chances are that the wound will not be severe.

In case the wound is serious, it is important to seek medical supervision immediately.

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