Corn Snake Bite – Does it Hurt? What to Do if It Happens

Getting bit by a snake. It’s an event that many fear, but is usually nothing to worry about. Especially when it comes to a Corn Snake bite. In captivity, Corn Snakes are typically docile and friendly. You shouldn’t ever have to worry about your pet Corn Snake biting you.

Corn Snakes are a popular breed among both newbie and advanced snake owners. If you’re reading this, you are probably a new snake owner, or a scared parent/relative of a new snake owner. You may be thinking: Do Corn Snakes have fangs or teeth? How many teeth to Corn Snakes have? Does a Corn Snake Bite hurt?

Don’t fret.

Corn snake bites are nothing to be afraid of. This breed of snake is relatively harmless, and bites so rarely happen when considering captive Corn Snake Pets.

In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about Corn Snake bites. Including: what to do if a bite happens, Corn Snake teeth, FAQs about Corn snakes, etc.

Thinking of a Corn Snake as a Pet?

They make great beginner snakes! Check out our ultimate guide to owning a Corn Snake.

What To Do if Your Corn Snake Bites You

First things first, don’t panic. The shock of being bitten is the scariest and worst part of being bitten by a Corn Snake. The bites are harmless, and if it happens, there is nothing to worry about. With that in mind, there are some things you need to know in the case that a bite occurs.

What To Do if the Snake Latches On

Corn Snakes are constricting predators that need to wrap around prey to kill it. Because of this, when they bite, some times Corn Snakes will latch on to you. This will probably not happen.

If it does, refrain from yanking the snake off. Resist all of your urges, and let the snake continue to latch on until it releases you.


Pulling a latched on Corn Snake will do two things. One, it will hurt you even more because Corn Snake teeth are angled backwards, acting as little barbs. Yanking the snake off will likely rip your skin off, resulting in a bad and painful time. Secondly, pulling off a latched on Corn Snake could damage the snake itself. It’s best to remain calm, and let the snake detach when it’s ready.

If the Corn Snake bites and continue to latch on, you can do one of two things:

  1. Drip freezing cold water over the latched on area. This should do the trick. If that doesn’t work, there’s another alternative that has a high success rate.
  2. Pour high % alcohol over the latched on area. Think vodka, whiskey, etc. Not rubbing alcohol. If the cold water didn’t work, this method will almost certainly ensure that the snake will remove it’s grasp from you.

See? It’s not that big of a deal if you get bit. Usually, it’s just a little love tap, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Everything You Need to Know About Corn Snake Teeth

As mentioned above, Corn Snakes have small teeth that are angled backward. The reason for this is because it helps with two functions that are key to a Corn Snakes survival in the wild.

You can see what Corn Snake teeth look like in this picture. See? They are so tiny and barb-like. All the more reason to not yank a Corn Snake off of your skin if it bites and latches on. All those little teeth will… well, you get the picture. This picture of a Corn Snake Bite shows that the aren’t really anything to worry about.

First, Corn Snake teeth are angled backwards because it helps them grasp prey better. Additionally, this helps them get a grip on their prey when setting their bodies up to constrict. Lastly, the angled back teeth help them keep a tight grasp on the prey as they are constricting to ensure that it’s meal doesn’t escape.

Another reason Corn Snake teeth are angled backwards is because it helps them digest the food once their prey is dead. Unlike humans and other mammals, Corn Snakes don’t really chew with their teeth. In fact, the teeth act more like little grips to help force the meal down in to a snakes belly. Corn Snakes use their entire body to force the food down, and the teeth help move the prey further along their gullet. That way, Corn Snakes can more easily digest and swallow their food.

How Many Teeth Do Corn Snakes Have?

Like many other non-venomous snakes, Corn Snakes have about 20-30 teeth. Corn Snakes typically have twice as many teeth on the roof of their mouth as opposed to the bottom part of their jaw. Additionally, Corn Snake teeth are aligned with 4 rows on top, and 2 rows on bottom.

Corn Snake teeth are sharp, small, and needle like. As mentioned above, this helps them grasp on to prey for constriction and it also helps with the digestive process.

Do Corn Snakes Have Fangs?

First, fangs and teeth are two totally different biological components that serve different purposes in snakes. Fangs are used for injecting venom and latching deep into prey. Snake teeth on the other hand, are mainly used for holding and digesting meals.

Consequently, Corn Snakes do not have fangs, they have teeth.

Are Corn Snakes Poisonous?

If you haven’t guessed it by now, no Corn Snakes are not poisonous nor are they venomous. That’s a big reason as to why they are such popular pets. Additionally, they do not have fangs, which are usually what dangerous snakes use to inject venom into prey.

Although Corn Snakes are not poisonous, if you get bitten by one, it’s best to take the proper precautions to treat the bite wound.

Treating a Pet Corn Snake Bite

First of all, you probably won’t even feel it if you get bitten by a corn snake. The chances of it actually hurting are slim to none. Especially if you get bit by a corn snake baby. Baby corn snakes may playfully strike you because they don’t know any better. If it happens, you’ll likely only feel a small tap on your skin and nothing else.

If you get bit by a grown Corn Snake, it still probably won’t hurt all too much.

What does it feel like to get bit by a Corn Snake?

Nothing more than a little pinch, and maybe some blood will be drawn.

Although Corn Snakes aren’t venomous, it’s best to make sure the bite area is cleaned. Snakes tend to carry a lot of bacteria in their mouth, and if the bite draws blood, you’ll need to disinfect.

Some Neosporin or hydrogen peroxide should do the trick!

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6 thoughts on “Corn Snake Bite – Does it Hurt? What to Do if It Happens”

  1. thank you the lock broke when feeding and i got worried

  2. do not i repeat do not go back into the tank to pick up the mouse to re-encourage your snake to eat mine just nipped me for the first time in the whole 4 years I’ve had him my lil buddy had the munchies too hard

  3. When my dad was younger, he took care of a large boa in a local pet shop. One day, a couple of loud-mouths came in and insisted on seeing the snake. The boa was good with people, but was molting at the time, so dad didn’t want to bother it. The ignorant customers persisted, so dad took them to see the snake. When dad picked it up, the boa got confused (because the scales on his eyes prohibited it from seeing properly) and bit his face. The idiots who wanted to see the snake in the 1st place, took off. Both my dad and the boa were fine.

    Moral of the story: Sometimes, the
    customers are NOT always right.

    • You’re absolutely right. I can’t tell you how many times my friends/random people wanted to handle and “play with” my California King Snake when he was not feeling it. it was usually near feeding time or when he was about to shed; there were a few times he struck at me, so I was pretty stringent on when and with whom he would be handled.

      At the end of the day, you know your pet snakes the best. Bites do happen, but there are definitely precautions we can all take to prevent it… and unfortunately, that sometimes will mean letting others down because your snake does not want to be handled that moment.

  4. This text reassured me about being bitten, there is really nothing to be afraid of. If you are a new snake owner this will help you alot, even if you aren’t a new snake owner this may help.
    I have now been bitten by my corn snake a few times and I dont feel it that much at all.
    Just so you know, if you are afraid or you freak out when the snake bites you it will make it worse.
    If the water and acohol idea doesnt work to get the snake off of your skin, you can always use a card to slide under the teeth and gently remove the snake from your body.


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