Snakes are very beautiful, and can make wonderful pets. They’re quiet, fascinating to watch, and don’t need much space. They’re also quite low maintenance: they don’t eat every day, so your only daily chores will be spot-cleaning the cage and giving your pet fresh water. However, just like any other animal, snakes can be afflicted by parasites. One thing you’ll need to watch for is snake mites. A Dahlonega, GA vet discusses snake mites below.


Mites are, in layman’s terms, rather like the snake version of fleas. These tiny parasites can cause big problems. For one thing, they are very dangerous. Severe infestations can be fatal. Another issue with mites is the fact that they can spread very quickly. A single mite can literally have thousands of offspring! They can also transmit bloodborne diseases.

Spotting Mites

Mites are small, but they are visible to the naked eye. If you look closely at an infested snake, you’ll see what look like tiny black or red dots moving around. These will vaguely resemble coffee grounds. Mites are usually concentrated around the eyes, nostrils, and gular fold, which is basically a snake’s ‘chin.’ Or, you may see the mites’ feces, which will look like white specks. You might get mites on your hands after handling your reptilian pal. Your pet may also have swollen eyes, and may—understandably—act grumpy. It’s also worth noting that snakes afflicted with mites often soak themselves in water to try and drown the mites.

What To Do

If your snake has mites, you’ll want to act immediately. You’ll need to thoroughly clean and disinfect your pet’s cage. Discard all substrates and any porous decorations, like climbing branches. Other items, such as dishes, can be disinfected by soaking them in large tub of bleach/water solution for about a half hour. While your snake’s things are soaking, wash the cage and rinse it thoroughly. Once it’s dry, add new substrate and decorations. Rinse and dry the disinfected items before putting them back in. You’ll also need to treat your scaled buddy. There are different treatment options available. Ask your vet for specific recommendations and instructions. Once your snake has been treated, you can return him to his cage, and offer him some dinner. A follow-up appointment with the vet is also recommended.

Please contact us, your Dahlonega, GA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!