Ball python misting?

I have a genuine question i hear very conflicting things about misting your ball python. I find reputable sites and forums stating that misting is fine as long husbandry is correct. While the info i find about misting causing RIs is more social media comments and few people in forums. Im not discrediting anyone at the moment just people against misting please tell me why and possibly some source materail.

2 Likes

Ball pythons require 40-60% humidity on average to maintain good hydration and have relatively easy shedding. When shedding or sometimes around breeding season, some will bump it up a bit higher.

A lot of the information is conflicting for different reasons. The most important part is probably: Misting doesn’t necessarily help with raising the humidity overall.
It’s typically a temporary fix. There’s other measures you can take to keep the humidity up like using a different substrate, depending on the type of enclosure that can also be adding a bit of a barrier if there’s an open screen lid. Or changing the method of heating if there’s too much heat and drying out.
Depending on the method for misting, you can actually introduce bacteria in that mist which aerosolizes it and can cause the RIs. Or, too heavy of a misting can lead to bacteria building up in some areas of the enclosure.
RIs can also happen just from having the excessive humidity as well in cases where people don’t realize they may be misting too much.

So it does boil down to the husbandry needing to be correct. An occasional mist can be a good mental stimulus or just that little bit of a boost for shedding/breeding. But if you’re constantly misting/running a fogger and having humidity issues, that needs to be addressed.

6 Likes

I do mist but thats not for my hunidity i honestly just kinda dump water till its overflowing and have aquatic plants around it to absorb access. My misting is really just for the plants.

2 Likes

I don’t mist and never have. I did think about it. But I realized that I should find how to correct it on a more permanent way. Once I was able to correct it I realized that a mister is not needed. It take trial and error to figure it out. Every setup is different and every environment is different. I am not for or against them, I just realized that I have a problem that needs fixed without a work around.

So I don’t have any data on health issues or anything for the better, just that there is always a way to fix it and not have to worry about having health problems and adding more equipment to do it.

Bins have been used for a long time along with racks, and none of these setups have misting options. So there is always a way to fix it without using one.

2 Likes

If you look at humidity out in the area/environment where ball pythons are their humidity is actually fairly high. It ranges from 50-60% and sometimes higher (in the 70-80 range), but not dropping below 50% so you will want to be misting the enclosure, adding water to the bedding and mixing it up, anything that will be enough to keep it in that range, and raising the humidity to 70-80% during shedding. The only way I could see an RI happening is with too much humidity at the wrong time. You can also put some moss in there and it will help out!

2 Likes

I also think alot of people use the words misting and spraying interchangeably but they are different

1 Like

I don’t consider them different at all. You’re using a sprayer of some sort to add a thin layer of water on the surface of the substrate
The one that IS different is fogging. Usually it’s a whole setup on a timer for that for a cloud like humidity. Not one I recommend at all for ball pythons.

If your humidity is on point, you should not have to spray or mist. And as I mentioned earlier… It’s not effective. You’re going to typically need to do it regularly to be the ‘fix’

Even where I am in southern California, I don’t typically mist unless I have a stubborn pair I’m trying to get breeding. And that hasn’t even been the case this year.
What I do occasionally do, is pour a bit extra water into the substrate and mix it through to raise humidity in the summer.

3 Likes

There is definitely a difference in all 3 it goes down to water droplet sizes. Actual spraying makes droplets heavy enough to not linger in the air. If you have a bioactive enclosure then just pouring water is not going to work. As mentioned above though no one has shared actual source information. I can go right now and find countless ball python care guides includinh on morph that say to spray.

1 Like

True bioactive enclosures for ball pythons aren’t very common. They’re difficult to maintain.
They may become more common eventually. But because of the way ball pythons produce waste and how heavy bodied they are it’s a bit more of a hybrid setup.

I don’t know why you asked for clarification if all you really want is source documents.

3 Likes

It was to see points none of which were massively swaying. You saying that bioactive is not commonplace then how come nearly all bp care guides tell you to spray. The debate isnt new i can find forum posts going back several years but the non misters are always in the minority. So where did people originally read this info because i cant find a thing on it. Ive google spraying bps and ri why you shouldnt spray bps all kinds of different ways to ask. I still find articles that state High humidity and “humidity spikes” have not been clinically linked with respiratory infection in Ball Pythons. Instead of looking at the humidity spikes, we need to look at humidity DROPS. Like ive said obviously not misting must work but its seems to have formed out of an improper assumtion and has been parroted amongst keepers without any individual research

2 Likes

This species requires a high humidity to thrive. 55% is the MINIMUM acceptable humidity in which this species should be kept. This means that if the animal is kept lower, osmotic pressure causes them to lose water with literally every breath as their bodies cannot handle the dry. The ideal humidity for this species to thrive is 65%

1 Like

What makes you think that spraying has to only do with the enclosure being bioactive?
Guides will tell you to do that to maintain the humidity. Which again, is a husbandry issue and if properly housed, will not be required.
In the case of a bioactive setup, yes, you may have keep up on spraying for live plants, but again… If properly cared for that’s minimal.

Care guidelines can change and word of mouth on forums or among breeders is definitely faster than ‘care guides’. Many of the care guides you see posted online are rarely new info. They’re usually parroted from one website to another and very little changes from old info. I would try to make sure whatever care guides you are referencing are dated. Otherwise breeders posting YouTube vids on how they care for their animals are usually much more current than any care guides Google may turn up.
Even here on MorphMarket they are actively trying to update all of the care guides posted and it is a very arduous task.

3 Likes

I don’t see any issue with misting. I feel like the only situations where it could cause an RI would be either if the mister/sprayer was dirty, and/or if you misted too often and kept things perpetually too damp.

I don’t keep balls, but I keep two species with similar humidity requirements. Sometimes I mist, but more recently I’ve become a fan of pouring some water over the coco husk and mixing it up. It seems to last longer than misting, especially in the winter when the air is dry. I’m more likely to mist when I just need to bump up the humidity a little bit (like if I notice someone is going into shed). Sometimes I’ll also add some damp sphagnum moss.

The only problem I ever had with misting was just that I had to do it so frequently in the winter. But so long as you’re keeping your mister/sprayer clean and not overdoing it, I don’t see any issue with it.

5 Likes

Ive always misted my snakes, every single one for decades. Usualy when they go into blue I give them a little more humidty, wetness. Never experienced an RI. I only use either distilled or water from an RODI system used for our fish tanks. Many ways to keep these beautiful animals, IMO doing either is not necessary or bad if you do👍

4 Likes

Yeah, I only ever use RO water for all my animals (drinking water, misting, cleaning, etc.). I can smell the chlorine in our local tap water sometimes, so no way I’m letting that anywhere near my animals.

3 Likes

I feel that I need to jump back in. It looks like we might be talking about two different ways of misting. This could be my fault.

Misting with a spray bottle just to get things back up, or just before shedding is something I do and in most cases needed (or just a quick way to bump it up).

Misting with a mister, is something I have never done and don’t see a need to do, if everything is setup correctly.

Now instead of useing a spray bottle, I may dump some water in near the heat source during shedding. Just to keep humidity up a little longer, especially in winter.

If my other post was confusing, I apologize for that. As I did not take using a spray bottle as misting, most of the time I use it more to soak an area during shedding.

4 Likes

Im good with this and im sorry if i was misunderstood.