I could use some advice ! Please anyone!

So I am a brand new ball python owner. That being said when it comes time to using the “temp gun” when I take the temperature of my ball pyhtons “hide” it is reaching 100-110 but when I actually take the temp inside of the hid it is in the high 80s nearly 90 degrees? Is that normal? I’m terrified that the python will burn herself while sitting on the actual hide itself. Again the soil is only in high 80s-nearly 90 degrees.

Are you using a heat bulb or Matt?
I think you need to get it on a stat!

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What type of heat are you using? Belly heat or overhead heat? Is it hooked up to a thermostat? If so, where is the probe placed in relation to the heat source? Answering these will help us help you!

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I am using a heat mat on the hot side as well with a intense basking light directly over the hide. I do have a 20 gallon tank so I leave the infared basking light on in the “cool side” to not let the temperature drop significantly

I have a heat mat directly underneath the tank where the hide is… as well with the intense basking light right over the hide… with just the heating mat it wasn’t reaching hot enough… I do have a exo-terra thermostat connected to the heating mat witch is set so it can only reach 90 degrees. On the “cool side “ I keep the infared basking light on to keep the cool side from dropping significantly.

It sounds like your heat mat is the only one being regulated by your thermostat then. Your overhead heat is going unregulated, both of them. 100-110*F is far too hot and apart from potential physical issues, could cause neurological issues in your ball if exposed to these extreme temperatures for too long. What were your temps when using just the heat mat (hot spot, general hot side, and cool side)? What is your cool side at right now temperature wise when using the infrared bulb mentioned?


That’s what I was thinking I try putting my hand to the hide to feel if it really is at 100 degrees but it doesn’t feel like it and inside the actual hide itself it’s only in the high 80s and before I had the intense heating lamp and only using heat mat and the infared lamp it was reaching high 70s on the hot side and 70 degrees in the mid and 60 degrees in the cool side . But now keeping the infared basking light on in the cool side keeps it in the 80s .

My intense heating lamp doesn’t have a thermostat but it does have a dimmer ?? If that helps?? So I don’t put it on full heat.

100F isn’t going to feel like much to the touch as a human since that is near our normal temperature, but anything 90F+ should be avoided for your ball python. If the mat was not providing the desired temperature, I would not use that any longer. That leaves you with the overhead heating. I believe the thermostat mentioned is an on/off thermostat, so hooking a light source up to it could cause an unwanted strobe effect. I would instead suggest a ceramic heat emitter to hook up to your thermostat in place of your heat bulb and place the thermostat probe where the hot spot from the ceramic heat emitter would be (again you want to regulate this spot to not go above 90*F). As long as you’re providing a proper temperature gradient, mid 70s to about 88 or 89, your snake will seek out what it needs.


So you mentioned you would just take out the heating pad entirely and just Hook up a “ceramic infared heat emitter” to the exo -terra thermostat itself ? And where would I place the thermostat probe? Inside the hide itself under substrate or directly on top of it so it picks up the heat from up top? And once I set the exo-terra thermostat to 90 degrees it will shut off the emitter once it gets to hot… will the on and off eventually break the emitter?

Wherever the hottest area being heated from the ceramic heat emitter (CHE) is should be where your probe is. If you place the probe elsewhere, then there will likely be an area within the enclosure that reaches temperatures higher than is safe for your ball python. Ideally the probe will be placed in a manner to where it cannot be moved out of position and is not at risk of being urinated on or having water spilled on it. Some people accomplish this by hanging the probe down near this area, making sure that it is not covered by decor and not able to be covered or moved by your snake. I have not personally experienced a malfunctioning CHE from use with an on/off thermostat, but it is advisable to periodically check your temps with your temp gun to make sure you’ve got everything dialed in like you want.


This is on point

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An UTH should be sufficient in almost any circumstance without supplemental heat unless your ambient temperature is really low, they can easily get above 100 degrees. It sounds to me like there could be a couple of potential issues.

  • You’re incorrectly reading temperatures. Aim the thermometer at the surface of the glass directly on top of the UTH, put a piece of paper or painter’s tape to get a accurate reading. Snakes will burrow and shift substrate around so the surface of the glass is what you want to be at your highest tolerable temps.

  • Your thermostat or UTH isn’t set up properly. Make sure the probe is between the UTH and the glass, and use the adhesive of the UTH to ensure proper contact with the bottom of the terrarium. Usually thermostats are set a degree or two hotter than what you’re aiming for.

  • Your UTH is old/damaged/broken. You can test this by just plugging it directly into the wall and taking the temperature of the surface to see how hot it gets. It should be really hot after a few minutes running full blast.

These are at least the most obvious solutions.


I suggest making sure your temp gun is calibrated. You can do this by testing things of known temperature. One way to do this is to test the temperature of something with several thermometers, especially thermometers confirmed accurate, and then see what your temp gun says. With thermometers with probes, you can also do this by covering the probe with your hand, then comparing that temp to the body temperature you usually run at (so long as you’re in good health).