I’m a bit embarrassed to say my new Ball Python escaped his enclosure on Wednesday after feeding (the latch to the hatch on his enclosure was mistakenly left unlocked as I had a friend helping to feed the snakes that day. It’s no one’s fault, of course!!!). We saw his tail end as he went into a hole in my bathroom wall near my sink (didn’t even know that hole was there until then), so we know exactly where he went in at.
Wat we’ve tried so far: -We have the feeder rat cage on the floor next to the hole to see in the scent will entice him when he gets hungry again (of course he ate the day he got out). There is no way he can actually get into the cage with the rats!
-I’ve bought a bore camera (one of those cameras on a thin, flexible armature) that I’m going to feed into the hole to see if he’s still within 16ft of the entrance. If we can pinpoint where exactly he is we’ll be able to get him out.
My next step, and question: I’ve considered brining in a wildlife management team that deals with finding pest snakes. Would they still be willing to help if I explained it’s a pet that I’ve lost and not a nuisance wild animal? My reasoning is that they may have more tools at their disposal to really look into the wall to find him (I live in an 1800s house so the walls are sheetrock and not drywall). If absolute worst I was hoping perhaps they could set up humane live traps around my house in case there are other areas he may pop out at.
I’ve never had any of my reptiles escape so I’m trying hard to think of anything that could help to locate him. He’s one of my babies and I’d really just like to have him back safe and sound if at all possible. If anyone has anything to suggest I’m more than open to hearing!! I’m willing to do almost anything in my power to retrieve him! I feel absolutely terrible and guilty with the situation.
Thank you all for any help you can provide!! I also apologize for such a long post.
Have you tried making a bottle trap? Also one of those motion activated cameras could help. I would keep the bathroom door shut unless you are in it as it could make your life a lot easier. I am really tired and need to sleep but maybe @noodlehaus could help as she always seems to have really good advice for everything. Hopefully he will show up safe and sound after getting tired of him little vacation
I actually hadn’t thought of a bottle trap. And the bathroom has been blocked off since his initial escape, especially so my very curious dog doesn’t get in there, haha!
Thank you so much for the suggestions, I’ll definitely look into them!
Is there any way you can turn down the heat in the home and then set up a basking spot near the hole?
As for the house, if it’s 1800s it would likely have lath and plaster, not sheetrock (which is actually just a brand name for drywall). You might think of renting a longer camera from a home improvement or rental place meant for drains, or a FLIR camera (thermal) to check the walls. From there it’s really just needing to get into the wall & get the snake out. You could hire a wildlife management team, but I don’t know that they’d have specialized live traps for snakes, and they’d likely use similar methods to locate him.
The baseboard heater in the bathroom is probably less than 5ft from the opening of the hole, so we’re all hopeful that he may be hanging out close to there, but I can certainly turn down the heat and get a basking light to put near the entrance!
Oh pfft, I had no idea, I’m not very technical when it comes to home materials. If I could find a place to rent a FLIR that would certainly be ideal, I’ll definitely look into that as my friends and I considered one, but they’re very pricey so I wasn’t able to put out the money outright to buy one.
Thank you so much for all the advice!!
Yeah, I’d bet he hasn’t gone far if it’s dark and there’s a heat source!
Don’t worry about not being technical, I’m just Autistic and overly obsessive about research and things! I don’t know what kind of big box home stores you have in your area, but I know Home Depot has them for rent. They might require a hefty deposit, but you usually get that back when the device is returned. You might be able to Google something like, “FLIR camera rental near me” and get results.
Wishing you the best, hopefully he’s pretty easy to retrieve!
We’re thinking he probably hasn’t gone too far either and I’m definitely hoping he hasn’t, lol!!
Haha, no worries, I’m also autistic and obsessive about researching things! I went to Home Depot’s website and I could rent a FLIR for the day for $80 for a day, so that’s completely reasonable and a really good option.
And thank you so much, I’m still hopeful he’ll be found in short order!
Hello @mnemosurgeons! I am so sorry you are having this trouble! I lived in an old house that was built in the 1800’ s for a few years so I knew all about little nooks and crannies!
As was mentioned above about turning off the heat in the bathroom could you at the same time place a small portable heater away from the hole as well as a bowl of water because he is probably thirsty so maybe the water and the heat will draw him out. And maybe put a hide of some sort close to the heater.
If your house is like mine was your snake may be finding mice to eat because old houses are sometimes conducive to rodents. If that’s the case then he might look for heat to digest as well as water to drink. And maybe a cozy hide to curl up I …….
Just a thought …… best of luck finding your noodle!
That’s a good idea to put out some water for him as well!! And yeah, I know we have mice in the walls, at least my friend who lives upstairs has them in their place (we live in an old house that’s been converted into two apartments). I haven’t seen. them down in my place, but I’m certain they’re there, lol!
I’ll grab his favorite hide from his enclosure and place it by the hole as well with the water
Thank you so much for the suggestions and for the luck!!
Also @mnemosurgeons This might sound weird but assuming that you have handled him some you could also put a few articles of your clothing on the floor beside the hid (unwashed of course) for a scent……
I am so sorry about your snake escaping. I have been a keeper for many years and despite trying to prevent escapes, it happens to a lot of people. I have made many absentminded mistakes that have caused escapes and both me and .y daughter have absolutely left enclosures open when distracted by things. And of course they also have just outright escaped. I know how stressful it is, and sometimes it takes a while to find them. I hope your critter returns quickly for you. As always, many great suggestions have been made by our fellow posters so it will hopefully be a matter of time. I also second a motion activated infrared security camera, and with notifications enabled hopefully it should alert you when your guy triggers the sensor. Just keep your phone where you’ll hear the notification sound since escapees love to roam in the middle of the night.
Thank you so much!! It certainly helps to know that I’m not the only one this has happened to and that it even happens to experienced keepers sometimes. I definitely plan to go get a motion activated camera tomorrow to set up!
Believe me @mnemosurgeons I have had a few escapees in my many years of reptile keeping. It just happens and now you are in the club.
If someone tells you they’ve never had an escapee, they either haven’t been keeping long enough, or they’re lying. I’d say the majority have had at least one go missing.
I just found my first “escape”. I put a heading pad on the floor with a hide over it. 2 days later I found her tail hanging out from up in some desk drawers but the tail was touching the heating pad. So I think it still worked. FYI.
welcome to the comunity! happy to hear you found her
Welcome to the forum @ddolata! I am so glad you found your escapee! This post will give others hope in finding their own escapees!
Thank you for sharing your experience and technique! Stick around if you can! It’s a lot of fun here with a lot of great people!
I’m glad you were able to find your baby!! Unfortunately, my man is still MIA…tried basically everything at this point so I suppose I’m just going to have to wait and see if he ever resurfaces. I’ll always have an enclosure set aside for him just in case he does!
I’ve got locks on the snakes now just to prevent any future accidents, lol! And I’ve got a new baby coming to me soon, hopefully next week when the weather is a little warmer
Also going to the Gettysburg Reptile Expo next weekend. Not really shopping for another new addition, but definitely shopping for enclosure upgrades, lol!!
you could try sprinkling some flour across a doorway, that way you know if your BP is around…
other than that look in warm tight spaces. You will likely find him!