Hey all, I’ve had two rat snakes (one black, one everglades) for almost a year now and when I first took them to the vet for a checkup several months ago I was advised against aspen and other wood-based bedding due to possible molding and bacteria issues. She recommended I keep them on paper towels and use old t-shirts for them to burrow in. Right now I have them on reusable bamboo paper towels since I wanted to cut down on the waste. Only the black rat really likes to burrow and seems to prefer hiding over t-shirts draped over the branches in his enclosure when he’s not in one of his hides, though when I initially had him on aspen he seemed to enjoy digging around in it. The everglades is a diva who I think hasn’t noticed the change at all since his main hobby is sitting in his favorite cave and never really burrowed.
The bedding doesn’t particularly matter to me, I liked the look of the aspen much better but since the snakes don’t seem to mind it’s not a big issue. The vet said that even new unopened bags of aspen bedding have been found to have mold spores in them, but I’ve seen quite a few professional breeders/keepers use aspen or something similar. Is the risk just not that high? I haven’t read anything anywhere else that says wooden bedding is particularly dangerous.