Corn snakes are a great choice for snake enthusiasts who have not had snakes as pets before.
They live to be 15 to 20 years old. They aren’t aggressive or hard to handle, and they almost never bite. They aren’t fussy feeders.
And although they are primarily ground-dwelling, terrestrial reptiles, some corn snakes like to explore by climbing the ornamental branches you place in their enclosures.
But because corn snakes are skilled escape artists, you need to make sure the lid to your corn snake’s tank is securely fastened before you give it a toy on which to climb.
Corn Snakes Can Climb Trees to Pursue Prey
“Semi-arboreal” snakes like corn snakes can climb trees to catch prey, and when they feel threatened.
Corn snakes don’t have legs or arms, so you might wonder how they are able to get up a tree.
Snakes use their long muscles to press hard against the bark of the tree.
While the snake presses hard against the tree and gets traction with its scales, it moves a tiny part of its body upward, and presses against the tree again.
It moves another tiny part of its body upward, and the process starts all over again. This kind of movement is known as “concertina motion.”
Trees with smooth bark require the snake to wrap completely around the tree to hold on while it inches upward.
Nonetheless, some corn snakes are skilled and fast climbers. Most corn snakes have a natural ability to climb trees.
Some Corn Snakes Can Also Climb Walls
Lightweight and speedy, corn snakes can easily climb stone and brick walls.
They aren’t as skilled, however, at climbing plaster or concrete walls or walls covered with wallpaper.
To climb a smooth wall, a corn snake needs something to hold onto like a hook, a rack, or a picture frame.
Your corn snake will have a lot of trouble mounting the smooth glass wall of its terrarium.
However, if you give it a climbing toy, it can test the lid of its enclosure for any crack it can crawl through. Corn snakes are very stretchy and can wriggle through tiny spaces.
Why Would a Captive Corn Snake Want to Climb Inside Its Enclosure?
Corn snakes and other reptiles are cold-blooded. Heat rises, so a corn snake that feels uncomfortably chilly might try to find warmer air at the top of its enclosure.
Corn snakes also climb in pursuit of prey. The scent of food coming through a screen enclosure at the top of the cage motivates a corn snake to climb in anticipation of getting its next meal.
This is easier, of course, if you have given it an artificial tree or a climbing toy.
Five Climbing Toys for Corn Snakes
Don’t go out to the woods or a park for a branch to put in your corn snake’s enclosure.
It won’t look good, and it could carry parasites into your snake’s enclosure. Instead, consider commercial climbing toys for corn snakes like these five:
Artificial Jungle Vine Climbing Branch
The Artificial Jungle Vine Climbing Branch has colorful, color-fast leaves and stems made of polyurethane wrapped around a metal wire core.
It’s long but flexible, so it can fit in any 20-gallon (80-liter) enclosure.
This climbing branch comes with suction cups so it can be installed directly on the walls of a glass terrarium.
It can be clipped to the sides of a wire cage. It is large enough to provide your corn snake with plenty of room to hide as well as some hiding places in its foliage.
This hanging vine is lightweight, just 6.4 ounces (181 grams). The leaves are 2 inches (50 mm) long.
There may be a plastic odor when it comes out of the box, so let it air out for two or three days before you put it into your snake’s cage.
Emours Natural Wood Climbing Decor
Emours Natural Wood Climbing Decor is exactly what its name advertises. Each piece is made from natural wood.
Since Emours Natural Wood Climbing Decor is natural, each piece is just a little different, and the overall look in your snake’s terrarium is highly realistic.
The diameters of the natural wood pieces range from 0.6 to 1.6 inches (15 to 40 mm) and the length ranges from 9.8 to 15.7 inches (250 to 390 mm).
They are exactly what your corn snake may be looking for when it is shedding.
What makes Emours Natural Wood Climbing Decor different from pieces of wood you could collect on your own?
Emours Natural Wood Climbing Decor has been sanitized, so you won’t be introducing parasites, bacteria, and fungi into your snake’s terrarium.
However, they can become moldy if your corn snake’s enclosure is kept too damp.
Eonmir Flexible Jungle Climbing Vines
The bendable, flexible, twistable Eonmir Flexible Jungle Climbing Vines give your corn snake’s terrarium a natural look, while providing it with endless hours of climbing.
A full 8 feet (2.5 meters) long, Eonmir Flexible Jungle Climbing Vines are just 0.4 inches (10 mm) thick, so they can be manipulated to fit inside almost any enclosure.
They have a softer surface than some competing products, but your corn snake can still get a good grip.
You attach Eonmir Flexible Jungle Climbing Vines with six suction cups, activated by dipping them in warm water.
However, they are intended for use at temperatures of 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) or higher and may crack in cold weather.
Eonmir Flexible Jungle Climbing Vines come with an unconditional guarantee.
Fluker Labs Bend a Branch
Fluker Labs Bend a Branch looks like a stretch of vine stripped of its leaves.
It is 6 feet (180 cm) long, actually, brown, rough styrofoam molded around a half-inch wire. This product comes without suction cups, so it has to be tied or clipped to the sides of a wire mesh enclosure.
This product can be cut to fit your corn snake’s cage.
It is humidity- and rust-resistant, and can be bent into any shape you like. It has a hard outer coating that allows condensation to roll off.
Fluker Labs Small Animal Bend-A-Branch
Advertised as “a beautiful addition to any terrarium,” Fluker Labs Small Animal Bend-A-Branch provides more support than other brands of decorative vines.
Each branch is 6 feet (180 cm long), but 3 inches (7.7 cm) wide and an inch (2.5 cm) thick.
This product contains three branches in every package. They are designed for use in a wire enclosure. They have to be tied or clipped to the cage.
Fluker Labs Small Animal Bend-a-Branch is easy to clean. Just wipe them down with a mixture of vinegar and water, rinse off the vinegar, and allow the branch to dry before you put it back in your corn snake’s enclosure.
Don’t forget to provide your corn snake with a hide, in addition to a climbing vine. A mossy cave (made from plastic) may become its favorite hiding place. Your corn snake will also need a water bowl.
You can find climbing toys and everything else for your corn snake’s habitat in corn snake starter kits available in pet supply stores and online.
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