Do you want a pet snake, but you don’t like the idea of feeding your snake mice?
Or do you want a snake for a pet, but there’s someone in your house who refuses to allow you to keep frozen mice in the freezer?
There’s good news for you. There are at least seven kinds of snakes you can keep as pets and feed crickets.
Note that these snakes do not eat just crickets, but you will never have to feed them rodents. And since these snakes can survive on crickets and other small insects, you’ll find that most of these snakes stay small.
7 Pet Snakes that can Eat Crikets
Let’s take a closer look at the kinds of pet snakes that can eat crickets.
Flowerpot Snakes (aka Brahminy Blindsnakes)
Unless you are really into snakes, you may have never even heard of a Flowerpot Snake.
Also known as Brahminy Blindsnakes, these Florida natives only grow 4.4 to 6.5 inches (112 to 165 mm) in total length, full-grown.
They are thin, small, and shiny purple, silver-gray, and charcoal gray.
Flowerpot Snakes reproduce by parthenogenesis. All Flowerpot Snakes are females. They do not need to mate with males to produce.
They can’t bite, but they may try to escape predators by digging into soft earth, like that found in flowerpots, and pressing their tail against your hand to release a foul-smelling substance.
Flowerpot Snakes can only eat newly hatched crickets and cricket larvae. They can also eat ant eggs and grasshopper pupae.
Don’t try to feed them larger insects. Larger insects can actually attack these snakes.
Most adult Brahminy Blindsnakes are about 4.4–6.5 inches (11.2–16.5 cm) in total length. These snakes are small, thin, and shiny silver gray, charcoal gray, or purple.
The head and tail both appear blunt and can be difficult to distinguish from each other. Juvenile coloration is similar to that of adults.
Garter Snakes may be the most common snake in North America.
You could live anywhere in the continental United States or in southern Canada and there is a good chance you have come across a Garter Snake in the wild.
Garter Snakes don’t pose any danger to children other than the risk of Salmonella (if they handle the snake’s waste and then fail to wash their hands).
They are active during the day, and they have excellent eyesight enabling them to keep an eye on you while you watch them.
Juvenile Garter Snakes need feeding every other day. Adult Garter Snakes need to eat about once a week.
Gut-fed crickets can be up to a third of your Garter Snake’s diet, but they also eat gut-fed earthworms (fed fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells to help them grind up the vegetable food they eat, and coffee grounds or tea leaves).
You can also feed Garter Snakes comet goldfish and pinkie mice in moderation, but they can survive on crickets and earthworms alone.
Ribbon Snakes look a lot like Garter Snakes. They are smaller than Garter Snakes, and their stripes are brighter than those on Garter Snakes.
A Ribbon Snake’s tail is about a third of its total length, while a Garter Snake’s tail is only about a quarter of its length.
Ribbon Snakes have a white spot in front of their eyes that Garter Snakes don’t have. A Ribbon Snake’s lips are white, while a Garter Snake’s lips are dark.
The main difference between the diets of Ribbon Snakes and Garter Snakes is that Ribbon Snakes won’t eat earthworms.
They do eat crickets, however, as well as mealworms, beetle grubs, small fish, and tadpoles.
Be sure not to give your Ribbon Snake too many small fish to prevent B-vitamin deficiency.
Rough Green Snakes
Rough Green Snakes are North American snakes with brilliant green bodies and bright yellow underbellies.
They need a little extra attention for their housing in the form of a hiding place that is just large enough to conceal them and an artificial tree to climb on. But they are easy to feed.
Rough Green Snakes are one of the few insect-eating snakes.
They don’t eat rodents. They do eat earthworms and crickets, preferably earthworms and crickets you have taken the time to feed before offering them to your snake.
Rough Green Snakes will also eat mealworms, like those you could feed birds in your backyard.
Sprinkling a calcium supplement and a vitamin supplement on your Rough Green Snake’s food every other week ensures complete nutrition.
Smooth Green Snakes
Smooth Green Snakes look a lot like Rough Green Snakes, with their bright green bodies and yellow bellies.
However, Smooth Green Snakes are smaller than Rough Green Snakes, and they have smooth scales on their rear ends, unlike the turned-up dorsal scales on Rough Green Snakes.
Crickets are Smooth Green Snake’s favorite food. They also eat caterpillars and grasshoppers.
They aren’t as fond of centipedes, millipedes, beetles, spiders, snails, slugs, and tadpoles, but they won’t refuse them when they are hungry.
Be careful when you reach into your Smooth Green Snake’s enclosure to feed them.
These snakes don’t bite, but they can smear you with a nasty-smelling fluid if they don’t know you and they think you are getting too close.
Always approach your Smooth Green Snake head-on and slowly, offering its meal with tongs rather than from your finger.
Water Snakes don’t make affectionate pets. They will hiss and even strike when they are approached before they are handled.
They suffer a double disability in that they have markings very similar to Rattlesnakes.
Because of their similarity to Rattlesnakes, Water Snakes are often killed on-site in the wild. However, you can keep a Water Snake without ever having to feed it mice.
Water Snakes thrive on a mixture of gut-fed crickets, small frogs and toads, and minnows.
It’s important not to feed them too many minnows or guppies, because raw fish can cause them to develop biotin (vitamin B7) deficiency.
If you are keeping a wild-caught Water Snake, it may have its own idea about what is acceptable food.
You may have to offer it small fish, amphibians, and crickets to make sure it eats something.
But over time, you can get your Water Snake used to eating crickets as a large part of its diet.
Worm Snakes are tiny, blind, harmless, and secretive burrowing snakes.
Scientists believe that these snakes were the most common kind of snakes in the world when the Earth had a single landmass known as Gondwanaland.
As the continents drifted apart, according to this theory, some Worm Snakes developed vision and grew large enough to feed on land animals, while others stayed blind or nearly blind and continued to burrow underground.
Worm Snakes grow from 4 to 40 inches (10 cm to a meter) long. The smallest Worm Snakes are too small to eat crickets.
They will gorge on ants. Larger Worm Snakes eat crickets, but they thrive on a diet that includes other insect foods with their live or freeze-dried crickets.
Some Basic Pet Snakes Fact You Must Know
Now that you know about snakes that can eat crickets, here are some basic pet snake facts you should also know.
- All snakes are carnivores. They cannot digest plant matter. Many mammals, including humans, can use carbohydrates to make the glucose that fuels every cell in their bodies, but snakes make glucose from the amino acids in protein foods. There are no vegetarian snakes.
- Snakes don’t need to eat very often. Small, insect-eating snakes may eat as often as very few days, but larger snakes can go weeks or even months without eating. Every snake needs access to fresh water, however.
- When snakes are hungry, you shouldn’t get between them and their food. Never feed a snake from your hand. Your snake won’t know where its food stops and your hand begins.
- Always feed snakes in a separate enclosure, a place where they only go to eat. That way they won’t associate your hand reaching into their cage with feeding, and they will be much less likely to accidentally bite you.
- There are snakes that only eat eggs, because they don’t have teeth, but there are no snakes that live on a 100%-cricket diet. However, these snakes thrive on diets of crickets, caterpillars, earthworms, spiders, and similar, small insects and arachnids.
- Snakes that eat crickets need live or freeze-dried crickets brought back up to room temperature.
There is one more thing you need to know about feeding your snake crickets.
If you are planning to feed your snake live crickets, feed the crickets first, so they are maximally nutritious.
The process of “fattening up” crickets before feeding them to your snake is known as gut loading.
All this means is that you feed your crickets cricket food before they become snake food.
- Fruit, such as sliced bananas, apples, oranges.
- Vegetables, including leafy greens you have torn into little pieces, squash, carrots, and cubes of potato.
- Grains, such as rice cereal and wheat germ.
- Packaged foods you would feed other pets, including dry kibble for dogs or cats, fish flakes, or vegetarian food you would give lizards.
Gut-loaded crickets provide your snake with vitamins in a form your snake’s body can use.
They provide, like all other animal-based foods, complete protein for all your snake’s metabolic needs.
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