How I’ve Heated All My Snake Enclosures For MANY Years

How I’ve Heated All My Snake Enclosures For MANY Years

I’m making a video for several people that have asked me about how I heat my snake enclosures I’ve done this for many, many years and I’ve tried the reptile heating mats And myself personally, I don’t like them’ Because they concentrate all the heat into one small area And for what you pay for em’ They really don’t last very long and they’re well known for burning out and catching on fire Because the heat that they do produce is very intense And it’s in on area But I’ll try and set my camera so I can show you how to do it This one’s all setup this is my baby corn snakes tank But as you can see I take the tank Underneath the floor of it I have a small piece of 2 by 4 on each end, underneath it That keeps it raised off the heating pad So there’s air flow between the floor of the snake enclosure and the heating pad itself Like this I can pull it right out if I want to or put it back in or move back and forth if I wanna switch my warm end to my cool end But, these are great I’ve used them for many years, each one of these you can get em’ really cheap compared to the reptile heating pads heating mats and these last for like 6 to 8 years I’ve never had one not make it for 6 years and I have them in all of my enclosures uh they have covers on them that can be put into the washer and dryer and I live in a really cold state, and sometimes our temps are like way below 0 like last year our wind-chill factor was 30 below and none of my heating pads have ever been above the lowest setting and my snakes love it right now my babies are all burrowed into their substrate here, but It works great, keep it on the lowest setting see there’s air space between the tank bottom and the heating pad so the snakes can’t get overheated on it, myself I don’t believe in heat lamps for snakes because all they so is suck the humidity out of a snakes enclosure and snakes need that humidity for proper sheds and for healthy skin, so I’m really against heat lamps I’ve done this for many years I’ve got tons of people using them now for their reptiles, too Um, you can do a search on any site and buy em’ But you have to get the ones that have the auto shut off function on em’ that DON’T have the auto shut off function on em’, sorry about that because if their auto shut off, FCC now requires it if you buy em’ in a store, public, you know, public store the auto shut off has to work and what it does is it resets your heating pad, shuts it off every two hours, so you have to reset it So I ordered- do a search for stores and do a search for heating pads with no auto shut offs on em’ and those are the ones you wanna purchase for your reptiles I just wanted to show a couple of people that- they’re always asking me how I heat my snake enclosures and I- I would never go back to the reptile heating pads because, it’s it’s not worth it it really isn’t for what you paid for em’ and the function of em’ but these work great they’re heating pads with no auto shut offs on em’ and they run 24 hours a day as far as utility bills, I’ve got 7 of em’? Nope, 9 of em’ in my tanks and they go all winter long on the lowest setting and the highest its ever taken my utility bill was maybe 11 dollars a month but they’re really economical safety features are great, they still have the shut off if they get too hot they will, shut down but they don’t have the auto shut off that resets them every two hours so I wanted to make this for a friend, a few others have asked me so I figured I’d make a video for em’ sorry about the shakiness, I’m leaning over it forward *laugh*

100 thoughts on “How I’ve Heated All My Snake Enclosures For MANY Years

  1. I agree with this individual. I use a no-shut-off old heating pad on level 1, it runs 24/7/365 and is over 20 years old. Never had a problem with it, my king snake loved it. The reptile heating mats are a conspiracy, they are designed to break in no time and also can have problems where they are way too hot or don't work at all and they are very unreliable and not durable. The mat I used is literally, no joke, probably 20+ years of age and has never had a single issue.

  2. Our temperature in our house in the winter is 68 F in the daytime. The heat mat by itself doesn't seem to be doing enough for the snake. If he was an adult (like a previous ball python of mine that didn't eat for 4 months but was perfectly healthy) then I wouldn't be concerned. But this king snake is only about 4 or 5 months old. I've used a temp probe to double and triple check. The temperature under the bedding is correct, but the air temperature of the cage is…well, room temperature. Can that cause problems for his respiratory system? Should I add a low wattage heat lamp?

  3. Hi I am just wondering if one has ever failed on you (if at all) or do you replace them about every 7 years and would this leave a spot (burn mark) on a dresser if i left it on top of it and if theres any way to prevent a fire… I had never owned a reptile in my entire life and I am deathly afraid of starting a fire oh and is there any way to increase the temperature because I am interested in buying a ball python and they do require a Temp above corn snakes

  4. has anyone use a heat mat for bearded dragons lizards because if they have does work for them i don't want to spend for a heating pad and fry my lizard

  5. i just want to make sure before buying because a lizards setup is way different then a snakes because lizards sits in a log and snakes lay so. i dont know if its even worth it I lost my last lizards 2 days ago and I don't want to chance it by losing another one there like family and I was devastated when he passed away.

  6. I don't think these would work for me?? My snakes both need a hot spot of at least 90 degrees F… but these are human heat pads so it makes sense. Very unique method though! I truly wish I could use these.

  7. I'm switching Deuce from a substrate to the carpet stuff so I can keep him cleaner. I will also switch from the undertank to this method so he doesn't fry his belly!
    The vet said he also needs a lamp, he gets cold even laying on the mat! He adores the lamp, and it's adjustable heat so in summer I can back it down a bit. I usually wet a cloth and lay it over the cool side if it gets really dry, but his sheds are generally really good.
    He had a weird thing, the vet gave him Fortraz. He reacted badly to THAT as well as the Baytril! At least his scales didn't burn off, but his belly looks weird almost like sepsis dots, but the vet said no, he's fine, and he had 12 days of Fortraz so he should be ok as far as bacterias. The belly stuff may be a reaction to the Fortraz, but this vet had never seen such a sensitive snake, so he wasn't 100% sure about it. Can't afford a specialist right now, so it's wait and watch…
    But I know he's getting near that time, and I'm sad.

  8. I've watched the video several times and for some reason I'm unable to catch exactly what these mats are called and where to buy them. Everyone else seems to be understanding so I realize it's probably my lack of knowledge on the subject. Clarification would be appreciated 🙂

  9. My snakes cage looks too tall to use these :/ it's 3.5×3.5x2ft (heightxwidthxdepth). What do you use for your taller enclosures?

  10. can someone please help me. i dont understand what she means by a reptile heating pad and it is the same as an undertank heater or is it different and what is a reptile heating pad then.

  11. I didn't know this type of heating pad with the thin cloth covers still existed! I had one from 1973 and it finally died this past winter. (probably not the safest to use on myself). I don't care for the fleecy or spongy covers, they're cat hair magnets.

    I don't have any snakes yet but I'm saving the link. I haven't quite sold my brother/roommate on snakes yet. He thinks the little milk snakes I've found in the house are cute but I'm not keeping those.

  12. I pretty sure you did not use a 2 by 4.. just went out cut my wood and it does not look right… what did you really use lol

  13. well i opened one of ur links in amazon i got one my python should be happy not burned with reptile mats i have also a panel heating but this isnnt strong enough in cold times so i think keeping ur pad in low should do the work forever ill change it every 6 years of so

  14. but i have betonplek vivarium so is a bit thicker under so i hope heat is strong enough to reach of i need to do on medium of so i dont know

  15. My heating pad on high just does not seem hot enough.. and I heard UV lighting is healthy for snakes is that true will my snake grow less with out one

  16. I am not sure if i'll get a reply but i'm going to get a california king snake and want to get a mat but each one I keep finding has so many cons and i don't know what to get. I would appreciate it a bunch if you could tell me which kind is the best.

  17. But where's your cool side?? They have to be able to have a cool side and preferably moist side too

  18. I'm getting a corn snake hatchling and so far this seems like the most promising way I've seen to heat the enclosure. To start him off I want to keep him in a an old 5 gallon plastic fish tank I used to use so he's not too over whelmed with space and then eventually move him up to a bigger glass tank when he's bigger. Do you think this heating method is safe to use for a plastic tank?

  19. How do you maintain a hot and cooler side with a heating pad? Can you place it on one side and keep a good heat throughout the tank?

  20. Have you ever tried the heating mats for sprouting seedlings to transplant to your garden? They're designed so they don't get too hot because too much heat will kill the seedlings. I have one about 20" long (from Amazon, currently $11.99) that I set two leopard gecko bins (Sterilite plastic) on and it works great, giving at least 90 degree belly heat or more, which they require. Doesn't come close to melting the plastic. I check temp frequently with a TEMPGUN TG1 tester, which I would do no matter how I heated. The one labelled 10X20 inch (which it isn't, it's a little smaller) uses less than 20 watts, according to my research. In addition to the geckos, I keep hognose snakes, Kenyan sand boas, and a corn snake. I use NO heat lamp, they're way too expensive to operate and replace. I consider ceramic heaters to be one of the most dangerous heat sources marketed. I have also used standard no-turn-off heating pads. They're great because they have three heat settings and the seedling mat doesn't, but I still prefer the seedling mat. If the floor of the bin gets too hot, you can lay a kitchen towel or bath towel between the mat and the bin. Or increase the thickness of the substrate. I measured the bottom of a plastic bin with the mat pressed up against it at 117 degrees and pressed my hand down on that spot and held it there. Very warm, but not hot. With a couple of layers of paper towel substrate, I measured at 106 degrees, and in the damp hide with sphagnum moss bedding, I measured 85 degrees. There's plenty of gradient, and the geckos use the whole bin floor and frequently rest in the hide box.

  21. Thank you very much for your video.!.!. Just got a snake named "Forever!" We both thank you . I hope you have a blessed year.

  22. I know this is an old video but I REALLY wanted to thank you for this idea! I've been using the adhesive pads for awhile now and they're terrible. They don't get very warm, and most of the time they end up just falling off after a short period of time. It really upsets me when I reach under a tank and find one separated from the bottom of the tank (not always knowing how long my poor snake has been missing its heat), so I have to check them regularly. I'm going to order some of these heating pads ASAP, and it's nice they're about 1/4 of the price.

  23. Thank you for this video! I wouldnt have thought to get one of these. I am planning on getting a baby corn snake soon and the cheaper things are, the sooner I can start 🙂

  24. Thank you! My reptile heating pad that I bought yesterday was not even getting over 75 degrees and my poor snake was all curled up 🐍

  25. I live in Pennsylvania so it doesn't get extremely cold, but it can. I recently moved my ball python Lucy into a 32 quart and bought a sunbeam heating pad, it has 3 settings, low med and high. Which would work best? Bp's can have a heating spot up to 95 I heard

  26. So I went to the link you posted for the heating pads in another comment. Are these the ones for $14.99?? My only fear is my enclosure is wooden & homemade. But I guess leaving the air gap will have same affect on wood as it does on glass enclosure? Its a 3 snake setup. 1 adult Cornsnake & 2 baby Balls. So I need 3 pads 😦😦. So I wanna buy the pads you're using. 6yrs of use?? Wow! I'll get them for sure.

  27. Hello, just a few questions.
    I have tried a few different heating mothods, most of which are only good for hot spots and drying out air. I'm looking for something to raise ambient temperature to 80 f and I only reach that with a cermaic beat emitter. I want to know what your ambient temp is in that set up.
    I'm using a tub not glass by the way.
    I also understand that corn snakes require less heat than ball pythons, which is what I have

  28. Hello, I know you don't have this model but do you think Sunbeam model 731 – 500 will be okay? Also I just bought a new snake today about to go in quarantine and it's about 60 something degrees in the basement so my question for this, will the lower setting will be fine or should I at least put it on medium? Thank you in advance ☺

  29. We are so glad we stumbled upon your video! Have been using this for over a month and it has been perfect for our adult ball python in a 20gallon long glass tank. Thank you so much for uploading! 🐍

  30. Is it bad that every time I take the hide out of my baby Milksnakes tank he just immediately races to the other side of the tank and burrows in the aspen.

  31. Thank you. I have a gecko in my classroom. I started using my heating pad just as a temp thing, but I see that it can work longer so I'll do that instead.

  32. I just ordered three of these for my snake enclosures. The heat mats that came with the cages are too small and don’t feel hot enough. So I’m going to try this method.

  33. For those who need to find these with no auto shut off go to

  34. My baby Milk snake still doesn’t want to be handled.☹️ I’ve had him for a little more than two weeks. He’s just so fast and scares the crap out of me when he bolts away from my hand. Im thinking I need to wait till he is bigger and feels more secure. Or if anyone has any suggestions please reply. Thankyou!

  35. So how do you know if it’s too hot for the snake? I set up her heating pad (with wood separating from the stand and the tank) and she climbed on top of her hide. I turned it off and went back to the light for tonight because I was worried for her safety.

  36. Thanks for the video, unfortunately you forgot to mention what brand and model you use. Please update your video description.

  37. I do have a question? I was reading the comments and saw that you said none of your snakes have a hot spot hotter than 85 90 degrees. What about ball pythons? I have read everywhere say they need at least a 90 degree hot spot in there enclosed. I also am having trouble with my humidity and my snake shedding. Is my temperature to high? Please respond! 💜

  38. Hey! so i know im very late to this video but i was wondering how you got the little air space between the tank and the heating pad? i feel like if i put a thin piece of wood it would catch on fire because of the heat.. thats also a major concern of mine, is it possible for these to catch anything on fire? im getting a corn snake and i read i just need a corner of the tank to be heated (where his hideaway is). Thanks in advance!

  39. Great video! PLEASE READ… I just recently became a Ball Python owner (1 male two females) two juvenile and my latest was a rescue (6 ft beautiful female) she was dumped alongside the river by my house! The temps dropped to below 30 that night and she had adapted a bad respiratory infection. After giving her medicine and keeping a close eye on her the past few days she has shown major improvement. However every vet I spoke too reccomended the reptile heat pads to keep her warm, i gave her my largest one i had handy but it DOES NOT seem to be doing the job. And it gets very cold as i do live literally 20 feet from my cities biggest river. I am now dwelling in fear that the tempertures in my room may be cold for my babies and this may entice health problems down the road. I do not want to keep spending money on heat lights/pads that do not do the job, and I want to bring my Herminie (rescue) back to full health as soon as possible! Everyone drop comments if you have advice.

  40. After watching this video I have converted to Sunbeam for all my enclosures! Since the lowest setting gives off a 85-95 heat, do i NEED thermostats for these since the temperature isnt always fluctuating when its on one setting? I keep having people tell me that my snakes are gonna burn but I took a reading of the hotspot with 5 different devices and all were damn near the same, I do not think I need them since it really doesnt rise above 95 but was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts since you have been using them longer than I have 🙂

  41. Do you still use these? I have a ball python and I was using one temporarily until I can get a reptile one for my plastic bin. So far this human heating pad doesn't even get close to melting the plastic at all on low and medium at night since it gets very chilly at times. Should I stick with this or get a reptile one with a thermostat?

  42. I was in a great panic trying to find a heat source for my little snake, concerned for his health but this is a huge relief! Thank you so much!!

  43. Here in india sun is always shine..
    Reptiles never problem in any season perfect weather for them or us ….
    Never water temperature goes down never high also ….

  44. But really nice video as well as information…
    You gave reply each and every person so you are so nice person…

  45. Can I use a elelectric heating pad, i found it in my mom's dresser, Its It's made for your back or pain but can I still use it to put under the tank (tank is made out of glass and it is sitting on a glass desk and there is space for it, I have a heat lamp but I don't think it's good enough my lizard burrows and I dont want him to be cold) I have a blue tailed skink, Iv had him since birth and I'm worried

  46. hi can you tell me the exact name of these heating pads and does it come with the cloth that's covering it thank you

  47. I ordered one of the pads you've linked but it has an auto shut off? Is this amazons mistake or did they change the way they make them?

  48. I got a couple of these after you and I talked about setting up a new enclosure.
    Do you think the heating pad would effectively warm an aquarium?
    I thought it may distribute the heat better.

  49. For anyone reading this:

    * You can find germination/seedling heating pads that have thermostats attached to them so you can set your snake's ideal temperature. They come in huge sizes too and are often cheaper than reptile heating pads. While the recommendation in the video will work in a pinch, not every snake has the same heating requirements. Snakes from areas like the northwest US will have different requirements than like a generally native to Africa, for example. Look up your snake's proper temperature and make sure you set your thermostat properly.

    * Just because reptile pads only heat a small spot doesn't make them bad. It just provides a wider gradient of temperature ranges between hot and cool, although the one in the video looks fine.

    * Heating lamps may dry out enclosures, but many snakes love to bask. While the belly heat is nice and important for them, basking is a normal behavior in many types of snakes and the lamps allow them to have the same feeling as they'd get if they were basking on a warm rock in the sunlight. This is especially true of garter snakes, for example. It's also nice to allow your snakes to have a day/night cycle with the use of timed lighting. Let them have it for basking during the day (unless they are nocturnal) and then turn it off at night.

    * To get around the fact that your enclosure gets dried out by this, provide a humidity box. (Just a plastic box with a lid and a hole cut in it wide enough for your snake. Smooth the hole out. Fill the container with substrate (moss, coconut substrate, etc) and moisten the substrate but not too much.) Then put it in the tank and introduce your snake to it. Then they can decide when they want to have that humidity. It works great and will help them shed perfectly. If your snake uses it too much though, it's good to take it out and only introduce it when it's about time for them to shed. Too much humidity can be bad if they use it too much. This method is especially great if you don't have access to a hygrometer to test your humidity regularly.

  50. Should the feeling of the heat pad be warm to the touch? Because I have mine in with my corn snake and it is a little bit cooler than my hand.

  51. The link you provided is for a auto shut off heating pad. At least it says that in the discription of the item. And the reviews say it doesnt stay on longer then ten minutes….

  52. I just came across your video this morning. I had wondered about human heating pads but did buy the reptile ones. One is way too hot! Goes from 85-to over 100 and the other isn't hot enough. I put a thermostat on the hot one and it only got up to 75. I just got these 6 months ago. I'm going to put the tanks on a shelf and do as you have done. Makes more sense to me. Thank you for your video and expertise!!

  53. Hi, I've been sifting through these comments not reading every single one so sorry if someone already asked this, but will these pads work for a 4×2 encloser? I'm thinking it might be too small. I am also wanting to get a bigger one of at least 6 feet long, would it work for that as well? I've been researching different heating options for my snakes. What about using 2 pads side by side for a big cage?

  54. Use these pretty regularly. I do however, modify them a bit to circumvent their thermostat. Cut off the wiring in front of the thermostat, strip the wiring, rewire an aftermarket plug and use a rheostat to maintain temps. 👍 cheers.

  55. Just bought a juvenile fancy python and i bought a starter kit Zilla the thermostat of for the heating pad is stuck between 45% and 50% on moderate and the relative humidity temperature is on 80 F is that good for my snake!! PLEASE SOMEONE ANSWER i want to do right i had the lamp on first but then i took it off cause i was concern about him being burned but before i took the lamp off he was moving around when i first put him in the tank which i know is normal so he can get used to his new home but the only thing that concerns me is the heating. Should i just put the lamp back on just at night (btw it’s a heating lamp not a day lamp)

  56. i took your recommendation, so far it has worked wonders thanks for sharing with us…..could you tell us what you use for a heat lamp though…..i have a sub adult carpet python, i also live in a pretty cold state

  57. Love going back on wonderful people like you and see the hidden gems in your video archives thank you for sharing your wisdom and caring I guess being a nurse it's second nature for you bless you and your family thank you ever so much for sharing and best wishes always..

  58. Hello there. Would this similar type of pad work? It's got adjustable temp, no auto shut off and a washable cover too!

  59. Hello I know this Beyond but I keep my heat mat under my glass terrarium and a hide above but my ball python prefers to stay inside a log:( I have it set to 88 degrees on the mat did I use to much aspen or could it just be it prefers the log?

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