grey-banded-kingsnakeCategoriesLifestyle Pets Bedding Snake Bedding

A Guide on Pet Snake Caring – Grey Banded Kingsnake

The gray-banded kingsnake (Lampropeltis alterna) is an excellent pet snake. It does not grow to a huge size, is a good eater on easily obtained food items, and has lovely colours. Gray-banded kingsnakes can be found in west Texas, New Mexico, and northern Mexico in the wild. The gray-banded kingsnake is one of the most sought-after snakes in the world because of its extreme diversity.


Gray-banded kingsnakes can be found in a variety of habitats. These snakes are known for being simple to tame and loyal. They’re also simple to teach, particularly when it comes to feeding times and routines.

Gray-banded kingsnakes are available in a wide range of hues, from sparkling light grey and orange to darker variants. Gray-banded kingsnakes range in size from hatchlings of 10 inches to adults of more than 3 feet. They have a 15-year lifespan. Gray-banded kingsnakes can live up to thirty years if you give them the greatest possible care.

Temperature Requirements

During the day, grey-banded king snakes require temperatures between 84-90 degrees. Temperatures should be between 68 and 75 degrees at night. If you keep your snake too cool, it will regurgitate, so keep the daytime temperatures consistent. If your snake is continually moving in its enclosure and finds it difficult to settle, adjust the temperature on both ends gradually. Using temperatures to help your snake’s health is another option. During the winter, lower the temperature even further. This will provide the snake with a climate that is comparable to that of its natural habitat.


Humidity should be kept low to avoid respiratory issues. Gray Banded King Snakes require around 60% humidity. Place a damp plastic box with damp paper towels inside to keep humidity. The cover should have a hole the same size as your pet’s, and it will also help to increase humidity in the living space. You also can provide a water bowl or small dish.


When it comes to lighting, kingsnakes don’t normally rely on it, and they don’t usually engage in basking behaviours. Extra heat sources, such as hot lights or specialised bulbs, are not necessary. If you want then you can install UVB lighting as a supplementary heat source.


Gray-banded kingsnakes normally don’t mind being handled gently. If your snake has a strong feeding reaction, gently nudge it with an inert object before reaching into its enclosure to avoid it from mistaking your hand for food (such as forceps). This informs the snake that it is not time to eat.

Allow a gray-banded kingsnake to slither around in your palms without being constrained. Don’t hold on to it too closely. You can get a slight nip if you try to detain the snake too violently, or the snake may exude musk to show its dissatisfaction. So that your snake does not feel intimidated, always support it with both hands.


As needed, the terrarium should be cleaned. Several times a week, any faeces should be wiped out. Once a month, the bedding should be fully replaced, and fresh, clean water should be available at all times. A suitable reptile cage cleaner can be used to clean the inside of the terrarium. King snakes can be handled on a daily basis, but wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching them.



Gray-banded kingsnakes prefer to eat mice and other common reptile diets. However, a few lizards might be helpful to get them started. Then introduce them to mice and rats, which will be their sole source of nutrition for the rest of their lives. Feed the hatchlings a pink mouse that isn’t dressed. Adult gray-banded kingsnakes eat small adult mice, while juvenile gray-banded kingsnakes eat fuzzy baby mice.

Potential Health Issue


Mites are small black parasites that grow on and feed on the blood of your King Snake. Mites are generally seen around the eyes, mouth, and under the scales of a King Snake that has caught them. During a mite infection, your snake will appear lethargic and may refuse to eat. If you find mites on your King snake, bathe it in warm water immediately and thoroughly sanitise the tank and contents.

Respiratory Infections

R.Is is a bacterial infection induced by poor cage conditions, low temperatures, or excessive humidity, but it can also be spread from snake to snake. Excess saliva and nasal discharge can make king snakes sound wheezy. Very mild R.Is may go away themselves If the snake’s living conditions are improved, it may go away on its own, but major illnesses should be treated by a veterinarian right enough to avoid Mouth Rot or even death.


Regurgitation can be a sign of a variety of digestive issues, illnesses, and stress. If a King Snake is handled too soon after a feeding or if it is fed an item that is too large for it, it may regurgitate its food. In this situation, you should give the snake a week to settle down before feeding it again. If your King Snake regurgitates its food frequently, loses a lot of weight, or shows any other indicators that concern you, seek medical help as soon as possible.

Substrate Nature

You can utilise shavings, paper towels, and newspapers as terrarium substrates. It is necessary to spot-clean the substrates at least twice a week and to change the full set of substrates every two months to preserve cleanliness. Allowing dirty substrates to remain in the enclosure for an extended period of time will lead to the growth of hazardous germs, which can cause snake illnesses or even death. No Cedar or Redwood Shavings should be used in predator or prey enclosures since they are poisonous to all animals. Cedar and redwood should not be utilised in the construction of animal housing, nor in any furniture or panelling in a vivarium that houses animals.

To clean the terrarium, combine 95 percent water, 5% bleach, and a few drops of liquid soap. This solution must be used to thoroughly clean the cage before installing the new substrates. Clean the snake’s water bowl and hiding spot with this solution as well. Before returning everything to the cave, make sure it is completely dry.

Substrate Type

Coconut Husk


Coconut husk is a light, easy-to-clean, and appealing material. It is more expensive than other substrates. It absorbs odours and binds them to the substrate. It’s a non-toxic, dust-free substrate that’s completely chemical-free. It doesn’t mould and absorbs a lot of moisture.

Aspen Shavings

For King Snakes, aspen shavings can be used. As its shavings cannot be cleaned, they must be removed and replaced with new shavings as they become dirty. If you’re using aspen shavings, you may scoop out the urine and excrement with a cat litter scoop and replace it with fresh aspen as needed. Remove any soiled substrate as soon as possible; urine-soaked material may serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, potentially harming your King Snake. You must feed your snake in a secure environment if you use this type of substrate; you do not want it to consume any of the shavings.


For years, animal keepers have used layers of newspaper. When multiple layers are utilised, it is relatively absorbent and affordable to replace. The inks used in printing, on the other hand, are known to be toxic to animals. Unprinted sheets are available from moving supply stores, and roll ends are available from some newspaper companies. When multiple sheets are used, it is relatively absorbent, similar to printed newspaper, especially when layered with paper towels. Unprinted sheets and rolls, unlike printed newspaper, are free of potentially toxic inks that could injure your King Snake.

Beech Chippings

Beech Chippings are widely accessible at most reptile stores and make for a beautiful vivarium substrate. It’s available in three sizes i.e. small, medium, and large, so you may pick the one that’s right for your snake. Although it is not as absorbent as Aspen, it allows for spot cleaning. Burrowing snakes do not prefer it as a substrate.

Astroturf / Artificial Grass

The first artificial grass floor covering was Astroturf. Since then, carpet producers have released a variety of artificial grass grades. In most hardware stores, there are two or more grades. The cheapest option is usually the best to use. It’s more adaptable, which is important for complete cleaning and disinfection. Pieces can be washed and disinfected multiple times before needing to be replaced. Astroturf® is affordable enough that several pieces for each enclosure can be cut and rotated every cleaning day. Many pet shops and mail order pet suppliers sell fake grass substrate in small, packed pieces that are identical to the stuff found in building supply stores.


One of the snake species that can be kept as pets is the gray-banded kingsnake. They don’t get very big, and they’re usually simple to feed. These harmless snakes are not venomous and pose no threat to people.

kingsnake habitatCategoriesLifestyle Pets Bedding Snake Bedding

A Guide on Pet Snake Caring – King snake

Kingsnakes are the most beautiful species found in many areas of North America. They make  excellent pets and fairly common snakes to own. There are many different types of Kingsnakes that are common in environments like grassland, farmland and are great climbers and swimmers as well. 


Kingsnakes are non venomous and easy to maintain. Once warmed-up with the owners, it becomes detachable. King snakes are very beautiful and exist in different colors and patterns. Kingsnakes are moderate-to-large size snakes. They are 8 to 12 inches long when they are hatched from eggs. They are fast growers and quickly reach their adult size 3 to 5 feet. There is no significant difference in male and female in size or appearance. King snakes tend to live a long life, that’s usually 15 to 20 years.

There are multiple varieties of kingsnakes found with different colors and patterns. They generally have dark brown and black bodies and variations like yellowish-white speckles and bands along their bodies. California, Florida and Eastern Kingsnakes are mostly banded with the chain-like pattern. California Kings have thinner and more white than yellow bands. Mexican Black kingsnakes are truly unique species of Kingsnakes with jet-black pattern and  Brook Kingsnakes is one of the unique subspecies with speckled pattern and light brown in color.


Kings originated from the northern U.S, and northern Mexico. They are cold blooded, which means they depend on the environment to determine their body temperature. They like fairly warm temperatures and are mostly active at night time though they need to be cooled off if they want to. Kings require a warmer temperature of 80 to 85 degrees. To reach this temperature, the heaters or heat tape or heat cable can be used. These temperatures can be easily controlled by using a thermometer. The cool temperature is between 75-80 degrees. At night it can drop to 72 degrees.  


Ensuring correct humidity levels is essential to respiratory health as well as shedding. Kingsnakes are best between 40 to 60% humidity range. To maintain these humidity levels, placing the water bowl is helpful. Misting by water spray is usually sufficient. Humid cave stuffed with damp, clean sphagnum moss is also a good idea for maintaining the humidity level.


Kingsnakes are mostly active during dawn and dusk (noctual). Providing the light in the enclosure helps to regulate this kind of day-night rhythm. Usually kingsnake does not require a UV bulb or other special lighting. If you are choosing to add a basking bulb to add more light to the snake, make sure that you are maintaining the proper heat level. It should not be more than  88o F of temperature.


Kingsnakes make excellent pets and are popular one. From their banded dark brown or black to white or yellow, the variety of colours and patterns found in kings is truly attractive. Once they warm up, they become easy to handle and friendly in nature.

Handling your snake, care must be taken. When holding your snake make sure that you are providing full support for the whole body of the snake. Generally Kingsnakes are large in size so be careful while holding a snake. Once they understand that you are not hurting them, they often seem to enjoy being handled. To make them comfortable, give them time to get to know you. Try to avoid touching the top of the head. It will cause irritation to your snake. Give your snake time to settle into its enclosure before handling.



Kingsnakes are carnivores in nature that means they are meat eaters and can eat whole animals at times. New born king snakes require to feed pinky mice a week while they are growing, increasing the size of prey as it grows. The adult kingsnakes require to be fed 1 to 2 mice every 10 to 14 days.

For healthy nutrition, you can feed them a variety of food. You can offer them different kinds of food like lizards, quail eggs and young rats or so. Place a large water bowl in the enclosure at all times. You can change the water at least twice a week. Replacing water daily is better yet. 

Potential health issues

Proper care and correct nutrition is a key to the health of snakes. With consistent husbandry, snakes can live a long life. 

The following are some common health issues for your Kingsnake:

Mouth rot 

Mouth rot is a secondary infection that comes out due to a low immune system. It can occur from untreated mouth injury. The symptoms of this are swelling and discharge. It can be treated with antibiotics by a veterinarian. 

Scale rot

Scale rot comes out due to moist or dirty enclosure of substrate. It happens because of bacterial growth in substrates. In that case, allow your snake to heal on clean paper towels for some time to be cured. It can be controlled by cleaning the cage consistently.


Mites cause skin irritation to snakes. It can be treated with proper treatment and over the counter products.

Signs they are healthy

·   Hunting/foraging behaviors

·   Eating regularly

·   Sheds are intact with eye caps

Sickness Symptoms

·   Self-soaking for several hours at a time

·   Refusing prey

·   Stuck shed on eyes or body

Subtract Nature

Substrates should always be easy to clean. New born King snakes like Newspapers, reptile carpet and paper towels. They easily burrow in this enclosure. Aspen bedding is the most popular snake bedding option. Kings are happily maintained on aspen bedding. It can be changed every 7 to 6 days. Coconut husk is also the best choice as it is organic and has no odor. Pine or cedar shaving is toxic to the snakes. Its aromatic oils can cause irritation and respiratory issues in your snake. It is recommended to never use these bedding. It is important that whatever substrate you use must be odor and dust free. Cleaning is essential! The substrate should be completely replaced every 7 to 8 weeks.

Substrate Types

Coconut Husk


The coconut bedding is an all natural, organic bedding option for your snake without investing much money. Coconut husk resists the  foul odor and leaves in fresh air. The coconut husk is a dust-free and odor-free bedding option which is absolutely chemical-free and non-toxic. It does not mold and is highly absorbent.


  • Highly comfortable material for snakes
  • Odor and Dust free
  • Natural and Organic 


  • Does not retain humidity longer 
  • Large pieces of husk can cause irritation

Newspaper and Paper towel

Newspapers covers are easy as well as cheap. For small cages, paper towels can work superior. It’s versatile and you can place the newspaper on the bottom of the cage. It’s not easy to burrow in a newspaper, but shredded paper will resolve the issue. Remove wet or damp newspapers and paper towels, as these can cause skin infections in the snakes.


  • It is affordable
  • It is one of the most versatile bedding options
  • More suitable for hatchings


  • Adult snakes can’t easily burrow in newspapers 
  • Wet or damp newspapers can cause skin irritation for snakes

Aspen Shaving

Aspen bedding is the most popular kind of snake bedding. Aspen shaving is not too expensive and it is an ideal bedding option for King snakes. It is made up of wood and it is chemical free. You can completely replace it by paying cheaply. It absorbs and prevents the odors from waste. The substrate is free of chemicals or toxic oils and is perfectly safe for pets. 


·   It is affordable

·   Excellent absorbing and clean-up

·   Snakes like to burrow in this


·   May need to be changed more often

·   Some customers report finding other materials in with the aspen


Kingsnakes are truly attractive and beautiful snakes. They are adequate in size and easy to handle. They are hardy animals that eat well and are typically very friendly once warm up with the owner. Making them feel comfortable is all up to the owner. Proper diet and right enclosure must be provided to the snake for their health.
The king snake is excellent and one of the most popular snakes for beginners.