Setting up a habitat for your new king, milk or corn snake? Here’s what you need to know.
Choosing a Habitat
- King and milk snakes must be housed individually, however corn snakes can be housed with others of the same species.
- Adult king, milk and corn snakes require a terrarium 20-40 gallons in size or larger. A smaller habitat may be used for juveniles. It should be large enough to fit a hide house, a water dish for soaking, as well as décor for hiding and climbing.
- A shorter, wider cage is recommended to provide more surface area.
- There should be a hiding spot at both the cool and warm sides of the habitat.
- Ensure the habitat is fitted with a secure screened top to prevent escape.
Heating & Lighting
- A temperature gradient (warm side/cool side) habitat must be provided so your snake can regulate his temperature.
- The habitat should be equipped with two thermometers; one on the cool side and one on the warm side.
- During the daytime, the cool side should have an ambient temperature of 70-75°F (21-24°C), and the warm side should be 80-85°F (26-29°C).
- Nighttime temperature should be 65-70°F (18-21°C).
- An under-tank heater, blue daylight, red infrared and/or ceramic heat emitter can be used to supplement the heat if necessary, especially at night if the temperature is low.
- Ensure you install the under-tank heater on the designated warm side of the habitat.
- King, milk and corn snakes should have medium/low humidity (30-50%).
- A hygrometer should be installed in the habitat to monitor the humidity level.
- King, milk and corn snakes are nocturnal (most active at night) and as a result do not require ultraviolet light, however a consistent light-dark cycle (12 hours of light) must be provided.
- For night viewing you can use a night-specific bulb.
Décor & Substrate
- Decorative rocks, branches and plants can be used in the habitat to add a personal touch.
- Hiding spots should be available in both the cool and warm sides of the habitat.
- A water dish large enough for your snake to soak in should be provided and it should be shallow enough so that it doesn’t tip over.
- King, milk and corn snakes should be kept on 2” of Aspen bedding specifically sold for small pets, or on reptile carpet.
- Substrate should be spot cleaned daily and completely changed at least once a month.
❏ Habitat (20-40 gal)
❏ Secure screen lid
❏ Rocks, branches and plants for decor
❏ Lamp fixture
❏ Infrared heat bulb
❏ Blue bulb for night viewing
❏ Ceramic heat emitter and fixture (if needed)
❏ Fluorescent bulb and fixture
❏ Aspen bedding or reptile carpet
❏ Two hide houses
❏ Two thermometers
❏ Reptile calcium supplement with vitamin D
❏ Large water dish
❏ Frozen mice/rats