UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Are Ball Pythons Aggressive? 04 TIPS to Tame An Aggressive Ball Python

Are Ball Pythons Aggressive? Are their bite hurt? 04 TIPS To Tame An Aggressive Ball Python.

You are here because your ball python is acting aggressively. Perhaps you’re just curious if these calm pets would ever get aggressive.

If you’re new to keeping ball pythons, it’s important you understand a few things about ball pythons being aggressive. It’s also important to know when they would become aggressive and what are the reasons for their aggression.

Ball pythons are not the aggressive species of snakes. However, there would always be some exceptions to the norm.

Simply put, your pet ball python will not become aggressive for no reason. There will always be some reasons why your pet becomes so aggressive.

That is why this article is designed to take you through those reasons. Understanding the aggression-causing factors means avoiding potential bites from an aggressive snake. This article will also help you to be a better keeper to your snake.

Are Ball Pythons Aggressive?

Are Ball Pythons Aggressive
Are Ball Pythons Aggressive?

Ball pythons CAN BE aggressive. But to be aggressive all the time is not part of their nature. They are naturally very calm and friendly snakes. And they don’t attack in an aggressive way. The only way they defend themselves is to curl into a tight ball with their head stuck in the middle.

Although this will depend on the individual snake, some ball pythons will show aggression more intensely than others.

Ball pythons don’t just become aggressive. There are always underlying factors that will make them aggressive such as insecurity, stress, hunger, wrong handling, and shedding.

Stress and insecurity will come as a result of the wrong cage set up. A situation where the cage is lacking in some enrichments and security, the snake will see every approaching object as threats.

When it comes to aggression in ball pythons, there’s no relationship to gender. Both male and female ball pythons are aggressive in the same way when they’re hungry, insecure, or feel threatened.

Both genders also become aggressive in the same way during shedding. The only time a female will be more aggressive than the male is when she’s protecting her eggs.

Do Ball Pythons Bite?

Yes, ball pythons do bite. But not without warning. Ball pythons will only bite on occasions they feel very threatened. However, even before your ball python will strike a bite, it might have given you some warning signs which you didn’t notice.

Most of the bites reported by breeders come from hatchlings, babies, and juveniles. Being that, ball pythons wouldn’t bite without warning. It’s important for you to understand some ball pythons’ body language.

This will help you to understand your snake very well. And also to be a better keeper. Read here for a detailed article on Ball Pythons Body Languages.

Are Ball Python Bites Painful?

A bite from a ball python is not painful. This is because a ball python doesn’t have a strong jaw to pierce in its sharp teeth deep into the flesh of the victim. Besides, they do not bite and hold on to the victim.

Their bites are sharp. On a scale of 1-10, the pain from their bites is a maximum of 4 or 5. In a nutshell, the bites are often described as a feeling of “tiny pinpricks”.

Are Baby Ball Pythons Aggressive?

Are Baby Ball Pythons Aggressive?
Are Baby Ball Pythons Aggressive?

Yes, baby ball pythons are aggressive. They tend to be more aggressive than adults. Many bites reported by breeders come from baby ball pythons. This will happen quite often if the baby python is new to its environment. And in most cases, it is accompanied by the refusal to eat.

Why Is My Ball Python So Aggressive?

This is a question of “how much do you know your snake or ball pythons generally?” Every individual snake has its temperament. Some may act in conformity with the norm, while others will vary.

Many factors will make your pet ball python act so aggressive. Some of these reasons are normal, while some are your fault. But the degree of aggression will vary with an individual snake.

Ball pythons get more aggressive at certain stages of their lives. When they’re shedding, eating, breeding, or when the female is protecting the eggs she laid. Some ball pythons will act aggressively when they are hungry or when handled wrongly.

The general norm of ball pythons is that they are calm and friendly snakes. They don’t show aggression; neither do they defend themselves aggressively. However, if they feel threatened, they would have no option but to bite whatever they perceived as a threat.

This will happen if you handle the snake in a wrong way. Your ball python will also act aggressively if he perceives something edible on you. Thus, if you’ve handled any type of rodent, ensure that you get rid of the smell on you before handling your snake.

Handling your pet ball python before and after feeding can make them feel agitated towards you.

How To Tame An Aggressive Ball Python

Generally, ball pythons have a reputation for being calm and friendly. Even in the wild, as it is observed, they seldom become aggressive towards other animals. But this does not totally rule out the fact that they occasionally do not become aggressive and can bite.

In captivity, they have been reported to hiss at their owners and also inflict some bites. This will happen, especially when the females are protecting the eggs, they just laid or when they’re hungry.

When this happens, a breeder who isn’t experienced in handling ball pythons is bound to panic. Showing panic during such scenarios will exacerbate the problem. Whatever was the reason for the bite, the snake will become more frightened and can bite dangerously.

If you screamed at a boy of 3 years for touching a hot pot of soup with bare hands, the boy in fright would empty the whole pot on himself. Similarly, your snake needs to be calmed down slowly when it is acting aggressively.

However, aggressive behaviors in ball pythons can be as a result of wrong handling. If you have handled it properly and understand its body language, perhaps you wouldn’t have aggression to deal with.

In a nutshell, to tame an already aggressive snake, try as much as possible not to show panic. Thereafter, provide support and security to the snake with your hands or slowly put the snake down.

dealing with an aggressive ball python

You do this when your snake is acting weird (aggressive). How do you tame your pet ball python so that he’ll not have to be aggressive? Here is how:

Establish Trust Through Regular Handling

As mentioned earlier, ball pythons will act aggressively if handled in the wrong way. This may include handling the snake for too long, moving the snake too suddenly, not supporting the snake with your hands, or squeezing the snake too tight and moving too fast.

Continuous regular handling will establish trust between you and your snake. Ball pythons recognize things by their smell and their ability to sense heat.

When handling them, let your snake see your face so that he can match your scent with your look and become comfortable with you.

Also, when handling your pet ball python, they love to be handled gently and firmly. Ensure that your hand is providing enough support so the snake wouldn’t feel insecure.

Give Your Snake The Right Home

If I’m not fine in my home, there’s no way I should be acting cool to you. Your pet ball python will sometimes become aggressive because its habitat isn’t to expectation. It can be that the cage is lacking in hides and security.

Improper cage set up will stress out captive ball pythons. The result of the stress is that they’ll protest aggressively. Ensure that while they are alone in their cages, they’re relaxed and secure. It’ll eliminate aggressiveness when you want to handle them afterward.

Give It Time To Acclimatize

Even your old ball python can act weird. Whether new or old, give your snake some time to get used to you. This means you’ll have to visit its cage regularly, gently remodel the accessories without touching the snake, and to handle the snake outside its cage.

Also, avoid handling your snake too often and for too long. Too much handling stress them out.

Check For Health Issues

This is self-explanatory. If your ball python is unhealthy, it’ll not want to be touched or handled. It’ll give you signs that it is not in the mood for handling.

Going ahead means you’re in for trouble. When you’re about to handle your snake, make sure that it is in good health.

Ball Python Vs Corn Snake: Which Snake Pet Is More Aggressive?

There is no valid documentation to prove that either snake is more aggressive than the other. Both species of snakes can become aggressive when threatened. Both ball pythons and corn snakes are docile pets.

They both make good pets and are easy to care for. However, when it comes to disposition, corn snakes are active snakes that enjoy being handled much more than ball pythons do. Corn snakes do show aggression if threatened, but it’s rare.

On the contrary, ball pythons are shy and are likely to show aggression quite often than corn snakes. Keep in mind that these snakes will not be aggressive if their husbandry is up to standard.

Wrapping Up On Ball Python Aggressiveness

It is common to see breeders mistake defense for aggression. To be defensive and to be aggressive is not the same thing. Ball pythons can be both defensive and aggressive. But neither of these behaviors is their main nature.

They are docile, calm, and friendly species of snakes. When your snake curls up when you approach it, it’s probably the snake is shy or scared. You can still handle it but with caution. But a ball python that’s acting aggressively is up and ready to bite.

As mentioned earlier, ball pythons will not act aggressively if something isn’t wrong somewhere. You have to make sure that every factor that can cause aggression is reduced to keep your pet happy.

That said, if you notice any aggressive behavior different from what is covered in this article, feel free to talk to us about it.

Leave a Comment

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.