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Posted by Deb Hoppe on October 08, 2001 at 18:14:20:
In Reply to: does anyone have any tips on finding lost cornsnakes??? posted by chris on October 06, 2001 at 21:43:18:
: Why did I have so many escapes? I'm not a bad herp keeper. I have 3 sons with lots of boy buddies who come and give some personal attention to the corns, then neglect to make sure the lids are snapped on tight. Consequently, I ALWAYS do a bed count in the evening.
OK, engough chat. Here's what I do (there are other ideas to be found, though):
--Put a big, heavy towel at the base of the door so you can be reasonably sure it is still in there. Leave it there. Even if the snake got out, those really afraid of the snake may be comforted "knowing" that you have confined it.
--Do a concentric, methodical search of the room starting with the snake's tank. I've found one snoozing under a paper towel on it's neighbor's tank top. If it's a recent escape, it may not have gone far before going to sleep.
--Clean up as you go, removing items that could harbor a corn (at least temporarily). Remember, if a snake can get it's head through, the rest will follow (slowly if it's a tight squeeze).
--If you have baseboard heating, be sure to always check the tops of the heating fins, under the cover, especially at the ends of the baseboard strip. My corns ALWAYS end up there. I have a concrete slab foundation and even in the summer, it's warmer and more secure to a snake.
--Can't find it? Then do surprise late evening searches of the room. Flick on the lights and use a flashlight to search. Usually if it's out (and mine are always around the perimeter of the room) they will freeze in place when the light come on, hoping you won't notice them.
--If it's in a place you can't reach, use a defrosted feeder mouse, pinkie, whatever to draw it out slowly. Wait until it's at least half-way out (so that it takes more than a single "shrug" to get back in), then make your move.
--Provide a hide along the wall for the snake to hang out in. I've seen a 4 inch pvc pipe section (cheap) and little orange kiddie soccer cones witht the points cut off used to make a hide trap. Invert the cones into the pipe section, place and leave.
--A snake makes a crinkly sound moving on or in a plastic supermarket sack.
--Don't give up. They can go for 3 months or more without food, especially if it's cool. They go into brumation and may not turn up for months. But remember,if it's cool, they will be attracted to warmth and possibly a hide on a heating pad put along the wall.
--As I said, I always do a headcount before bed and as a precaution, keep an extra set of clips handy in case one falls where I can't get it right away.
Good luck, print this out, keep up the search, and continue reading other posts and the cornsnake forum for a variety of search tips.