Most snakes and reptiles live in rather moist and humid areas of the world. Very often, reptile keepers experience difficulty and issues when it comes to keeping the optimum humidity levels inside your cage. It is very important that you keep the humidity levels your pet would also experience in the wild to avoid shedding and dehydration.
Humidity control is and essential point when it comes to keeping your animals skin and tissues healthy. Most reptiles come from exotic locations that may be very different in terms of temperature and humidity percentage in the air. For many keepers, the reality is that those circumstances are not given in their home country, which is why we need to heat and mist our animals cage constantly to give it the surrounding it is used to in the wild.
In this article, I want to introduce you to my favourite techniques and methods when it comes to keeping that optimum air humidity percentage.
First of all, I want to tell you that humidity control is not as difficult as its is sometimes said to be on forums and other platforms. In fact, most reptiles that are common in the pet trade are not incredibly sensible to dehydration. That is not to say that you should keep an eye on the appropriate humidity, but you usually should worry if your cage is a bit dry once in a while. Many snakes or lizards do not need such a high humidity percentage all the time and they are usually fine on a bit dried out soil as well.
The crucial period comes when the animal is starting to get into shed and replace its old skin. During those days, it is important that you keep the humidity on an appropriate level to ensure the clean replacement of the skin and to avoid any stuck shed. Stuck sheds can lead to dangerous constrictions and necroses in the skin, so you must make sure that the animal has the necessary conditions to shed.
Remember, things such as air conditioners, heat lamps or even seasons can influence the surrounding humidity and you always need to adjust your control methods accordingly. Also, a cage that is permanently wet encourages the growth on bacteria and fungi, so don’t overdo your “humidity control”
Misting refers to using an aerosol or something similar to spray down the inside of your cage. This will temporarily simulate a rainfall and leave the cage in a wet condition. Over the next couple of hours, the cage will start to dry off and the humidity percentage inside will rise, depending on how much you sprayed. One it has completely dried off, it is time to spray again.
However, for most reptiles common in the pet trade, this does not have to be done on a daily basis. It is perfectly fine to spray down your cage only once a week if you are keeping a reptile that does not come from tropical areas of the world. That way, it will experience rising humidity levels similar to rainfalls without living in a wet cage all the time.
It is also a useful extra once your animal gets into shed. You should spray it directly a couple of times to let the skin soak up the water and ensure a clean shed. Otherwise, you do not need to mist regularly, unless your animal is showing signs of dehydration or your country is experiencing an unusual drought.
You can get yourself just the same spray bottles I use HERE from amazon.com as a useful extra for your reptile husbandry!
Although it is not the most ecological method out there, humidifiers are an incredibly useful tool if you are keeping Green Tree Pythons or other snakes and reptiles that live in very tropical and humid areas around the world. It is sometimes very difficult to keep up the misting if you are keeping multiple animals or are on a busy schedule. Humidifiers will take care of the air inside your cage.
However most of us can’t just place one inside the terrarium, which is why I highly recommend using a hose to connect your cage to the humidifier. On most humidifiers, you can set the time and amount of water you want to vaporize into your room. You must first test out how long your model has to run to create the perfect setting inside your cage before you place the animal inside, but after that, you don’t need to take care of it anymore. You can click HERE to see the humidifier I use to keep my cages moist or go to amazon.com to find your favourite model!
Another way would be to place the humidifier outside the cage and keep the entire room humidified. This is perfect if you reptile requires a constant level of around 50% to 70% humidity, but for tropical levels, this won’t be enough. For this purpose, I can only recommend “Vicks Germ Free Warm Mist Humidifiers V790” from amazon.com. SEE IT
Sprinklers can also be a very useful method if you are keeping reptiles that require high humidity levels and are used to periodic rainfall and tropical climates. However, such devices are often difficult to install and are only really worth the while in large enclosures or outdoor cages. If you have the skill and equipment however, they are perfect for your tropical pets and will be highly attractive. They are also great for simulating periodic rainfalls. If you can program them to activate at a given time they will keep your cage moisture stable and your animal very happy.
If you are interested in finding the right model for your cage, go to amazon.com to see the available models!
I sincerely hope that you found this article very helpful and that you can now choose the right method for your reptile. If you have any further questions, let me know by email.
For questions about my sources, click HERE