Ball pythons themselves do not give off an odour. That being said, if an owner does not upkeep their ball python’s vivarium, the enclosure will certainly begin to smell bad over time. These bad smells result from either urine or feces that have not been removed from the enclosure.
Ball python owners can easily keep away any stench by doing regular spot checks, once every day or two. If bedding is used, using a paper towel, one can remove just the spots where a ball python has urinated, or where feces have been left. If newspaper or paper towel is used as bedding, the owner will of course need to replace this when urine or excrement is spotted. Some feces will smell worse than others, and stench can vary from being barely noticeable to being extremely poignant. Regardless, waste should be removed and disposed of as soon as possible.
Bedding may also cause a ball python’s vivarium or enclosure to smell. The smell that results from bedding is not particularly a bad one, and can be described as earthy or woodsy. The bedding will of course smell like the tree that has been used to create the bedding (aspen bedding will smell of aspen, cypress bedding will smell of cypress), yet the smell can become overwhelming if the room a ball python is in becomes stuffy. This smell can be avoided with proper ventilation: either by opening a window, if possible, or by making sure the door to the room the ball python is kept in is not closed for very long.
Carey Werlein says
I just want to say that cedar is not a recommended ball python bedding/substrate to use. Just for people reading to know its harmful as is pine.
Thanks! I didn’t realize it was bad as well (I only knew pine was toxic for them). I removed mention of it from the article.
Jan Griffiths says
Also never keep rodent feeders in cedar. It’s toxic to them as well.