Habitat Sweet Habitat: King, Milk & Corn Snakes

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.

Shopping List
❏ 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
❏ Hygrometer
❏ Reptile calcium supplement with vitamin D
❏ Large water dish
❏ Tongs
❏ Frozen mice/rats

How to Clean Your Terrarium

King, Milk & Corn Snake 101