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Checkered Garter Snake Care

Checkered Garter Snakes are small snakes with females measuring 70-90cm and males measuring 40-60cm that make good pet snakes for reptile lovers who want a snake that does not eat mice.


Baby Checkered Garter Snakes can be kept in Exo-Terra Breeding Boxes individually or in small groups. A single adult can be kept in a Large Exo-Terra Faunarium or in a glass fronted wooden display cage measuring 60cm long x 30cm x 30cm. Even though found near water sources. Garter Snakes are more active than Corn Snakes or Kingsnakes but still require a hide box.


Checkered Garter Snakes are temperate snakes from North America and can tolerate cold temperatures and will not be harmed if Eskom performs load shedding during winter. Checkered Garter Snakes do well at room temperature in most South African homes in summer. A low wattage heat pad will create enough warmth to keep your Garter Snake active during winter. These Snakes will bask under a daylight basking lamp in a display cage. Garter Snakes do not require UVB lights.


Checkered Garter Snakes will eat live guppies, fish fillet or cut up pinkies as babies. Adult Checkered Garter Snakes will eat pinkies, fuzzies, live fish, fish fillet, whole frozen/thawed lance fish and even cat food. My adult female Checkered Garter Snake gets fed three times per week, one feeding of frozen/thawed lance fish, one feeding of pinkies and one feeding of tuna cat food. I mix calcium and vitamin powder into the cat food once per week. A varied diet is the key to keeping these snakes. Checkered Garter Snakes will also do fine on a rodent only diet.


Garter Snakes move much quicker than Corn Snakes or Kingsnakes and may musk or bite when first handled but will calm down if handled for 15-20 minutes once or twice a week. Do not handle your Garter Snake for at least a day after feeding a small meal and up to three days if fed a large meal.

All products needed to keep Garter Snakes available on this website