Corn snakes are among the most popular snake species that you can keep as a pet. This is because corn snakes are relatively easy to care for and remarkably docile in comparison to some species of snakes.
However, in some cases, these snakes may start to act a little more active than usual, which leads a lot of keepers to ask “why is my corn snake so active?”
Corn snakes are typically active while hunting at night, so it might be a sign that your snake is hungry. However, corn snakes can also become active when they’re provoked and stressed for many reasons, including when the conditions of their habitat aren’t met.
If you want to find out more about this sudden activity and what to do about it, keep on reading this guide!
Factors That Affect the Activity Levels of Corn Snakes
There are plenty of factors that can have a huge impact on the activity levels of a healthy corn snake. These aspects can also explain why your corn snake is being extra active:
1 – Time of the Day
Corn snakes are originally crepuscular species, which means that they’re typically more active during the twilight and prefer to remain dormant or less active during the day.
The reason why most snakes are nocturnal or crepuscular is that it’s easier for them to regulate their temperature during this time as they hunt for their prey.
As a result, you might notice that your corn snake is more active during the night than the day, or during times that you’re naturally not active.
However, this is perfectly natural and indicates that your snake is healthy and comfortable in its habitat.
2 – Age
The age of your snake plays a significant role in controlling its level of activity and metabolism. Since corn snakes are relatively small, they’re not always the apex predator in their natural habitat.
In fact, larger species of snakes, such as coral and king snakes, can eat corn snakes, especially young ones.
For that reason, younger snakes are usually more naturally energetic than their seniors to avoid becoming their prey. As the snake grows older and larger, they start to slow down.
3 – Gender
Hormonal activity can also have a huge impact on corn snakes, and as a result, male and female corn snakes can vary in terms of activity.
For example, male corn snakes are the ones responsible for finding a female in order to breed, so they’re typically extra active during the day too, especially around the breeding season.
Females, on the other hand, tend to settle in their territory and will usually remain dormant for long periods of time after mates to conserve energy in order to form and lay eggs.
4 – Individual Differences
Although corn snakes are generally docile and calm, every snake can be a little different, depending on its genetic makeup and personal traits.
As a result, some corn snakes are naturally more active than others. With that being said, it’s important that you don’t keep multiple corn snakes together in a vivarium, especially males.
This is because they can get easily stressed by each other’s presence, causing even more activity, aggression, and hostility, but more about that in the following section.
Corn snakes are also known for their ability to remain in their cave for an entire day. For that reason, if your snake is naturally skittish and shy, they’re much more likely to look dormant and less active.
However, if your snake is somewhat friendly and likes to explore, it might seem extraordinarily active when compared to other corn snakes.
5 – Surrounding Conditions
Another aspect that can massively impact the corn snake’s activity level is the conditions around them and whether they match the snake’s requirements.
Although corn snakes are relatively easy to care for, they still have several requirements that need to be met, such as a specific temperature range, optimal humidity level, style of habitat, food, etc.
Any change in these conditions can lead to increasing or decreasing the corn snake’s activity level, but the snake is more likely to become more active than stay dormant.
6 Reasons Why Corn Snakes Are So Active Suddenly
If your corn snake became extra active all of a sudden, there are a few reasons that can explain it. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at them:
1 – Stress and Agitation
Corn snakes are naturally skittish. They don’t like to be handled and provoked frequently. Stress can also arise due to inadequate habitat or living conditions.
When this happens, corn snakes resort to extra activity as a defense mechanism to escape danger.
Simply leave the snake unprovoked for a while and it should start calming down and become less active.
2 – Searching for a Breeding Mate
The breeding season of Corn Snakes extends from March to May. However, the season may actually extend up to August in some climates, and it’s fairly common among snakes in captivity.
During that time, males in the wild will usually roam around trying to pick up female pheromones in order to breed. Females will also be on the lookout for potential male companions.
As a result, it’s fairly common and natural for snakes, especially males, to be active during that time. This is fairly common among 3 year old snakes, as they finally reach the age of maturity.
Luckily, breeding corn snakes is very easy, and the snakes should regain their normal level of activity after breeding.
3 – Suffering from a Disease
A lot of animals will typically react to diseases and illnesses by becoming less active and secluded, including dogs and cats.
However, as previously mentioned, corn snakes react to discomfort by becoming more active. As a result, if your snake is suddenly more active than usual, it might be due to diseases like:
- Skin infections, especially trying to scratch the infected part
- inclusion body disease, which is a viral infection accompanied by a lack of eating and weight loss.
- Ulcerative Stomatitis (Mouth rot), which is a disease that affects many reptiles and is caused by bacterial infections due to small cuts in their mouths.
- Parasitic infections, whether internal or external
If you suspect that your snake is sick or your snake is displaying other tell-tale symptoms of a disease, you should take it to the vet to receive immediate medical attention
4 – Lack of Food and Hydration
Another reason why corn snakes can get very agitated is when they’re quite hungry and/or dehydrated.
Corn snakes don’t refuse food, so they are prone to overeating and vomiting, which is why many people don’t feed them very often.
Ideally, your corn snake will need to eat once every 7 to 14 days, depending on its size and appetite.
Their favorite food is mice, but you have to feed it a frozen and thawed one as well as alternatives like quails and rats of the same size.
Additionally, you should keep a small bowl of water in the snake’s enclosure and replace it once every 1 or 2 days, even if it’s full.
Lack of food and hydration can easily stress them out and cause corn snakes to run around the vivarium desperately looking for their next meal.
5 – Unsuitable Habitat
Corn snakes require a fairly large vivarium to accommodate them comfortably, especially as they start to grow up.
Not only that, but the habitat should also contain enough spots to hide and burrow, such as caves and substrate/bedding.
They also need temperature variance inside the enclosure with one spot constantly warmer (80 to 85 °F) and another cooler (75 to 84 °F) to help them regulate their temperature.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide them with a full spectrum UV lamp for basking with a humidity level of around 45 to 55%.
Failing to meet these requirements can cause discomfort that is accompanied by increased activity.
6 – Sloughing
This one is less common than other aspects, but many corn snake owners reported that their snakes are usually more common when they’re shedding their skin, which is a process that takes around 1 to 3 days to complete.
This usually follows a period of dormancy when the snake is preparing for the shedding process itself, and shouldn’t be a reason for concern.
This wraps it up for today’s guide about corn snakes and the reasons behind their sudden activity.
If your snake is extra active all of a sudden, remember to check its habitat and food to make sure that there aren’t any husbandry issues.
It’s also important to keep an eye on your snake and check for other symptoms that could be a sign of a medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.