Hey, ebt alta, I just registered five minutes ago here on thriftyfun, and I can actually confirm that a dirty tank probably isn't the problem. Today, I was out in the country and saw a garter near my workvan, and remembering how I used to catch them as a kid, immediately decided to pick it up and have a look at him.
Big mistake. My hands smelled like skunk for the rest of the day. If a garter out in the wild smells like raw sewage, its a good bet that he didn't smell like sewage because of an unclean cage.
I'm not a herpetologist, but garter snakes seem to emit a musk that is an additional odor other than the fecal odor. The little boys at church used to run around the grounds and find a garter snake every Sunday, and they would show it to me. I would pet it with one finger on its back, and then the smell would be on my finger.
"Garter snakes defecate frequently, and unless you change or clean a garter snake's cage frequently, the cage will smell quite ripe in short order." From the following link, which also discusses how to keep the cage clean.
Hopefully there's a tactful way you can broach the subject with them!
Garter snakes stink! It has nothing to do with cleanliness, it's the way they are -- they just plain stink!
She is not cleaning her tank, probely.all she is doin is changing what evwe she is using inher tank. Snakes like people like a clean houe , it should be disenfected, with tank cleaner or a mild solution of bleach and water. This i know from my son who had a snake, untill his girlfriend said me or the snake
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