Garter Snake Producing Strong Odor


My neighbors have owned a Garter snake for years now. Every time she opens her front door to her apartment, a smell comes out that almost smells like a strong, druggish smell. Is this normal for a Garter snake? When I walk by the tank that the snake is kept, it definitely is the culprit for the smell.

It is so gross that I literally avoid seeing her so I don't get pulled into her house. I had dinner over there tonight and couldn't eat. When I got home I changed my shirt and smelled it to see if the odor was there and it was. Is this really possible from snakes? The smell is not just sometimes, it is constant. They are not dirty people. So how could this snake smell engulf their entire house?

Danika from Sierra Vista, AZ



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By barbara graham 7 03/13/2008

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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By joan pecsek 88 545 03/13/2008

Garter snakes stink! It has nothing to do with cleanliness, it's the way they are -- they just plain stink!

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By LuvMyGingerKids 46 316 03/17/2008

"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!

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By Kim Churchman 3 1,277 03/17/2008

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.

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By Carter 1 08/26/2009

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.

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