One of the most common questions people have around snakes is whether or not they can climb stairs. Whether you own one as a pet, or if you are concerned about snakes entering your home, either way you’re going to want to know. Intrigued, I decided to do some research to get a definitive answer to this question. I would like to share with you my findings.
So, can snakes climb stairs? Snakes can climb stairs. When a snake climbs stairs, it does so by lifting the front third of its body from one step to the next. Snakes use the lower two-thirds of their bodies as a base. Once the front of their bodies is up, they will proceed to pull the rest of their bodies up the stairs.
Snakes are flexible movers on account of having between 200 to 400 vertebrae with just as many ribs connected.
All the bones and strong muscles they have helps to protect their internal organs. In their natural habitat, these reptiles climb trees, rocks, and any vertical surface you could mention.
Longer snakes like the King Cobras and Pythons can climb several steps all at once.
They extend the front part of their bodies forward; this is how they can clear many steps so quickly, you wouldn’t notice them climbing the stairs.
Do Snakes Climb Stairs?
Snakes climb stairs; stairs are no obstacle to most snakes and they will happily take them on.
Many people wrongly believe that if they live on the second or third floor of a building that these serpents cannot make their way there.
Snakes are agile reptiles, perfectly capable of adapting to many different environments with well-developed bodies that can climb stairs, walls, and other surfaces.
The fact that snakes can climb stairs so quickly freaks most people out.
Snakes are expert climbers, particularly ones that feed on rodents like the red rat snake; they are skilled at climbing stairs and walls.
Snakes are often misunderstood by most people thinking that they are all a danger to human beings.
Not all snakes are a threat to humans; even venomous snakes are not always dangerous. What these reptiles want is warmth and protection.
Most snakes eat rodents and other small prey, and a lot of wild snakes will venture into new environments seeking to acquire the bare necessities for life.
With these factors in mind, if you live in an area where wild snakes are common, it is likely that you will find a snake in your home at some point.
How Do Snakes Climb Stairs?
Of all the movements used by snakes, the action they use to climb stairs and other vertical surfaces are known as the concertina movement.
This action works when is a snake extends the front part of its body along a vertical surface, looking for a place to grip its ventral scales.
The key to a snake’s flexibility is its ventral scales; these are specialized rectangular sections that line its underside.
These scales correspond to their ribs, working to propel the serpent further with great strength.
Furthermore, because of their composition, these scales grip on a surface to produce traction.
It bunches up the middle of its body to create traction and uses tight curves to stick to the surface, pulling its back ends also.
Once this action is complete, the snake springs up and forward again, searching for the next area into which it can grasp with its scales.
This movement allows these reptiles to climb stairs, rocks, trees, and even the front of buildings.
Can Snakes Climb Walls?
Snakes can climb walls and other human-made structures as well as they can climb rocks and trees in the wild.
Snakes are excellent at climbing brick walls and stone walls; as they can wedge their bodies in between bricks and propel themselves forward using their powerful core muscles.
However; most snakes struggle to climb smooth surfaces like plastered walls.
If the walls have ridges or grooves, these serpents can easily climb them.
The only way a snake can climb a regular surface is if it has something to cling onto like a corner trim.
For stucco walls, it all depends on how coarse the wall is if it has grooves a thin-bodied snake may be able to grip on to climb.
You may be wondering if snakes can climb high walls, these reptiles can climb any wall or structure that is shorter than the length of their body.
The higher the wall, the less chance there is of the snake reaching the top.
Climbing a high wall can pose a tough challenge for most snakes as the loner it takes a snake to climb a wall, the bigger the chance of falling.
Snakes climb walls for many but primary reasons, they are motivated by hunger, temperature, the desire to mate, and the threat of predators.
Snakes are mostly food-motivated, so, to lessen the likelihood of having a snake climbing your walls, you must keep your home and your yard pest-free.
This can be achieved by removing any hiding places like logs and piles of debris or rocks; you must also cut the grass short.
Snakes are known to get inside walls as long as there is a gap to accommodate their size they can easily fit through.
Snakes can squeeze their bodies through crevices you would never think are wide enough; this is because their bodies are very flexible.
Snakes can climb stairs and they can climb up walls too. In fact its not really a challenge for them to do so.
It’s in their nature and their instincts – they have been climbing in the wild for generations to obtain ensure their needs are met.
It is a shame that snakes are so misunderstood – most of them do not want to harm humans.
They just want food and warmth mostly. If you find a snake in your home, chances are, it wants either food, heat, or possibly both.
If you live in an area with a lot of wild snakes, you must make sure your home and yard space appear less attractive to snakes.
You can do this by tidying up inside and outside of your home, removing all possible hiding places like rock and woodpiles.
You must also mow your lawn; do not allow these reptiles to hide in the grass!
One other thing to consider is that snakes struggle to climb up smooth walls.
Alternatively, they can very quickly climb rough walls as well as they can climb objects in the wild like trees and rocks.
So, if you are able to an effective solution would be to smooth out the exterior or interior walls of your home, especially if you suspect snakes are plentiful in your area and want to minimize the chances of them accessing particular areas.
Watching a snake climb up walls and stairs is fascinating as it looks like the snake is on a mission, a mission to find food or possibly a mate!
If you own a pet snake, then, of course, you’ll be less likely to be alarmed if you were to get a visit.
That being said, if you are a snake owner, it is your responsibility to care for your snake and ensure they have everything they need.
Getting an enclosure where they cannot escape is essential – you do not want them to be frequently getting out, coming into contact with potential predators, or getting away.
Garden snakes are able to climb stairs. Even though they are a small, mostly docile species of snake, they are known to be able to do so. In fact, they can do so at quite a speed. It is therefore important that you do not promote them onto your property by minimizing access to heat and potential food.
Most smaller species of snake are able to squeeze under doors. Snakes are known to be able to squeeze through very small and tight gaps. They are very flexible and versatile, and able to manipulate their bodies to get through a hole if desired.
Snakes are attracted to a house for food, warmth, and shelter. Therefore, if you want to stop snakes from coming onto your property, you need to discourage them from doing so. Regularly mowing the lawn, trimming trees/bushes, feeding pets inside, moving woodpiles and bird feeders, sealing cracks, and installing fences are some of the best things you can do.
Here are some other interesting guides on snakes you may be interested in:
- Can Snakes Cry? [Are Snakes Able To Shed Tears?]
- Do Snakes Have Lungs? [Can Snakes Breathe Through Their Skin?]
- Do Snakes Recognize Their Owners? [What Do They Think Of You?]
- Do Snakes Have Feelings? [What About A Snakes Emotions]
- Do Snakes Fart? [You’ll Be Very Surprised By The Answer]
- Do Snakes Have Teeth? [The Answer May Comes As A Surprise]
- Do Vegetarian Snakes Exist? [Or Do All Species Eat Meat?]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.