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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 3513
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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I want to ship my ball python snake from FL to WA and want

Customer Question

I want to ship my ball python snake from FL to WA and want to make sure that all temperatures are within range. I also want to clarify whether to use a heat pack or not in the package based on traveling temperatures. I need to ship FedEx overnight; Florida (high: 88; low: 75) and Washington state (high: 52; low: 70). Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Unless you can be absolutely certain that you know the route that your snake will take, you need to assume that she will be exposed to colder temperatures than just 52 degrees. When flying, often cargo is exposed to a range of temperatures which can be even colder as in-flight temps can vary greatly (it's been my experience that they typically don't fall below 70 degrees but we should always prepare accordingly).

Although she will be shipped overnight, you need to locate a 48-72 hour heat pack. I would also recommend locating a styrofoam container (similar to an ice chest) for shipment. This can be lined with crumpled paper, her placed into the chest in a secure container, more paper layered on top, the heat pack activated (about 2-3 hours before pickup), taped to the bottom of the lid, the styrofoam lid fitted, then the whole styrofoam container placed into a box and closed. Only use ONE heat pack. The idea is to keep the box at a comfortable temp for her, not to keep her very warm. She may arrive deceased if it is too hot in the box.

I have shipped close to 100 reptiles using this same method and have never had a poor outcome. If Pepita is small, you can use a large deli dish that has been taped closed very well and has holes for breathing. If closer to adulthood, I typically use a sizable pillowcase, place the snake inside, knot the end and place into the styrofoam container. In any case, make sure she is secure and cannot escape her containment. Here's a great video showing an unboxing, use in reverse for packing:

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Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 29 days ago.

Checking in, Camila. How is the shipment of Pepita coming along?