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Can't get a garter snake to eat? Answered

I live in colorado and catch Western Terrestrial Garter Snakes as well as Plains Garter Snakes all the time. I have tried to keep them as pets before, but I could not get them to eat. I cannot buy food for them, so I am stuck with insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, and ants as well as worms and whatever else I may find. I want to keep another pet, but they just wont eat! What should I do?


Garter snakes are not insectivores. Here's a website dedicated specifically to Garter Snakes for more info.

I love all reptiles, and especially snakes. I truly understand your desire to raise one in captivity, but if you cannot buy or raise the proper food, (pinkies or pinkie parts) you need to turn it loose in a safe place.

My stateside home in Idaho has an amazing abundance of rubber boas. I've caught dozens over the years, usually on the remote gravel road leading to town.

True to my innate tomboy instinct, I scoop them up, take them home, and release them in a designated Rubber Boa Sanctuary... which happens to be my 100 acre backyard. ;-)

If there ever was a lovable snake... it would be the Rubber Boa.

The day will come when you can afford to keep a snake in captivity and provide for it's needs.  Until then, play gently with your newly-caught friends for a day or 2 then set them free, knowing you're doing the right thing.

Thanks for the information, but I have witnessed firsthand multiple garter snakes eating grasshoppers/crickets in the wild. They eat slugs and worms alot also.

Some wild animals/reptiles/amphibians just won't eat in captivity.

Some reptiles eat very infrequently.  Like every two weeks or so.  How long do you keep the snakes?

I kept one for over a month and a half, But he has some sort of spinal cord injury when i found him, so I didnt expect him to eat anyway. Others I have kept for 3 weeks to a month.