Can Snakes Climb Walls?

Can snakes climb walls? I’m pretty sure that a large percentage of us have wondered about the possibility of snakes to scale over high fences/walls. Without any debate, it should be generally accepted that few creatures send many impulses of fear into humans, as these creepy reptiles. 

Despite the fact that there are tiny chances of coming across a venomous snake, the fear of them remains undoubtedly high for many of us. 

Well, there is a low possibility of being attacked and dying from the toxin of a snake bite, compared to the chances of dying from a motor accident, cancer or a severe heart complication. That is to say, the fear of snakes among humans is unnecessary.

Back to the main topic of discussion — Can snakes climb walls? This article will answer the questions bothering you. 

Aside from the main topic, other related questions to the ability or disability of snakes to move on walls will be duly answered.

What Do Snakes Look Like?

The average human will definitely know what a snake looks like, but the description of snakes will be discussed herein for emphasis. Snakes are creepy, cold-blooded reptiles that possess scales on their bellies.

Their main method of locomotion is through crawling in spiral patterns. They are perceived to be deadly and subtle, and this makes humans loathe their presence.

According to studies, more than three thousand species of these creepy creatures exist on the planet. They can be readily seen everywhere except the polar regions like New Zealand, Antarctica, Greenland, Ireland and Iceland.

Out of these numbers, just 600 species are said to be venomous, and not more than 200 can kill or wound a human with significant damages.


On the other hand, non-harmful snakes consisting of the non-venomous python to the lesser harmless garter snakes are known to take advantage of their prey by constricting them till they die or swallowing them alive. 

Regardless, whether they feed on their prey by injecting venom through biting or by squeezing them to death, almost all snakes feed on their prey as a whole. Sometimes, the preys are amazingly large.

Like the earlier description, nearly all snake species are embroidered with scales. They need to regulate their body temperature through external means due to their cold-bloodedness.

Their body scales serve: as a medium to tap moisture in dry climates; and reduce friction between the body and the ground during movements. Some species have been discovered with body scales, although the scaleless snakes have them on their bellies.

Can Snakes Climb Walls?

Back to the primary topic; is it possible for snakes to climb walls? The answer can be fetched in two possible outcomes. Yes! Some species are good at climbing fenced and other tall structures. The fast-moving species and the lightweight ones are amazingly great at climbing walls.

However, the possibility of these species of snakes climbing a wall depends heavily on the materials used to make the wall.

Snakes can climb stone walls and walls made of brick but have a layer of difficulty with climbing smooth walls, in as much the wall isn’t adorned with any crevices or plastered or wallpapered. In addition, Metal and glass walls can’t be climbed by these creepy reptiles because they cannot stick to the walls the way insects and rodents do.

It’s worthy to note that almost every snake species won’t be able to climb a smooth wall without something to cling onto.

How Can Snakes Climb Walls Without Possessing Limbs?

Perhaps you might be wondering how these silent, spiral-crawling reptiles manage to climb tall walls and brick fences without having legs, hands or limbs like mammals. 

This ability indeed placed some of us on anxiety. So, how is it possible?

Snakes find a way to move around on trees without claws, feet, sticky toe pads or hands. These creatures also swim, burrow, crawl, and seldom glide through the air. Whatever they attempt, their body structure doesn’t hinder them in any way. 

It might intrigue you that the flying species don’t possess wings; the water species don’t possess fins; neither do the species of snakes that burrow have claws. Yet, they still find a way to tweak their bodies in subtle manners.

Snakes can climbs walls without limbs by bending and flexing the total length of their scaly, muscular bodies. The smooth, oily bellies might appear unfit for wall climbing, but these reptiles do know how to slide over coarse surfaces. If the bellies had been rough, it would negatively alter their movements due to frictional restrictions.


 How Do Snakes Manage To Climb Walls?

In the earlier subheading, we learnt that snakes could climb walls as a result of their ability to bend and flex their body muscles. Due to the fact they don’t have sticky or tacky bellies, they need to wedge themselves into crevices and gaps to avoid falling on trees and walls.

According to an experimental study from the Georgia Institute of Technology, it was discovered that snakes utilize a combined technique of friction-enhancing moves to push themselves on walls. This includes digging the ventral scales on their skin to increase the frictional coefficient.

The study concluded that these subject reptiles tend to depend on their belly friction when crawling on horizontal planes and transverse pushing of their body weight when moving on steep gradients.

Can Snakes Climb Stairs?

Although snakes have been proven to climb over walls, moving over stairs remains a little bit of a challenge to the cold-blooded creatures. Climbing over stairs requires a repeated, complex pattern. The snakes have to raise a part of their body and push forward once the front part is above. Then, they have to repeat this process to keep the movement steady.

This requires a sufficient body length from the reptile to scale from one stair to the next one, or else movement over stairs will be an impossible task.

Assuming the distance between two successive stairs is 8 inches, and the snake is just 10 inches long, this length difference won’t make enough provision for the creepy animal to push itself up and keep the upper body to pull the rest of its body massage to the next stair.

The snake should have at least twice the stair height as its body length to be on the comfortable side.

 How High Can A Snake Climb On Walls?

There’s no given height or limit to which any snake can climb. Everything purely boils down to luck and the influence of gravity. The higher the walls, the more complex the snake will climb, and the less possibility the snake can glide to the top. With increased heights, the higher the chances of it falling off due to the probability of losing its grip on the wall surface.

Can Snakes Do Any Damage To Walls?

The answer is NO! Snakes can’t cause any direct disfiguration to your walls due to the sole fact that they can’t dig their holes. Instead, they make use of holes dug out by other burrowing rodents. However, it’s your responsibility to manage your residence to reduce potential magnets that attract your environment’s reptiles. 

Can Snakes Climb Into A Tall Building?

If you live on the 2nd floor of a tall house or complex, a snake can find its way into your apartment regardless of whether you stay in the upper place. The truth is the snake cannot climb its way to the peak of a smooth wall. Perhaps you come across one in your upper residence; definitely, it didn’t come in by climbing the wall.

Final Thoughts — Can Snakes Climb Walls?

In conclusion, it’s accepted that snakes can climb walls, given that the surface is made of bricks and stones.

Generally, these amazing reptiles are endowed by nature to climb any given surface as much as there is something to cling onto.

We hope all your questions about the possibility of snakes climbing walls have been fully answered.

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