I have noticed that my garter snake only eats after it has smelled it's prey to make sure it is a slug, and it doesn't matter whether it's moving or not. If I were to coat, say, a caterpillar with slug slime, would my snake try eating it?

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    $\begingroup$ Probably, try it and let us know. $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Oct 7, 2013 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ He's not hungry right now I tried feeding him a slug but he barely noticed it. I'll try tomorrow and let you know the results. $\endgroup$
    – Tzacol
    Oct 7, 2013 at 2:51
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    $\begingroup$ Not sure about garter snakes, but this is a common technique to get "difficult" snakes to eat. Back when the Madras Crocodile Bank used to keep king cobras (which exclusively eat other snakes), they would coat rats with a concoction consisting of the shed skin of other snakes (usually Indian rat snakes) to get the king cobras used to the new prey. $\endgroup$ Oct 7, 2013 at 11:53
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    $\begingroup$ He still isn't eating anything. I fed him a lot though, so he's probably just still full. $\endgroup$
    – Tzacol
    Oct 10, 2013 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Skyhawk Did the caterpillar coated with slug slime trick work? $\endgroup$ Jun 6, 2014 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


Yes, changing the scent has been accepted by most snake breeders as a method to feed stubborn snakes (reference). For example, if your snake prefers chicken, and wont accept mice, rub a chick on a pre-killed mouse and this may trick it into eating the mouse (reference). With regard to garter snakes, the diet may change based on its habitat, its age and even being kept in captivity can change its diet. This article should provide you information with feeding your garter snake if it is stubborn (reference).


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