Controlling odors...

Dear VPI,

Are you aware of any substances or soaps that can be applied to a snake (red-tail boa) to remove manure odors? Also, can you recommend any products that can be placed in or close to the cage to deodorize? At times it could be a day until I could change the substrate and my wife might divorce me by then.

Please Help.  KRP

Dear KRP,

You can wash a boa with anything that you would wash your hands with. I'm sorry, but I don't know of a way to negate the smell of a big boa poop. Clean cages don't smell, and I don't know of another way that's effective. Most aromatic masking scents are pretty overpowering, and don't really mask the snake poop. There are some substrates that now claim to mask odors, but I have no experience with them--check out some of the reptile magazine advertisements for products.

Adding some baking soda with the substrate can help some, but it's not enough to calm a distraught wife. Maybe you could put a small exhaust fan in the wall that blows air from the room outside. That would, in turn, suck fresh air from the house into the room and keep any odor from spreading into the house.

It can be a tough choice, deciding between a really good boa and a spouse. Lots of herpers picked the snake, think long over the matter.  Good luck,   DGB