Hygiene in housing and grooming reptiles

Most important:

  • Use specific instruments for the care of animals
  • Never use family bathroom or kitchen to clean the insruments or the terraria or aquaria
  • Wear gloves to manipulate soiled substrates or water
  • Always clean your hands after touching the reptiles or their environment.

Hygiene in housing

    • Daily:
      • water basin: clean and disinfect (Never exceed 3 days), change water
      • ground: remove remains of food, droppings, soiled substrate, and skin of moulting snakes
    • Weekly:
      • Cleaning the windows: with a simple glass product, or vinager 50% in warm water. Rince after

      • Clean and rince feeders and wood in warm water.

    • Quarterly (at least)
  • deep cleaning of the entire vivarium and its accessories: clean, disinfect, rinse, dry

Keep in mind:

  • The interval of deep cleaning can accept variations (every one month to every three months) depending on the species of the reptiles
  • It must be remembered that bacterial proliferation is dependent on two main factors: the droppings and moisture.
  • The protocol therefore must make sure to remove the droppings as soon as possible and maintain all dry and clean

Products to use:

  • cleansing: dishwashing liquid and warm water
  • disinfection:
    • white vinegar 50% in water: for current use
    • or bleach 10% in cold water
      • Attention: do not use in the presence of the snakes due to a respiratory toxicity
      • corrosive for metal cages
      • must be applied during a time of 15 minutes to be effective
    • chlorhexidine: be careful, it has a narrow spectrum
    • quaternary ammonium compounds
    • or various kinds of trade disinfectants.
      • Some are both cleaners and disinfectants: apply a first time as a cleanser, and a second as a disinfectant

      • respect the time of effective contact


  • The most important is to maintain ideal conditions of temperature and hygrometry for the considered species
  • Bath: snakes and some lizards like Pogona vitticeps, need a water container big enough to have a bath.
  • water spraying: twice a day

Particular case of the aquatic turtles:


  • the volume of water must be of 40 litres to 2 cm length of turtle, plus about 15% more space
  • To keep low nitrate levels in the aquarium, change 10% of the water every week or 20% of the water every two weeks.
  • If you don't have a filtration system water, you need to change an aquarium of 40 litres two to three times per week and an aquarium of 200 litres once a week. It is advisable to buy a water filtration system.

The other points are the same