Dumeril’s boa terrarium size requirements are a little more spacious than the average snake because boas tend to be very active. And because they are terrestrial, floor space is more important than vertical space.
Dumeril’s boas need 8 sq ft of floor space, which would be a 48″x24″x24″ enclosure MINIMUM. Particularly large adults will need more space. Keep in mind that the more space (both horizontal and vertical) that you provide your boa, the more exercise it will be able to get and the healthier it will be in the long-term.
ReptiFiles recommends the following enclosures for housing Dumeril’s boas:
- Maximum Reptile Essential 4 Enclosure
- Zen Habitats PVC Enclosure with Wire Port Plug
- Kages 4’x2’x2′ Premium PVC Enclosure
- Animal Plastics T12
- Carolina Custom Cages Tall Extra-Long Deep Terrarium
Juvenile Dumeril’s boas can be easily housed in an adult-sized enclosure, provided that they have enough hiding places to feel secure.
If your Dumeril’s boa is longer than 6′, it will requires a larger minimum. A good formula for calculating an appropriate minimum enclosure size is based on the snake’s length:
What Should it Be Made Of?
Glass: These enclosures tend to be expensive, heavy, not very durable, and can present some trouble with maintaining consistent temperatures and humidity. But it’s because of that latter quality, glass is one of the best materials at dissipating heat, and that it makes creating a temperature gradient much easier. It also helps encourage a natural cycle of drying in the enclosure, which discourages mold growth in a humid environment that could otherwise go out of control very easily. When done right, glass enclosures are very attractive and easy to clean. For best results, help your boa feel more secure by using an opaque material like construction paper to cover all sides but the front.
Plastic/PVC: These enclosures are favorites among snake keepers because they hold humidity well, open from the front, and are extremely durable. Animal Plastics and Kages are hobby favorites, and work well for Dumeril’s boas because their larger enclosures emphasize floor space over height. Keep in mind, however, that these enclosures can be just as expensive as glass.
Wood/Melamine: These materials are a go-to for those who wish to build their own enclosure, as they are easy to source, relatively lightweight, and fairly inexpensive (in the case of wood). But melamine does not do well in a humid environment, as the moisture tends to make the material rot and crumble. It can also harbor mold, which is dangerous to your boa’s health. Wood can be treated with animal-safe (VOC-free) waterproofing agents to become a fairly reliable material for building an enclosure without fear of rapid degeneration.
Tubs/Storage Bins: I do not recommend keeping boa constrictors in tubs or storage bins. While the plastic is very durable and the bins themselves are very affordable, these “enclosures” are simply not large enough to provide adequate permanent housing.
Securing the Enclosure
Because they are active and rather strong, a Dumeril’s boa will take the opportunity to escape if given a chance. The best way to prevent an escape, then, is to secure the lid (or opening) properly. DO NOT SECURE SNAKE LIDS WITH TAPE! Many snakes have been severely injured by accidentally coming in contact with the sticky side of tape.
If you’re using a glass aquarium, invest in at least 2 (more are required for larger tanks) lid clamps to keep it firmly in place.
If you’re using a front-opening terrarium, a lock or latch will keep it secured.
If you’re using a tub, make sure that it has a latching lid.
Finally, if your snake somehow manages to escape, here are some tips for finding a lost snake.
If you want more than one snake, go ahead. But snakes are solitary creatures, and do not get “lonely,” as we humans tend to think. Think of them as extreme introverts instead–they actually get stressed out when forced to be with other snakes all the time. Furthermore, Dumeril’s boas in particular have been known to be cannibalistic (they sometimes eat other snakes, including members of their own species).
So do your shy friend a favor: never house multiple snakes together.