A humidity hide box can serve as a way to boost humidity for reptiles, provide a more natural environment, minimize stress, and can help with shedding problems. They are a great addition to the vivarium for reptiles that like higher humidity because they provide a micro-climate with extra humidity that your reptile can get in and out of as they need it. Your reptile enclosure should always include a humidity hide. If you have space, consider adding two humidity hides to the cage and seeing which your pet prefers. They are easy to make or can be bought in most major pet stores (or online).
Homemade Humidity Hide
An easy homemade humidity hide can be made from a plastic box of some sort (with a lid) and a substrate that can hold moisture. Plastic storage containers work well as you can choose from a wide variety of sizes to suit your reptile.
Simply cut a hole in the side or lid just large enough for your reptile to comfortably get in and out of the box, making sure to file or sand away any rough edges. Then fill the bottom of the container with a moisture-holding substrate—sphagnum moss is a good choice, but you can also use paper towels (easy to use and maintain), or a reptile substrate such as Bed-a-Beast. Make sure the substrate is always damp; it needs to be not too damp, but damp enough to make sure the hide provides a localized area of very high humidity.
Store-Bought Humidity Hides
You can also buy humidity hides such as Zoo Med's Repti Shelter. These tend to be more expensive but are quite attractive, natural looking, and come in a variety of sizes. They should be set up with a damp substrate just like the homemade hides.
Humidity Hide Sizing
When deciding on a humidity hide, whether store-bought or homemade, it needs to be the right size for your pet. Find one that is large enough to fully conceal the pet, but small enough that it feels cozy and tight. The aim is to mimic a small hole that can be found in nature. If you know your pet has a lot more growing to do, you may need to replace the humidity hide box periodically as the animal increases in size.
How to Clean a Humidity Hide
It is important to keep the cage and humidity hide box clean and sterile. The material the humidity hide is made of will dictate the best way to clean it. If it is made of plastic, it is very easy to clean. Simply remove the humidity hide from the cage and wipe it with a reptile-safe antiseptic cleaning spray. Leave the cleaned hide box to air dry and then place it back in the cage. Throw away the substrate once weekly to replace with new material to avoid bacterial growth. Other materials such as wood or cork are more complicated to clean and will take more time.