How Do Snakes Get into Toilets? 3 Common Ways
If there is anything that will teach you to look before you take a squat on the toilet, it is the presence of a snake inside the porcelain bowl. A snake hiding in your toilet might sound like something out of a nightmare, but it does happen. The occurrence is rare but documented. A snake in the toilet often makes the news because of its rarity and the terror it evokes. So how on Earth does a snake get into a toilet? There are several ways these sneaky reptiles can find their way into your bathroom’s most precious commodity.
The 3 Main Ways Snakes Get Into Toilets
1. Through the Ventilation Pipe on the Roof
One of the most common ways for a snake to find its way into a toilet is also one of the most counterintuitive. They come in from the roof. Unbeknownst to most people, every home’s sewage system has an air pipe that is designed to bring in air to keep everything moving. These ventilation pipes are often connected to the home’s main drainage line and pop up through the roof. Many people misconstrue them as stove pipes, exhaust pipes, or chimneys, but they are ventilation shafts.
These openings open into your sewage system, giving curious snakes access to the pipes that feed water to your toilet. Ventilation shafts are usually cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Since snakes are cold-blooded, that makes the ventilation pipe a perfect place for them to hide. Sometimes these snakes make it all the way down the shaft, into the pipes, and then into your toilet. This is more common in areas that have a large number of snakes, to begin with, especially tree snakes. The tree snakes like to live above the ground and have more access to your roof than garden or rat snakes.
If it makes you feel any better, the snakes don’t want to be in your toilet either.
2. Through the Sewer or Septic System
Another way snakes find their way into your toilet bowl is through the underground sewer lines. Many times, snakes will find their way into the neighborhood sewers because they are looking for food. Sewers are also a known hiding place for rats, mice, and bugs. The snakes typically follow their prey down into the sewers and end up getting lost. Once in the main sewer line, it is just a matter of bad luck that the snake would pick your home’s outlet and manage to swim up and squirm its way into your particular toilet.
Snakes can also accidentally find their way into a septic tank. This is especially true of old septic tanks that do not have great covers. If there are any cracks or gaps in your septic tank, a snake could find its way inside. Once in the tank, the snake will try and escape, leading it up your drain pipes and into your house.
3. Through Broken Pipes and Openings in Your Bathroom
Sometimes a snake will simply find an opening into your bathroom. The opening could be a window, a vent in the ceiling that leads to the attic, or through a broken pipe. Once inside your bathroom, snakes will sometimes choose to hide in the toilet because it is a good spot to hunker down. In some climates, water-loving snakes will slither into the bowl to take a nice soak. In one case, an anaconda was found in a toilet in South America for just this reason. Having a snake brute force its way into your bathroom is not common unless your home or plumbing is dilapidated or damaged. Keeping your bathroom in good shape can help prevent this kind of invasion.
How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Toilet
There are a couple of things you can do to help prevent snakes from appearing in your bathroom. Note, nothing can 100% prevent a snake from coming in through the pipes because the pipes are so interconnected with the outside (and that is by design). One of the easiest things you can do is find your plumbing’s ventilation pipe in the roof and cover it with a mesh or wire grate. The mesh will allow the air to pass through but will block snakes from sliding down the pipe.
Another thing you can try is having a multi-flap installed on your toilet. Multi-flaps allow water out but work in a way that prevents air, gasses, and animals from coming back up into the toilet.
The last thing you can do is check your septic tank. If you have a septic tank, make sure the cover is secure or buried properly. A loose septic cover can invite snakes and other pests to enter the tank, which is never a good thing.
What to Do If You Find a Snake in Your Toilet
Don’t panic. Call a professional. That’s it. Do not try to flush the snake because it will just slither back up the pipe after the water is done rushing. The only thing to do is call someone to come and remove the snake safely from the toilet and then remove it from the vicinity of your home.
No one wants to find a snake in their toilet, and in most cases, snakes do not want to be found in your toilet. But it does happen sometimes. Since pipes are so interconnected with ventilation shafts, neighborhood water mains, and neighboring sewage lines, there are ample ways for snakes to accidentally find their way into the pipes and up into your toilet. If that happens, try and keep your cool and call an animal trapping specialist to come and remove it.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay