Writing that blog post title gave me chills up my spine. I’m updating this post that I wrote back in 2014 because it seems to be a common news headline each summer, with snakes being found in toilets. It’s an alarming sight and can give one quite a fright when using the toilet at night with no lights on! (Jeepers, I sound like Dr Seuss!) But how common are snakes found in toilets? Is it becoming more of a common occurrence? And if it is, what can you do to stop snakes finding their way into your toilet?
How common are snakes found in toilets?
It’s not very common for snakes to be found in toilets. More plumbers have seen snakes under houses or in a roof cavity, than in the toilet.
A snake catcher from Queensland Wildlife Solutions told the Courier Mail he only retrieves 10 snakes a year from toilets, so it definitely happens but it’s not likely that every household in Brisbane or even Australia will experience a snake emerging from their toilet bowl.
There is a statistic that I can’t verify that says one in every three houses will have a snake reside in it (this article states one in every five houses in Ipswich), but it’s highly unlikely to be found in your toilet.
Having said that, there are ways to prevent a snake making it’s way into your toilet bowl.
How do snakes get into toilets?
There are two trains of thought on how snakes get into your toilet and why.
The first way is if you have an open door or window with no fly screen. A snake can slither through the window, and when it’s hot they can look for water and slide down into the toilet bowl.
The second way is for the snake to slither into a sewer opening and make it’s way through the s bend of your toilet. Sewers will sometimes have rats so it’s only natural for the snake to follow the food trail. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a drowned rat, as rats can swim in water. So can some snakes, however the air gap in a sewer makes the trail easy for snakes to slither like Mission Impossible through a sewer.
How to prevent a snake getting into your toilet bowl
The best way to prevent a snake from entering via your sewer is to check around the house near your ORG and see that it doesn’t have any punctures from lawn mowing or deterioration from age or the weather. Ensure the pop up grate is inserted and flush into the pipe opening.
Next is to prepare your home so that it’s not a homing ground for snake food like mice and rats. Check for any holes into your home. The most common orifices in newer houses is through remote control garage doors where the bottom rubber seal has lifted allowing small gaps for mice and rats to come into the garage and into your house. Don’t leave dog food out and keep pet doors closed at night.
Check screens on windows that there are no holes and keep rubbish like dead food sealed in bags or in a lidded bin. If you do find evidence of a mice or rat infestation in your home, be quick about getting rid of them using traps or calling for pest control that deal specifically with mice and rats. You can also use this tip to deter rats and mice from your home.
I can’t highlight how uncommon it is to find a snake in your toilet bowl. However, to prevent a bite on the bum like this poor lady, follow her advice and ‘look before your leak’.
What to do if you find a snake in your toilet bowl
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of finding a snake in your toilet bowl, feel free to scream (I would), place the top lid of the toilet down and put the toilet roll holder or something that is heavy (like a brick) on top of the toilet lid. Close the window/ door and ring your local snake catcher to retrieve the snake and release it back into the wild.
Don’t ring a plumber. Plumbers aren’t experienced with these kinds of toilet blockages.
Ever had a snake in your toilet bowl? Ever come into contact with a snake in your house?
This post was first published on 18th February 2014 and has been updated.