The #1 Reason a Snake Might Be in Your Toilet

Written by Sarah Psaradelis
Updated: August 17, 2023
Share on:


Key Points:

  • Snakes are sometimes attracted to dark, damp places, and a toilet bowl can provide the right conditions for them to explore.
  • Seal any gaps or cracks around the perimeter of your house. Snakes can squeeze through surprisingly small gaps, so make sure to seal any cracks or openings around the foundation, windows, and doors to prevent them from getting inside.
  • Keep food and trash stored properly. Snakes are often attracted to homes with easy access to food and water, so make sure to store food in sealed containers and dispose of trash regularly to reduce the chances of attracting snakes.

No one wants to sit down on the toilet and worry about a snake being there with you during such a private moment, but this is a genuine concern for many individuals around the world. Not only could you have an unexpected visitor during a bathroom break, but you might even find the snake slithering out of the toilet and entering your home.

This phenomenon commonly happens with rats, so you might be surprised to know it can happen with snakes too, and it happens more often than you might think.

Even though there are several areas in your home where a snake can enter the toilet, there is one reason that seems to be the most common and least thought about, which is an open ventilation pipe.

Snake on a toilet

The best way to prevent snakes from entering your house is to make it unappealing to them by keeping the yard clean and free of debris, sealing any gaps or cracks, and removing sources of food and water.

©Holger Kirk/

Why is There a Snake in My Toilet?

More and more people have been finding snakes in their toilets, and if you have ever lifted the lid and found a snake inside, you are probably wondering how this happened. Snakes can easily enter your local sewer system and follow the pipes until they appear in your toilet. The lid will usually stop the snake from slithering out, but if you forgot to put the lid down, it may even enter your home and create panic in the household.

Snakes like being in dark and small spaces where they feel safe, and they can slither through small pipes even if they are filled with water. Some snakes will even enter through an open window or door in the bathroom to relax and cool down in the toilet bowl, especially in the summer. However, if a snake is in your toilet and the lid was closed, the snake could only come through the piping.

A variety of different-sized snake species have been found in people’s toilets, from small species like a baby garden snake to a scarier and much larger anaconda snake. Snakes can fit into small spaces which is why small snakes are not your only worry in these situations. However, small snakes are usually the most common ones you might find in your toilet and most of them are relatively harmless.

How Do Snakes Get Into the Toilet?

a snake in a bathroom seems to be coming out of the toilet

Snakes can get into the toilet by entering any pipes that lead there, or through openings into your house.

©Holger Kirk/

There are several possible reasons why a snake can be in your toilet, either from entering any pipes leading to the toilet or slithering through an open window or door and taking refuge in the toilet bowl.

1. Ventilation Pipes

Ventilation pipe or Air Duct Outlet. Exhaust Vent Outlet on Wall.

An open ventilation pipe can be a port of entry into your home for a snake.

©Mariana Serdynska/

The most common way that a snake can get into your toilet is through ventilation pipes or sewer vents that are located on your roof. The plumbing is usually connected through ventilation pipes on the roof, which means that snakes can enter the ventilation system and then your toilet.

This is more common when the ventilation pipes are near trees where the snake can slither up to. The snake can then drop from the roof and straight into the ventilation pipes to make its way into your toilet.

The ventilation pipe runs from the roof down to the main sewer, and some snakes will enter the open pipe in search of food or shelter from the heat (especially in hot climates).

This is one place many people don’t think to check when dealing with a “snake break-in,” but plumbers are finding it to be one of the most common places a snake can use to make its way into your toilet.

2. Open Windows and Doors

Modern roof skylight window example

Snakes can enter your home through open windows or doors.

©Simon Annable/

Snakes can slither from trees to an open window or an open door in search of food and shelter, which makes your toilet a good choice if you left the lid open. It is usually uncommon for a snake to make it all the way around your house to the bathroom without being seen, and they are more likely to take shelter under your furniture than search specifically for the toilet unless they entered through the bathroom.

3. Open Septic Tank

Clogged septic tank. Emptying the septic tank

An open septic tank could be an open invitation to a curious snake.


Snakes can live in unimaginable places, including an open septic tank. If you haven’t secured the septic tank lid, you will have left it open for all sorts of animals to hide in. Once the snake is inside of the septic tank, it might be intrigued to explore other places, such as your toilet!

The snake will follow the pipes from the septic tank and make its way into the toilet because it leads to the septic tank, and there are not many options for a snake to choose from when they are already in the septic tank because they might have difficulty climbing back out from where they came from.

How to Prevent Snakes From Entering Your Toilet

Green snake in toilet bowl, unsafety toilet, snake phobia concept

Typically, smaller snakes end up in a toilet vs. large ones.


If you have a problem with snakes in your toilet or want to prevent this situation from ever occurring, you will need to ensure that all pipes, lids, and pipe outlets are sealed to prevent these animals from making their way into your toilet and becoming a nasty surprise.

Always make sure that the toilet lid is closed and do a quick peep inside when you lift the lid. If you plan to go to the bathroom during the night, bring a light with you so that you can take a look first.

Make sure the lid to your septic tanks is secured properly and fix any cracks or openings that a snake could fit into. If you have openings in your bathroom that could let a snake it, you will need to block this area off using mesh or a metal fence with tiny spaces between the wires.

Here are some quick tips to prevent snakes from accessing the pipes to your toilet:

  • Control a snake’s potential food source, such as rodents, by investing in eco-friendly methods to keep mice and rats away, such as a repellent.
  • Cover all pipe and drain openings with a metal sieve, mesh, or fence. Make sure that the wire spacing is no larger than one inch.
  • Check for any broken sewage pipes that could create an opportunity for snakes to slither inside.
  • Seal off any openings in the bathroom if you use an outback toilet to keep it secured from snakes.
  • Fix the septic tank’s lid and make sure it is sealed properly. If the lid easily moves, try placing a heavy rock in the center to weigh down the lid.

For any block pipes and drains, you can place a metal sieve inside or use a fine mesh to secure the entrance. When it comes to ventilation pipes, things can get slightly trickier.

How to Seal Ventilation Pipes (with Video)

Since ventilation pipes are a common access point for snakes to use to make their way up the pipes and into your toilet, it is important to make sure it is sealed properly. We have a video we recommend checking out with instructions you can easily follow.

However, we will also give you a breakdown of the video because it is an excellent way to seal those pipes from wandering snakes.

An ideal tool that you will need to close the vents properly includes a 3-inch gutter guard that you can get from an online retailer or your local hardware store. If you don’t want to use a gutter guard, you can use galvanized mesh to secure it to the pipe, which we will explain.

Follow these steps:

  1. Cut a square of the galvanized mesh around 3-4 inches larger than the ventilation pipes opening.
  2. Cut a long piece of wire that can be bent so that you can use it to secure the galvanized mesh to the ventilation pipe’s opening.
  3. Place the mesh at the opening of the ventilation pipe and leave some of the mesh hanging over it so that there is space to tie the wire around.
  4. Mold the mesh so that it fits around the opening and there are around 3 to 4 inches of mesh molded around the opening.
  5. Tie the wire around the bottom pieces of the mesh and secure it sightly. Cut the remaining pieces of the wire.

What Should You Do if You Find a Snake in Your Toilet?

If you have lifted the toilet lid to find a snake in the water, the first thing you should do is close the lid and call a professional. Most snakes that make their way into the toilet from the plumbing are harmless and not venomous like some common garden snakes or tree snakes.

However, regardless of whether the snake you have found in your toilet is harmless or not, it is important to contact your local snake handler in the area to remove the snake professionally without harming it.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

Discover the "Monster" Snake 5X Bigger than an Anaconda

Every day A-Z Animals sends out some of the most incredible facts in the world from our free newsletter. Want to discover the 10 most beautiful snakes in the world, a "snake island" where you're never more than 3 feet from danger, or a "monster" snake 5X larger than an anaconda? Then sign up right now and you'll start receiving our daily newsletter absolutely free.


  1. Health Guide , Available here:,a%20metal%20sieve%20in%20the%20sewer%2C%20and%20drain.
  2. Vermin Patrol , Available here:
Share on:
About the Author

Sarah is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering aquatic pets, rodents, arachnids, and reptiles. Sarah has over 3 years of experience in writing and researching various animal topics. She is currently working towards furthering her studies in the animal field. A resident of South Africa, Sarah enjoys writing alongside her pets and almost always has her rats perched on her shoulders.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.