“I’ve seen stories about people that head into the bathroom
in the middle of the night, only to lift the toilet lid and be face to
face with an animal that has made its way up the pipes. I’ve seen
stories with snakes, rats, crocodiles, or even an occasional squirrel
bypassing whatever security should be in place. Is that possible? Is there
a way to make sure it never happens in my home?”
I’ve seen many of those stories too. And nothing can be more frightening
than the thought of meeting something scary, and possibly even poisonous
when you’re half asleep.
But is there any truth to it?
That depends on a variety of things.
First of all, if you believe the news stories or see the YouTube videos
designed to leave you shaking in your boots, they will tell you that that
venomous snakes the size of a man can come creeping out of the hole and
be waiting to pounce on you. No matter where in the world this legend
comes from, it can’t happen quite the way they push it for a variety
of reasons. First of all, in order to come up through your toilet, they
would have to spend a great deal of time in water. And if they aren’t
water snakes, they would drown before they reached your toilet. If a snake
did by chance swim through the pipes and up into a residential toilet,
it would be a water snake, and therefore not the huge deadly reptile you
see in news reports.
An animal with the best possibility of making it to your toilet would be
the common rat. Rats are notorious for being able to survive a variety
of conditions. They live in sewers, constantly on the hunt for food. As
you wash food down the kitchen sink and it continues through the water
main and into the sewer system, if a rat catches the scent, he could make
his way back up through the pipes. Then once he was lost in the plumbing
system, he could easily take a wrong turn and come up through the toilet.
However, keep in mind that these incidents are rare, not the norm. That’s
why they make the news.
Squirrels can also occasionally end up in your toilet; however they won’t
move through your plumbing. Instead, a squirrel will make its way into
the stack vent on your roof, climb down the pipe and see light shining
through the toilet’s passageway, then get trapped by the toilet
lid. They won’t go back down because its dark, and will remain enclosed
in the bowl until you open the lid.
Overall, there is very little chance you will find any of these creatures
in your toilet bowl any time soon. Instead of being nervous as you make
your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, take these tales
for what they are: entertainment.