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Snake myths, hideouts, septic tank and water cistern as case study

Samson Ajobiewe

Snakes are one dangerous and scary animal, no matter the size or colour, most people won’t want to pet snakes or have them caged as friends.

Anytime we see one, we want to make sure it doesn’t stick its fangs in our tender skin. Snakes live in the most unimaginable places. They can hide in holes dug by turtles, rodents, or frogs. Other weird places snakes can hide include under-leaf litter, tree hallows, under rocks, and bark.

However, most people have reportedly found snakes in their bathrooms. Some have found a snake emerging from their toilet and can’t explain how it got there. Now this leaves us with a very delicate question. Can a snake live in a septic tank? Or did the ones that showed up in the toilet got into the pipe via other openings? 

Snakes can’t live permanently inside the septic tank, the system is designed to house waste but never an ideal place for snakes to reside, but snakes can get into a septic tank and spend some time in there.

Nevertheless, it can’t necessarily live there for so long. It might leave and return from time to time. The condition in a septic tank isn’t conducive for snakes to live in. However, if the snake lands in an aerobic septic tank, where oxygen isn’t lacking, it might survive there for a given length of time. But it has to escape faster before it dies from exhaustion, but very hard for them to stay in anaerobic septic tanks

However, snakes and other reptiles can get into a septic tank via a break in one’s sewer line or a loose septic tank cover. And when it does gain access into your septic tank, chances are it may want to explore other places.


So, it won’t be long before the snake shows up in your toilet. It’s not fiction. Something of this sort has happened before and will continue to happen especially in a large compound with little or no control and maintenance of the system

It’s important to keep snakes off your septic tank. Allowing them to gain entrance or live there can be dangerous. If a snake enters your septic tank, it isn’t going to live there eternally or start breeding, it can die due to asphyxiation, leave the septic tank or find its way to your bathroom via your toilet or possibly gain entrance to your room and start sharing an apartment with you.


You might have read or witnessed incidents of snakes popping up in the toilet and even gaining access to the facility and hiding, this isn’t always a sweet experience because the sight of it alone inside the toilets WC is traumatising.

The best way to have better control of the entrance of snakes and reptiles to our septic tank include but is not limited to the followings


Fix bad-fitting/Defective septic tank and covers

Your septic tank is an indirect gateway to your home. Any creeping thing that falls into it and survives may want to escape via the sewage pipe. Thus, they may end up in your toilet.

Snakes can enter your septic tank if there is defective lids or a loose one. Snakes enjoy living in hidden places, making your septic tank a perfect destination or a tricky one for them. So, always get professionals to inspect your septic tank and fix a bad-fitting lid or a loose one.

By so doing, you’re also preventing rodents and frogs from gaining access to your septic tank. And don’t forget that snakes feed on these animals. Therefore, allowing frogs and rodents to invade your septic tank is a bad move.

You’re unknowingly inviting snakes into your septic tank. Normally, when a snake enters a sewage pipe, it can easily walk its way around the S-bend and show up in the toilet. But that can only happen to a house on the first floor.


It would be difficult for a snake to climb the pipe’s smooth wall and make it to the second floor or higher up the building.

Cover your ventilation pipes

If you leave your ventilation pipe open, you’re the one asking for trouble. Make sure you cover the vent pipe on the roof with wire mesh.


Doing so keeps the ventilation system working fine while preventing snakes, lizards, frogs, and other animals from entering your house via the toilet or other channels. We are talking about the vent pipe that sticks out of your roof.

Your bathroom plumbing is connected to this pipe. So it’s dangerous to leave it open. Don’t say snakes cannot pass through vent pipe because of the curve the pipe has. The curve will not prevent the snake from getting into your sewer line once it falls inside the pipe.

Lennox Mall

The only chance you have of stopping snakes from entering your sewer line via the vent pipe is by blocking the vent pipe with wire mesh. 

Keep tree branches off your roof and near the vent pipe

Having trees around the house is beneficial to your health in several ways. But know that snakes can easily fall from the tree, land on your roof, and enter your sewer line via your vent pipe.


So, try to prune the tree branches touching your roof from time to time. And if you have your vent pipe covered with wire mesh, ensure the wire doesn’t fall off. Inspect it from time to time.

Inspect,  clean and treat your septic tank occasionally

Your septic tank needs regular inspection and cleaning. You have to clean and treat it once it’s due. The inspection, cleaning, and treatment won’t cost you a fortune but has more advantages. 


Get a professional to inspect, clean, treat and possibly fix any structural damage on your septic tank that can aid easy entrance of snakes and reptiles. Please don’t do it yourself unless you know what to do.

Let the professional do their job, there are licensed vendors and professionals that can do this and more with affordable services charges, it is always better and cheaper to spend on prevention and controls than spending on cures, the storylines are not always the same. Prevent now so you don’t end up curing with fortunes.

Above all, If you can decipher what attracts snakes to your house, chances that one of them might end up in your toilet, and then the bathroom would be slimmer.  Some other animals that are inviting to snakes include but are not limited to the following;


Rodents, such as rats, are delicacies for snakes. So, if you have a bunch of rats running around your house, expect snakes to show up. If you’re living near the forest, the chance of snakes showing up to your house is high.


They might come around in search of rodents. Some might even follow rodents into a septic tank. From there, they can slither through the pipes and come out via your toilet. 

So, if your home or surroundings turn into a den of rodents, do something about it. Why? You might be inviting snakes to your house. Please don’t freak out when they start coming around.    


Your mini backyard poultry is quite an innovative way to venture into the agribusiness world. But as you keep birds behind your house, keep an eye out for snakes. Snakes eat birds.

So, if you’re rearing birds in your backyard or you have a neighbor that does, chances are snakes might show up sooner. Don’t forget they also enjoy swallowing eggs. c 

Shelter and Housekeeping

Snakes love cool, damp, and protected areas. This makes wooded areas, woodpiles, garages, and basements a possible destination for snakes.

Clean your garage from time to time. Use every means possible to discourage snakes from making your garage their abode. Furthermore, avoid wood pipes and debris. And if you’re taken down an old wood pipe, keep an eye out for snakes.

In conclusion, all these itemised gaps are easily controlled perfectly by professionals, we have lots of pest control and fumigation companies that are also vast in facility management, they understand integrated pest management system that will work for you and not jeopardise your environment, control system that will work for you and not jeopardize your kids and pets. You can’t pay a fortune to engage them, now that the sun is setting in 2021, we all need lots of pest assessment and control.

Samson Ajobiewe is a safety professional, Facility Manager and CEO Samclare Nigeria Limited

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