AugerPros Plumbing Blog

Critters That Can Crawl Up Your Toilet( And how to stop them!)

My skin crawls just even thinking that a critter can crawl up inside my toilet…It gives new meaning to checking under the bed for hidden monsters as a kid…I assure you once I realized any of this was within the realm of possibility- As an adult-I will be checking between my nether regions on my porcelain throne that nothing is about to bite my arse!

Although it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself dealing with this problem, it still is possible. Critters can travel far in sewers and pipes( especially if there are holes or cracks) in search of food and shelter, and sometimes this journey leads them to a toilet bowl.

rat in toilet
Rat in Toilet
  • RATS: Rats can wiggle through tight spaces, and when they’re determined, that can include your pipes and toilet. Sewers are the home of many rats, who are known to survive difficult situations and be able to swim for three days at a time. They are constantly searching for food and have a keen sense of smell. It’s possible they could get attracted to odors from leftovers spilling down the kitchen sink and take a wrong turn towards the toilet. Once there, the U-bend of a toilet creates a tiny pocket of air, giving the rat a chance to catch its breath and make its way through that last foot or so of piping. Since they are such strong swimmers, toilet pipes are usually not a huge obstacle for them.  Occurrences such as this are more frequent in large cities where there are greater rat populations, but sewer rats live anywhere there are sewer pipes. Keep in mind, that these incidents are pretty uncommon ~but not totally unheard of.
snake in toilet
Snake in Toilet
  • SNAKES: it’s rare for snakes to wind up in your toilet. ( Thank Goodness!!!- They are one of my biggest fears) However, the heat can make snakes come out more frequently, so the occurrence can increase if you haven’t put prevention mechanisms in place to deter a snake from entering your home.  How do snakes wind up in your toilet you may ask? The first is through an opening in your house like an open window or sliding door. When it’s especially hot and dry in summer, snakes will look for water and the toilet bowl is the ultimate watering hole. The second way snakes can get into a toilet is through an opening in the sewer. Sewers can be a hiding ground for mice and rats. Snakes will enter the sewer to get their next meal. They can make their way through a sewer and slither their creepy way through the s bend of a toilet. However, this still doesn’t mean this is a common incident. It’s unlikely a snake would survive the journey through the sewers, facing exhaustion, noxious gases, and lack of oxygen and food. Most critters found in a toilet will be dead from this, however, some survive.
frog in toilet
Frog in Toilet
  • FROGS: Finding frogs in the toilet can be a big surprise, but for most people, it isn’t as big of a cause for fear as the above two critters. If you are comfortable with handling frogs, simply remove the frog from the toilet and release it outside. Frogs may try to hide under the rim of the toilet. If your ribbit ribbit pulls this trick, place a container under the frog and flush the toilet to get him to loosen his grip on the toilet bowl. Catch him before he is flushed into the bowl!! How did the frog get into the bowl in the first place? It may have entered the sewer through cracks or breaks in your pipes. Because frogs are amphibians, they have moist skin that gets damaged when dry. So, they seek out moist areas, like your sewer, to keep their skin moist. Frogs can also enter the drainpipe by falling into the vent pipe to your sewer system. The vent pipe is typically located along the side of your home or on the roof, which makes it within easy reach for tree frogs. And voila~your prince charming has found his way in.

Tiny critters creeping up on you during your private time are not limited to rats, snakes, and frogs. There have also been news stories of mice, possums cockroaches, and lizards.

If you do find scary creatures crawling in your toilet, something is probably amiss. Here are some ways to stop and prevent those animals from crawling into your pipes and plumbing system:

  1. If you live in an area with a one-way sewer system, you might be more inclined to see some unwelcome critters in your toilet. You can ask your plumber to install a one-way non-return valve under your toilet to prevent these unwelcome animal visits.
  2. There could be a hole somewhere in one of your sewer pipes underground. Rates and snakes live below the surface, so if there is an opening that shouldn’t be there, that is their welcome sign.
  3. On your roof, there is a vent that connects to your sewer pipes. Animals could be crawling or falling down it. One way to stop this is by putting wire mesh over the cover of the vent. Do not put a cloth or a screen in front of it, as that could result in blocking the vent. Don’t forget to periodically check this vent to make sure it is breathing okay and not torn.
  4. If you do come across a critter in your toilet you don’t want to remove yourself, call animal or pest control to help in this situation.

Want to know more about how to prevent and deal with unexpected toilet critters? The experts at Auger Pros Plumbing can help! Call us today at 214-206-6580!