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How to handle snake invasion in the toilet

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By Abraham Adekunle

Deforestation has caused these reptiles to be common in communities.

As human beings continue to clear more forest and lands where snakes naturally inhabit, these animals find other places to live. Consequently, they become more common in urban and rural communities. Although it is rare for a snake to enter a toilet, the event can cause panic among residents in a home. A very popular show on DSTV’s National Geographic Wild titled, “Snakes in the City,” gets millions of viewers per month because of they can relate with each occurrence in the show.

Days ago, Lance Corporal Bercy, a Nigerian Air Force persona, was bitten by a snake in her toilet. Her death is a good example of the panic that could happen among everyday people who come across snakes at home. This news led to widespread talks and fear all over the country. Nigerians have also been paying extra attention to their water closets and toilet bowls as a result. Some people are so scared of snakes that just seeing one can make them black out.

How snakes enter the toilet and how to prevent them.

A snake can get into an opening on the connecting pipes, the inspection chamber, septic tank, soak-away pit (like a big crack on the cover slab) and conveniently make its way into the pipe that links the toilet bowl to these structures. From there, it can find its way into the house. The vent pipe is usually the weakest point when it is not properly covered or its cover fall off and is left unattended. Snakes can also get into the toilet via open windows or even through the roof.

One of the ways of preventing a snake from getting into the house is by cleaning the drainage. Snakes can travel through drainage. So, if your drainage is not clean and is filled with stagnant drain water, snakes may travel through that and can reach your house. Snakes can move faster and more easily through water. If those drains are not covered and they are close to your house, the chances of snakes entering your house increases greatly. Also remember that toilet pipes and kitchen sinks are also connected to drainage, so it is important you cover your drains especially if that is close to your house.

Eliminating snake food and sealing all cracks.

Primary food sources are rodents, lizards, wall geckoes, and more. Snakes would likely come to where rodents love to hang out. What you should do is keep away anything that will attract rodents to your house. Rodents are found in toilets, kitchens and dirty places. It is your responsibility to make your environments clean – clear bush areas and cracks that can harbor these rodents. Try to weed your gardens if you have one. Weeding can be a lot of work and time-consuming, but it keeps the snakes (and rodents) away. It is easier to outsource weeding one’s premises to a manual laborer.

Snakes like hiding in cracks and crevices, especially the ones you are not aware of. Even small cracks are good enough to allow them to enter your house. You need to ensure that there is no crack from where they can enter. Check your home for cracks, broken screens, and such to make sure the snakes can’t find a way to slither inside your home. They can slither into a really small space, so make sure you do your best to patch up any holes they can get into. Other ways of preventing snakes from entering your home include: using snake repellents such as vinegar and cedar oil, using garlic spray, installing a sieve along the sewer and ensuring proper fumigation of the toilet.

Do not disturb a snake if you find it at home.

Vinegar is effective at keeping snakes out of bodies of water like ponds and swimming pools. Cedar oil has a powerful scent and gives off phenols that repel snakes. Garlic and onions are thought to be one of the most effective ways to repel snakes because they contain sulfonic acid, the chemical that causes us to cry when we chop onions. Snakes are highly sensitive to smells. They don’t like the smell of garlic or onion. Finally, if you find one in your toilet and you suspect it might be venomous, do not disturb it. Exit the bathroom and contact your local animal control officials.

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