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Can a Snake Live in a Septic Tank? (And How to Keep Them Away?)

Can a Snake Live in a Septic Tank? (And How to Keep Them Away?)

Snakes are one dangerous animal, or perhaps, we can say some of them are. It doesn’t matter the size. You want to make sure a snake doesn’t stick its fangs in your 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 get into the pipe via other openings?  

If you’re looking for answers to the above questions, read this article from start to finish. 

Read: Can 2 Houses Share a Septic Tank? (Is It a Good Idea?)

Do Snakes Live in Septic Tanks?

The straightforward answer is No! Septic tanks may be able to house your wastes. But it’s not such an ideal place for snakes to live. But have this in mind. 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, snakes 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. 

The chances of snakes staying longer in a septic tank will also depend on the type of septic tank. If it lands in an anaerobic septic tank, it won’t survive there. 

Please make no mistake; snakes can hold their breath for a while. So, they might use such to stay longer in an anaerobic tank. But when they can’t any longer, they’ll gasp for air and die. There’s no air in an anaerobic septic tank.

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.  

How Do I Keep Snakes Out of My Septic Tank?

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 leave there. It could die due to asphyxiation, leave the septic tank or find its way to your bathroom via your toilet. 

You might have read or witnessed incidents of snakes popping up in the toilet.

Now the question is, how can you ensure that a snake doesn’t sneak into your septic tank? Here’s what you need to do. 

1. Fix bad-fitting lids on the septic tank

Your septic tank is a 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 it has bad-fitting lids or a loose one. They enjoy living in hidden places, making your septic tank a perfect destination or a tricky one for them. 

So, 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. 

A Handy Tip: If you find a snake in your toilet, don’t run away without closing the toilet lid. Running away will give the snake room to come out of the toilet and hide. It will be dangerous and difficult to locate the snake once it escapes from the toilet. 

The worst part is you don’t even know if it’s a venomous or non-venomous snake. Your nerves won’t let you examine the snake once your eyes make contact with it. 

2. 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. 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.  

3. 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. 

Read: Can You Use Bleach With a Septic Tank?

4. Inspect and clean your septic tank occasionally

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

Get a professional to clean, inspect and fix any damage on your septic tank. Please don’t do it yourself unless you know what to do. Let the professional inspect and fix the mechanical part or seal any opening on the septic tank. 

By cleaning your septic tank when it’s due, you’re not only making it unattractive to rodents and frogs, which usually attract snakes. You’ll also benefit health-wise.   

Can Snakes Come Up With Drain Pipes?

Snakes can come up with drain pipes. But let’s be honest, it’s not very common. That explains why such news makes headline when such happens. 

Snakes are incredible swimmers too. And they can hold their breath for a couple of minutes and longer than we, humans, can. However, they don’t come up with drain pipes that often. 


What Attracts Snakes to Your House? 

Here’s a very good question. 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. 

Let’s find out things that can attract snakes to your home.

1. Rodents

Rodents, such as rats, are a delicacy 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’re inviting snakes to you house. Please don’t freak out when they start coming around.     

2. Birds

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, chances are snakes might show up sooner. Don’t forget they also enjoy swallowing eggs. Thus, if you have a poultry farm near your house, you’re indirectly inviting snakes to come around.  

3. Shelter

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. 


Snakes cannot live in a septic tank. Even if they get in, they won’t survive for long. These reptiles can hold their breath for a while, but that doesn’t mean they can live in a septic tank. 

However, snakes can get into your septic tank. And once that happens, there’s a possibility that they may end up in your toilet while looking for an escape route.

You should also not forget that snakes could gain entrance into your septic tank or house via diverse means. We have mentioned the various ways, so read to know how and what to do to prevent such from happening.