bathroom with all white surfaces and appliances

5 Creatures That Can Crawl In Through Your Toilet and How to Stop Them

When you use the bathroom, do you check behind the shower curtain for serial killers? Or look for something supernatural appearing in the mirror over the sink? Here’s one more thing to worry about. Unlike the fears from horror movie scenarios, this one can happen in real life. All over the world, people have had the terrifying experience of sitting on the toilet as a creature crawls up the pipes and attacks their behinds. Depending on the area, this varied from pythons to spiders. Here are some animals you should look for before you sit.

5 Creatures That Can Crawl Up Your Toilet

1. Snakes

Brown boa constrictor on toilet bowl in bathroom

In 2010, a three-foot-long corn snake had slithered up a toilet in a 19th-floor apartment in New York City. Herpetologist Jack Conrad stated this incident was “within the realm of possibility” since snakes are good swimmers capable of holding their breath and squeezing into small spaces. 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 and lack of oxygen and food. [1] It seems that more and more people are finding snakes in their toilets. Take a look at the video below.

2. Rats

Close-up young rats (Rattus norvegicus) sniffs leftovers on a plate on sink at the kitchen. Fight with rodents in the apartment

Meanwhile, the 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 on the search for food. So they could be attracted to smells from leftovers spilling down the kitchen sink and taking a wrong turn into the commode. They could also be trying to seek shelter from the cold. Keep in mind, these incidents are pretty uncommon but not unheard of. According to Eddie Marco, owner of Brooklyn Pest Control, “It happens all the time, especially if you live in the basement or a first-floor apartment. The pipe is empty, the rat crawls through the pipe and up over the hump and into the porcelain. And he can’t get back out.” Take a look at the video below to see how easily these critters can wriggle their way up your toilet!

3. Squirrels

Funny Squirrel Closeup

Squirrels, on the other hand, start not in the sewers but in the roof. They can crawl into the stack vent, climb down the pipe, and get into the toilet’s passageway. Then, they won’t want to go back down the dark pipe because they’d rather stay in a lit area [2]. In 2010, a woman in Edmond, Oklahoma, found a squirrel splashing in the toilet bowl. She called in help and it took two authorities to capture the rodent and bring it to a local park.

4. Frogs 

These common green frogs in Queensland, Australia, often invade a house and end up in the toilet searching for water

Frogs are decisively less scary than rats and snakes but you still don’t want to find one in your toilet. For one Florida resident, this happened more than once.  “How does a frog (of a pretty good size) get in the toilet? We had one a number of years ago and then again just Sunday,” he wrote to an advice column. The answer was placing a mesh screen over the toilet vent and keeping the bathroom lights off at night. Also, call a plumber; it’s possible the amphibian entered through a crack in the pipes. [3]

5. Possums

Believe it or not, possums have also made bathroom appearances. In 2008, a man in Brisbane, Australia, heard gurgling in his toilet where he found a baby possum. Similarly, a writer in West Virginia found a dead possum in her toilet, and in 2016 some San Diego residents experienced the same,e thing (see video below). It’s debatable which is worse, finding the creature dead or alive. [4]

How to Keep Animals Out Of Your Pipes

If you do find a critter in your toilet, close the lid and put something heavy on top. This will hopefully trap the creature until animal control arrives. Leaving it open can allow the sewage-covered animal to creep all over your house. To prevent this entire occurrence, install a rat guard that will allow wastewater to leave while preventing critters from coming in. Also, keep your toilets clean; the fumes of cleaning products may help keep them away. [5]


  1. Can Snakes Really Come Up a Toilet Pipe?How Stuff Works. Bambi Turner. January 7, 2022
  2. “Is It Possible For Animals To Climb Up Through The Toilet?”  Plumbing Help Today
  3. “CRITTERS THAT CAN CRAWL OUT OF YOUR TOILET.” Nuckols Plumbing and Gas. October 14, 2020
  4. “5 Animals That Might Show Up In Your Toilet to Terrify You.Mental Floss. ] Erin McCarthy. January 8, 2015
  5. “How Often Do Snakes, Rats, and Spiders Really Crawl Up Your Toilet Pipes? (And How to Stop Them).Life Hacker. Stephen Johnson. November 1, 2022