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Woman Finds Snake in Her Toilet After Vacation—How It Got There

It took professionals multiple trips over two days to finally remove the reptile.

For most people, finding a snake in your home is nothing short of a nightmare scenario. And while it's rare, the possibility of a venomous species making its way indoors and causing serious injury can't be ruled out. But besides coming across one in your general living space, there are some unexpected areas where the idea of being surprised by a reptile is especially terrifying—including your bathroom. Such was the case in one recent incident when a woman came home from vacation to find a snake hiding in her toilet. Read on to find out how the sneaky reptile got there and how you can avoid the same situation.

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An Arizona woman recently returned from a trip to discover a snake hiding in her toilet.

A boa constrictor snake crawling around a toilet
Shutterstock / New Africa

Returning from a relaxing vacation can already be enough of a bummer without having to worry about coming home to potential plumbing issues. But in one recent case, an Arizona woman got quite a surprise when she discovered a snake hiding in her toilet after spending some time out of town, local Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX reports.

Tucson resident Michelle Lespron says she had just returned from enjoying a few days in Nashville and was settling back in at home when she went to use the bathroom. But when she went to use the toilet, she immediately noticed the reptile waiting in the bowl.

"I slammed the lid back down right away when I saw it," she told KPNX.

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It took professionals multiple visits over two days to remove the non-venomous reptile from her plumbing.

hand holding bathroom door, toilet
Supat Toadithep / Shutterstock

Once Lespron made the shocking discovery, she immediately decided to call in professionals to deal with the situation. But the sneaky snake didn't exactly go easy: It took the team multiple trips over two days to finally remove it from her toilet, KPNX reports.

In this case, the animal in question was found to be a coachwhip, a non-venomous species native to the area. But despite lacking dangerous fangs, they can still become aggressive toward humans in defending themselves and are considered "bad-tempered and high-strung, ever ready to bite," according to The Pueblo Chieftain.

"A coachwhip—some people call it a red racer, but this one isn't red—is a fast, intelligent snake: It eats rattlesnakes, it climbs trees, it climbs houses, it does what it wants," Bryan Hughes, owner of Rattlesnake Solutions, the animal control company that handled the call, told KPNX.

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Lespron says she's still taking precautions at home after the incident.

Flushing toilet

Lespron says she's been laughing off the recommendation from friends to simply burn her house to the ground in light of her horrifying discovery. But even though the problem has been resolved, she still hasn't been able to return to normal just yet.

"I couldn't use it for three weeks even after he got it out," she told KPNX. "I actually had all my toiletries from the trip I had been on, so I just moved everything to the other bathroom."

Since the harrowing incident, she's also picked up a few new precautionary habits. "I kept flushing the toilet before I'd even decide to sit down, I always turn my light on even at night when I'm tired, I always leave my toilet lid closed, and my father put screens on the top of any openings on my roof so snakes and other animals can't worm their way through!" Lespron told the news outlet.

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Even though it's rare, there are a few ways to ensure a snake can't make its way into your toilet.

A snake near the door of a home trying to get inside

Despite coachwhips' well-known climbing abilities, Hughes says the likelihood of finding a snake in your toilet isn't something you should expect to see all that often. He suggests that anyone who's worried should have their septic systems checked regularly to ensure reptiles and other animals can't find their way into your home's plumbing.

Another easy solution is to follow Lespron's example by ensuring any vent caps on your home's plumbing system are covered with screens to keep wildlife out. It's also best to leave your lid closed so any snakes that may have snuck into your home through a door, window, or crack don't make their way inside to use it as a cool hiding space on a warm day.

"However, ultimately, it's such a rare event that it's not something most people should ever be concerned with," Hughes told KPNX.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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