By Uche Amunike
One of the characteristics of the dry season is the high presence of snakes. They are known to find their way into people’s homes, farms, and even offices during this time of the year.
Recently a staff of the Nigerian Air Force attached to the Defence Intelligence Agency in Abuja died of complications from snakebite in her toilet at her Naval base residence. This menace snakes and other reptiles entering people’s bathrooms and toilets have raised questions across social media. What is the connection between snakes and toilets? What is the best way to prevent snakes from entering people’s toilets?
I believe that we, as individuals have a lot of work to do in our homes and immediate environments so as to ensure that the homes do not attract the snakes in the first place. The first rule is to endeavour to keep windows and sliding doors closed, regardless of what part of the house it is, so that snakes will find it impossible to slide in.
Studies have shown that snakes are not only found in toilets but also under houses or in roof cavities. However, they can get into a toilet through an opening in the sewer. Again, during the dry season when there are high tendencies of this deadly reptile slithering into people’s homes, it is important to note that they usually react to the dry spell by relaxing closer to water resources. They do not necessarily need water to survive. The problem is that the prey they feed on needs water to survive which is why they always find their way to toilet sewers.
It is also important to clear bushes around the house and possibly burn them, so that rodents or reptiles will not hide there.
Fumigation is also very important. It is good to fumigate households, including the toilet sinks regularly by using special pesticides that are made specifically for this purpose. It is best to fumigate during the dry season as it takes care of not only snakes but also lizards, rodents and other reptiles.
Still on toilets, a lot of people do not have the patience to keep their toilets lids closed. It is important that it is closed at all times and a flat tile, can also be used to cover the toilet the bathroom filter when you’re not in the bathroom in order to avoid any further movement of such reptile to the pipes. It’s also expedient to ensure that all pipes are well fixed and closed at all times.
It is very important to be safety conscious which is why checking the toilet seat before sitting on it is important. Nobody plans for snakes to move into their toilet seats, so having that extra look before sitting on it might go a long way to save a lot of danger. It is also important not to use the toilet when it is dark regardless of it being a public or private toilet. If the woman that died in Abuja at the Naval base had taken one look at her toilet water closet, she may probably still be alive today because she would have seen the snake and probably raised alarm for it to be killed but because it was unsuspecting, she walked right into it like a trap and paid daily with her life. Such tragedies can be avoided by ensuring that there is a light bulb in the toilets at all times and that’s before sitting on it. If one has to use the toilet, it’s important not to sit directly on them but to lift the buttocks slightly above the bowl and be watchful, especially in public toilets.