Foreigners might think that Australia is a vast country filled with creatures that could kill them with a minimum amount of effort. You know better, although you still know that you need to share the country with a variety of critters, some of which have the potential to be dangerous. It's only really an issue when some of these creatures attempt to share your home with you.
If it's only the occasional spider or small lizard, then this is hardly an issue. But what about when creatures appear inside your home in the most unlikely of places? The ultimate horror story is to find a snake inside your toilet, but your plumbing does in fact allow for a few entry points into your home for any creature small or thin enough to wriggle (or slither inside). So what should you do if this happens? And even better, how can you prevent it from happening in the first place?
Even if you don't have a fireplace, your home has something on its roof that looks like a chimney, albeit a small one. This is known as a stack pipe. It vents sewer gas from your toilet, and while it's designed as an exit point for gas, it can function as a two-way street. A diligent critter can easily make its way inside the stack pipe, as some of them are wide open with no mesh covering. Rats and juvenile possums are a possibility, and while they might not make their way into your pipes as such, they can easily become trapped and die while inside the stack pipe. This means that the stack pipe is unable to effectively vent gas.
This is the one that can be particularly troubling. Snakes and other reptiles can conceivably enter your pipes via your wastewater line. This can happen during hot weather, where a snake's prey might be attracted to a water source (such as that within your home). The snake follows its prey and makes its way into your pipes. You're unlikely to spot a snake inside your toilet, but if it was to happen, then secure your toilet! Close the lid and place an appropriate weight on top. Contact your local council so the snake can immediately be removed and released into the wild.
What to Do
Of course, live animals need to be removed by a qualified professional. But if it's too late for a trapped critter, then call a local plumber. Any blockage can be removed, and your pipes can be secured. The plumber might suggest fitting a meshed cap to your stack pipes, and can also inspect your property for any potential points of entry to your wastewater line, blocking them as appropriate.
Hopefully you'll never have to share your plumbing with any critters, but if it happens, it's important to know what to do.