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Can Rats Get Your Toilet or Is It a Myth? The Surprising Facts!

Rat trying to swim out of a toilet bowl

Having rats in your attic is frightening, but not as frightening as having them in your toilet. But can rats really get inside your toilet?

The answer is yes, and they can also cause some considerable damage while in there. But there’s a lot more to the story than just rats making a home in your toilet, and there are also some practical steps you can take to avoid this situation from happening.

Today, we take a closer look at rats in the toilet, including how they get in, what kinds of damage they can cause, and some preventative measures you can take to keep them out. Let’s get straight into it.

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How Do Rats Get Into Toilets?

Rats are incredibly resourceful, and it’s no wonder they find their way into toilets. Because of their collapsible rib cage, these rodents can squeeze through incredibly small spaces. They’re also excellent swimmers, agile, and usually quite comfortable in the dark.

Rats can access your toilet via the piping network connecting it to the sewer system. They can get into these pipes at their outlets and even chew their way in if necessary. Once inside, they can slowly make their way into your toilet, all thanks to its design.

Your toilet has an S-shaped pipe behind it, known as a trap. This helps prevent foul odor or wastewater from getting into your toilet. Unfortunately, it also creates an air pocket that allows rats to climb into your toilet bowl.

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Why Would Rats Climb Into Your Toilet in the First Place?

Black rat (Rattus rattus) lurking on top of a wooden fence
Image Credit: Ernie Cooper, Shutterstock

Of all the places rats could use to get into your home, it seems weird that they’d choose the toilet. There’s only one reason they’d choose this smelly path to your home: food. This is especially true if you flush a lot of food down the toilet.

Rats are constantly searching for food, and if your home has no shortage of it, the toilet is just a means to an end.

What Kinds of Damage Do Rats in Your Toilet Cause?

Rats are known to wreak havoc wherever they set foot. Although they’re not always the animals you’d expect to find in your toilet, they can cause serious damage when they get there.

The primary issue is the damage they cause to the piping network, which can lead to leakages. If a rat chews through a pipe or seal, it can cause serious problems with your plumbing system, not to mention the damage it can cause when it gets into your toilet.

Rats are also very disruptive and destructive in general, so they can make a big mess of things in your bathroom while they’re there. They can chew through all materials, including wood, plastic, and rubber.

Once they make their way into your home, it’s game over. They’ll keep eating your food, chewing through everything in their path, and reproducing until you act on them. Their impact on your home will be compounded, so the longer you wait to eliminate them, the more damage they’ll cause.

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How to Stop Rats From Getting Into Your Toilet

Wire mesh
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

The easiest way to keep rats from getting into your house via the toilet bowl is by closing the toilet lid. But you need to be ready to face live rodents when you lift the lid.

That said, here are some more effective ways to ensure rats don’t come up your toilet.

Install a Rat Blocker

A rat blocker is a device that prevents rats and other rodents from passing through a particular point in your piping network. In doing so, it keeps rats from accessing your toilet from the deep sewer.

There are different types of rat blockers you can use, including small wire snares and concrete blocks that can block off a particular section of pipes. You’ll have to check with a professional plumber to see which type is right for your home, as well as how many you need.

Seal Your Pipe Outlets With Mesh Wire

Rats are good at finding entry points into your plumbing system, but they can’t chew through metal or concrete. If you install wire mesh over the pipe outlets, you can effectively block off any potential entry points that rats may find.

You’ll need to monitor your pipes carefully and make sure they are sealed properly. This will require some time and effort, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run if you want to keep rats out of your toilet bowl.

How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Toilet

Image Credit: Pixabay

Assuming you’re too late and you’ve already got these little critters in your toilet, don’t give up just yet. There are a few steps you can take to get rid of them. The following are some of them.

Regularly Inspect Your Pipes and Drains

As mentioned earlier, the longer you wait to get rid of the rats in your toilet, the more damage they can do. Inspecting your pipes and drains regularly and looking for signs of rat activity or damage will go a long way toward preventing future infestations. If you notice any signs of rats in your toilet, it’s important to take action quickly.

Set Traps Around the Toilet Perimeter

Once rats have entered your toilet bowl, they’ll be very hard to get rid of. One effective way to trap them is by setting traps around the perimeter of your toilet bowl and baiting them with food like dried fruit or nuts.

Be sure to check your traps at least once a day and dispose of any rats you find. While setting traps may not completely eradicate your rat problem, it’s a good first step toward ridding yourself of these pesky critters once and for all.

Should I Flush the Rat Down the Toilet?

When you see a rat inside your toilet bowl, the first impulse is to flush it into oblivion. While this may seem like a good idea, flushing a live rat could exacerbate the situation.

The rat will likely cause a nasty clog that’ll cost you a bundle to repair. There’s a huge likelihood that it’ll die in the piping, meaning you’ll have to deal with the foul odor of a rotting rat carcass in your piping. The best action is to call pest control to keep the situation under control.

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Final Thoughts

As difficult as it may be to get rid of rats, the more proactive and patient you are, the better.

Consider installing rat blockers in your plumbing system and sealing any potential entry points. But the best thing to do is to call a professional who will have the tools and experience to get rid of the rats in your toilet quickly and effectively.

Featured Image Credit: nippich somsaard, Shutterstock


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