OK, so right off the bat we recognize that this is a very scary topic to talk about. When most of us hear about rats coming up the toilet, we think that it is some kind of overexaggerated story, really something that only happens in cartoons and television shows. However, this is actually not the case because the rats have been known to climb up through plumbing, all the way up through toilets and into houses.
Yes, it is very scary to think that a big and dirty rat could make its way up through your plumbing and into your home. Even worse is if you happen to be sitting right on the toilet as the rat makes its appearance. The thought of having a rat chomp down on our backside is definitely not a thought that we would like to entertain! So, let’s get right to it and talk about exactly how to stop rats from coming up your toilet.
Can Rats Come Up Through Your Toilet?
Although most of us would like to think that rats coming up the toilet is nothing more than an impossible myth, the scary reality is that yes, rats can actually come up through the toilet. As you probably know from movies, rats are big-time sewer animals, and they have no problems swimming around in old sewage water.
Rats that are down in sewers and storm drains, if they are tenacious enough, can definitely find their way to your pipes. They can use those little claws to crawl all the way along pipes until they get to your toilet. And if you didn’t know, rats are actually pretty decent swimmers too, so even if the pipes are filled with water, they can swim through it.
On that same note, rats also have the ability to chew through a wide variety of materials, so it is technically possible that a rat could chew through a pipe in your home, or a pipe leading to or from your home, and then get into your toilet that way. The bottom line here is that yes, absolutely can a rat climb or swim up the pipes, all the way to the toilet bowl.
How to Keep Rats from Coming Up Your Toilet
OK, so although this is quite a scary thought indeed, the reality is that there are actually many preventative measures to stop rats from coming up your toilet. Believe it or not, apparently, this is quite a common problem, especially out in the countryside, which is why there are actually quite a few good preventative measures for us to talk about right now.
1. Use the Right Kinds of Pipes
One of the best ways to prevent rats from climbing up your pipes and to make sure that you have the right kinds of pipes. What you need to do here is to use either clay pipes or PVC pipes as they are very smooth and will not allow rats to get a toe hold. In other words, smooth pipes will make it hard for a rat to gain traction and will make it nearly impossible for the rat to climb.
Moreover, keep in mind that the diameter of the pipes does make a difference as well. Rats prefer very narrow areas for travel because it allows them to gain traction. Now, although rats can swim and tread water quite well, they do have their limits, and the wider the pipes are, the harder of a time they will have getting to their destination.
2. Use Rat Flaps
Something else you can try doing is using rat flaps. Yes, as the name implies, rat flaps are specially designed for this exact reason. Rat flaps are just one-way valves that are installed in your toilets and they only open one way, which means that they only let water and waste out of the toilet, but they do not let anything get in, and yes, this includes rats. With that being said, installing many rat flaps throughout your home will take a good deal of work and know-how, which means that you may need to hire a professional to do this.
3. Keep Pipes in Top Condition
Rats do also have a tendency to get into very tight spaces that you wouldn’t think possible. Therefore, if you have been experiencing a rat problem, what you should do is to travel around your home and inspect all of the pipes to see if there are any cracks or leaks that rats could get into. If you find any damaged or broken pipes, you need to repair or replace them immediately.
4. Use Vinegar or Bleach
Rats really hate the smell of chemicals, which means that using some good old bleach to clean your toilet on a regular basis could be enough to prevent rats from coming up the pipes. With that being said, bleach is of course not very eco-friendly, and if this is something you are worried about, you can always try using a bit of vinegar, although vinegar is probably less effective than bleach.
5. Don’t Flush Food
One of the main reasons why a rat will come up a toilet is in search of food. Sure, flushing old food down the toilet is a really convenient way of disposing of it, but with that being said, it’s also a great way to lure in rats. Not only does flushing food down your toilet attract animals, but it also causes stains and messes that can be very hard to clean, especially if you flush grease down the toilet that can adhere to the inside of the pipes.
6. Use Sound Repellents for Rats
There are also special sound repellents that you can use for rats and mice, ones that create a very high-pitched sound that should repel rats. You can try putting one of these in your bathroom, and although it may not work in all cases, it could be enough to deter a rat from coming into the bathroom. These sound repellents tend to be hit and miss.
7. Get a Cat
Sometimes the sound and smell of a predator in a home is more than enough to keep rats at bay. If you have an active cat in the house, it might be more than enough to keep the rats away.
Should You DIY or Call a Professional?
If you have not yet experienced rat problems and you just want to take some preventative measures, then you can always just DIY. However, if you need to install rat flaps or do any other serious work that involves your plumbing, then you probably want to call a professional, particularly if you don’t know much about plumbing.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks
Lastly, below are a few additional tips on how to deal with the issue:
- Don’t try setting rat traps in your toilet. It just doesn’t work.
- Don’t try flushing the rat back down the toilet. You might end up clogging the system.
- If you do have a rat in the toilet, don’t reach in with your bare hands, as you will undoubtedly get bitten.
- Keep the toilet lid closed. If a rat does get into the bowl, at least it won’t have access to the rest of the house.
There you have it people, everything you need to know about keeping rats from finding their way up into your toilet bowl. We hope that we could help put this nightmare to rest for you!