Can Rats Get Into the House Via Toilet?

Can Rats Get Into the House Via Toilet?

Can Rats Enter The House Through The Toilet? The human imagination is something that will lead many people to imagine horrific scenes as a rat manages to climb in through the pipes and bite them as they sit on the toilet. This is more the stuff of horror movies than the reality, and in reality the only time is when it is likely to happen is during a nightmare for those people who are petrified of rats. However, it is wise to look at the question and to consider whether or not a rat really can climb into your home through the toilet, because any animal in your home can cause problems.

Rats In The Sewers

There is no doubt that the average sewer will have a large number of rats living in it, and it is certainly true that rats are very good climbers. However, it is important to remember that climbing all the way up from a sewer through the pipes into a toilet will normally be a very big challenge. The pipes that are generally used for draining matter from the toilet will usually be smooth sided to assist the flow the other way, and there are also a number of different obstacles that would have to be negotiated.

Basement And Ground Floor Toilets

The likelihood of a rat being able to enter a property through a toilet is already very slim, but for those toilets that are on the ground floor or in the basement, there will often be less elevation between the toilet and the sewer. This means that the slippery sides of the pipe will be much closer to being horizontal, although there does have to be some angle to ensure that the flow of human waste the other way doesn't stick in the tube. This doesn't mean that rats can simply scamper up the tube and climb out, because the modern toilet isn't simply a drop chute sending waste directly into the sewer. Most toilets will have a water trap that will prevent smells rising into the property, and those rats that are climbing through will also have to negotiate the U bend in the toilet. This means that even for basement and ground floor toilets, it is very unlikely that any rats can enter through the toilet.

Toilets On Upper Stories

Any toilet from the first floor of a property upwards will have a vertical drop built in to the mechanism, and because of this it is nearly impossible for rats to climb up a smooth plastic pipe into the toilet.

Unused Properties

One situation in which the usual rules may not apply is in an older property which has a toilet where the water can be switched off. Not having any water in the toilet will make it much easier for rats to enter, and if they have come in through the toilet then it may be an entrance that they will use repeatedly.


A rat infestation is something that nobody will want to have in their home, but if they are coming in through the toilet then it can be easy to let your imagination run away with you. It is very rare to see a rat enter the property through a toilet, and even the Norway rat which is a prodigious swimmer will struggle to get past all the obstacles that will lie in their way.

There are usually much easier and quicker ways for rats to enter the property, and looking at weak points in the basement, the walls or the roof will usually be a much more likely route of entry. And to set your mind at ease, you are more likely to win the lottery than you are to be bitten by a rat climbing through the toilet.

How to Get a Rat Out of the Toilet

There are plenty of ways to deal with a rat in the toilet situation, but one of the easiest things you can do is flush the toilet. In order for a rat to reach your bathroom, it needs to swim for quite a long time. It also needs to tread water for a while. Rats can do this, and they can do it very well too, but there are miles of sewer works that rats will need to swim through. They can hold their breath for two to three minutes, and they can also tread water down there in the sewers for a few days, but by the time the rat reaches your bathroom, there's a good chance it will be exhausted. Flushing it right back from where it just came from will likely tire it out even further, preventing it from coming back to your house again … at least, for now.

After you have flushed, you should put the toilet seat down. If the rat comes back, the toilet seat down will ensure it can't come back. Although, you will need to bear in mind that rats can squeeze through the smallest of holes - will they be able to crawl through the space between the porcelain rim and your toilet seat / cover?

You will need to call a plumber. You could also call a rat removal specialist - they will do the job just as effectively as a plumber will. In many instances, both professions will remove a rat from the pipes using a snare, before inserting a one-way baffle (or similar) to stop the problem from coming back again. A plumber, however, will also know if there are problematic pipes that need sorting out, whether that's on your end, or something for the local council to sort out. Either way, rats in the sewers means that pipes have become damaged somewhere along the line - they must have gotten in there somehow. They certainly aren't meant to get in there easily.

Generally, it will only be older sewer systems that allow rats to gain entry. The newer ones are much better maintained. This is why rats in the toilet should be reported - it could be a sign of a damaged pipe somewhere that someone will need to fix. Do not throw poison in the toilet. It won't kill the rat quick enough. Bleach is also not a good idea. If these things do kill the rat, you are running the risk that the dead rat will lie somewhere in the pipes that lead out of your home, kicking up an awful stench. It can also cause blockages … We're sure you don't want that in your bathroom, and particularly not from your toilet.

If you have a rat in the toilet situation, call a plumber, your landlord, or a rat removal specialist. This is probably not a problem that you can deal with on your own, and this is even more so the case if the rat is causing a blockage. It will be a shorter job, and a cleaner job, if you just get the professionals in right away.

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How do Rats Get in the Toilet?

Rats can get in the toilet in a number of different ways, but there are two common ones. The first of which is through old plumbing systems in the city in which you live. These older pipes can often become damaged and fall into disrepair, and it is practically impossible for the local city services to keep an eye on every section of pipework at the same time. When they do become damaged, the rats can get in.

Another common way for rats to get in the sewer systems, is via the network of drains. These drains are often right outside your building, and if you have garbage thrown down nearby, the rats will tear into them where they can. The drains become an easier method for the rat when there is heavy rains and they overflow.

To be honest, the chances of having a rat in your toilet are quite rare, so we wouldn't recommend freaking out things too much, but if you come across one, you will need to know what to do. If you live in an area that is rife with rats, or a neighbor complains of having rats in their toilet / sewer systems, we would recommend that you do a quick inspection of your home, particularly the drain area, to ensure that you are not unintentionally inviting these rodents into your property yourself.

You can install things, and make other home modifications, to keep rats out of the toilet. You can have vents and valves inserted in pipes that are prone to rat damage and invasion, and always keeping the toilet seat down is a smart move, particularly if you've already had a rat in the loo problem once already. Don't just flush and ignore, make sure you call a rat removal expert or a plumber to come in and solve the problem.

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