What To Do If A Rat Gets Into Your Toilet

Rats are creatures that easily can climb and move through tight spaces like those found in sewers. They are also able to swim and tread water for long periods of time, potentially up to three consecutive days. Moving through the tight quarters of a sewer system is not a problem for these pests. They can climb vertically through a sewer pipe, giving them the ability to potentially invade your home through the toilet. Although there are quite a few toilet problems that you should not ignore, having a rat peek its head through the water ranks near the top of the list. 

Fortunately, this isn't a very common occurrence, but if it does happen, there are immediate steps you can take with a bit of dish soap to help flush the rat. There are also proactive measures available, such as installing special valves for your drains to ensure that you are guarding your pipes from potential future visitors.

How you can keep a rat from escaping your toilet

If you see a rat inside the toilet, there are steps you can take to keep it from escaping. Again, the chances of you seeing this type of rodent in your toilet bowl are extremely small. There's a far greater chance that rats will find their way into your home through other means, like holes in the foundation or a loose screen door. 

If you do see a rat inside the toilet, however, start by keeping the lid down. The rodent is not likely going to be able to gain enough traction inside the bowl to figure out how to lift the lid. However, you could place something heavy on the lid if you think the pest could push its way out. Then open the lid a little bit and add dish soap to the surface of the water inside the bowl, which removes oils from the rat's fur, so that it can't float inside the bowl. After that, you can flush a few times to try to force the pest back into the sewer. If it does escape, try to keep it inside the bathroom. Then set a rat trap and see if you can catch it before it moves elsewhere in your home.

Is it possible to stop rats from getting into your toilet?

Unfortunately, there is little municipalities can do to prevent rats from living inside the sewer systems and potentially moving through the pipes to your home and toilet, so you may need to take steps on your end to try to put a stop to this potential issue. Although it may seem tempting to try to use waste line pipes that have a small diameter that a rat could not fit through, you'll run a significant risk of clogging the sewer pipes at your home. Having the proper diameter in the pipe is vital to ensuring water and waste materials move through smoothly. Fluids need to move through the pipes at the proper speed to carry solids with them. The need to move solids is also why you cannot place a gate or grate somewhere inside the pipe to block rats.

One proactive measure you can take is installing a rat blocker, also known as a non-return valve. This is a simple device that acts like a flap on your drain that allows waste to easily flow out but prevents anything (like a rat) from getting in. You can also make sure they are not entering through a hole near your home. Replace any older sewer pipes in the yard, as they could crack and create an opening that rats can use to enter your pipes. Regularly clean your drains to remove food particles that may draw rats, too.