How to Get Rid of Rats in Sewer Pipes?

Are you really sure how to get rid of rats in sewer pipes? Does rat poison for drains really work? Let’s find out.

If you thought rats only live in metro areas, think again! Rats are everywhere around us, much closer than you think, possibly – in your sewer system pipes, which is practically an open road to your home. No wonder rats don’t mind living in drain pipes. There, they can find food remnants, shelter, and water.

Defective piping systems help rats find their way inside easily, and if they already did, you’d better stick around and find out who is responsible for rats in drain pipes, whether you should use a rat poison for drains, and more!

How to get rid of rats in sewer pipes, invaded drains, and your property?


Strange deposits in your outside drains are an almost 100% sign rats have already invaded the system. Discolored or white debris mixed with brown pellets are actually rodent droppings mixed with the things they have bitten through.

Once rats get into your drains, they start chewing on anything that comes their way, and the first thing that does is cavity wall insulation (the white debris we mentioned above).

Other than that, hearing some squealy noise coming from your pipework, attic, walls, or ceiling is always a tell-tale sign that you have new neighbors.

We highly suggest you start inspecting your property and pipes. If anything looks out of shape down there, take it as a sign. Then, try getting as close as possible to drain pipes and gutters, then listen out for any strange sounds running in there.

Who Is Responsible for Rats In Drains?


You may be thinking your local city sewer department might be the one to call after finding out you have rats in drain pipes. No doubt – rats truly get into your home’s drains through the city sewer (cracks within the system to be precise). Yet, don’t expect the local city sewer department to take responsibility.

You will, as the homeowner, have to figure out ways how to get rid of rats in sewer pipes on your own.

And, the sooner you start acting, the more unforeseen damage you will prevent.

You can, for example, hire a pest control company or the water board so they can discover where the rats are living in the main sewer system by using sewer cameras.

However, some pest control companies somehow neglect the possibility of rats in sewer pipes. They set up bait stations, that may be not working, and you’ll still be in trouble.

They set up bait stations, that may be not working, and you’ll still be in trouble.

How to Stop Rats Coming Up Toilet?


Once rats invade your property, you’ll start seeing them all around it, including your toilet [1].

If you see a rat in your toilet bowl, don’t panic. It’s nothing strange rats manage to enter the sewer, then your drain system, climb up the main drain, and come right into your toilet. Some species are great climbers (black rats), others, with longer tails, are great swimmers (such as brown rats).

Not only can they swim but swim distances and hold their breath for several minutes. Here’s how to stop rats coming up your toilet.

How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Sewer System?


If you know for sure rats have inhabited your sewer system and drainage pipes, do this to prevent a rat infestation. Locate and repair any cracks in your piping. Rat nests can be found around old sewer drain pipes that are either cracked or never capped. Rats seem to have difficulties chewing through copper wool so it would be best you use it to patch those holes and cracks.

Next, install a rat trap or flap and you’ll put a barrier rats can’t break through. These structures should be installed at the entry point into your home and will effectively stop rats invasion.

To prevent rats in your sewer pipes, make sure nothing they need to survive is easily accessible. Keep all food sealed or stored in containers, don’t throw large pieces of food, sanitary napkins, or garbage disposal down the drain, and keep your garage and basement tidy.

Needless to say, you should keep your sewer and drain pipes properly maintained as well.

Should I Use Rat Poison for Drains?


You can use rat poison for drains, although this is not recommendable. In most cases, rat poison is simply not effective enough to save you from rats. Imagine trying to poison a dozen of rats – mission impossible. In one of the most extreme cases of sewer pipes rat intrusion, a pest control discovered 22 rodents in one household’s sewage system.

It’s good to know rats mostly live in colonies or groups [2] in city blocks so it would be absurd to expect only one rat to be living in your sewer.

Instead of trying to poison these animals, hire a professional who has experience with using rodenticides instead and has the right tools and outstanding rat-buster skills. Rat poison is highly toxic, not only for rats, but other animals and wildlife as well and, if used recklessly, can cause more damage than you can think of.

For instance, the bodies of poisoned rats could cause a major blockage and reduce the waste flow. In short – killing rats in drains is definitely not a good idea.

If you still decide to use a product like this or if installing backflow prevention is, for any reason, impossible at the moment, you might want to go for a root killer foaming product.

Although it is not a rat killer, a root killer for sewer pipes is on the list of the most-hated things on any rat’s list. This chemical won’t kill the animal but rather just chase it away.

To make sure rats don’t come back, use this product at least 5-7 times over a period of 3 weeks. Then, when you are sure no rats are left down in your sewage system, introduce this solution once per month over the next 3 months just to make sure the smell drives them off even if they attempt to enter your sewer pipes again.

Bonus Tips on How to Rat-Proof Your Home


  • Seal any gaps in exterior walls and under doorways–As we already mentioned, rats can squeeze through the smallest gaps or bite through them and enlarge them. Fill holes around pipework or utility cables with concrete or caulking and stainless steel wire wool.
  • Repair roof damage–Rats love electrical cables – whether it be for nibbling or climbing. Cables help rats climb into attics and loft spaces. If there are any broken roof tiles, rats will easily find them. Believe it or not, rats can get through cracks the size of a quarter! That’s because they have very flexible ribs they can squeeze when trying to get through a hole. [3] Using wire mesh is the most popular method of sealing gaps on roofs.
  • Fix any drain and sewer pipes breakage–Rats and sewer pipes are the reasons why you are here with us today. These animals can easily swim up sewer pipes and get into your toilet bowl, which is why you should always keep it closed. Cover drains with tightly fitting metal screens and regularly check and fix any cracks in your pipework.

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If you are interested in how to get rid of rats in sewer pipes, it’s good to know you have several options to choose from. Use a root foam killer, install a one-way valve, plug up disused pipes, or use a rodent mesh.

This way, you won’t obstruct the normal flow of water and waste to the sewer while you will, at the same time, say goodbye to rodents and prevent them from getting back into your property.