How to Keep Animals Out of Drain Pipe?

Rats, cockroaches, fruit flies. How to keep animals out of drain pipe efficiently? You will learn how, just don’t panic.

Insects (cockroaches) and other pests, such as rats, can live in your drain pipes, eat the waste you throw into the sink (vegetables, fruits, and other foodies), and even breed in there! You’ll admit – just thinking of it all is horrible!

However, unless you like the idea of those pets multiplying in your drains and then finding their way into your bathroom, kitchen, or maybe even your bedroom, you need to stop them from reproducing as soon as possible. Bear in mind that, if you ignore the signs, these pesky pests can cause costly damage to your plumbing system.

Fortunately, getting them out of your drains shouldn’t be that hard, especially if you use the tips we are going to list through the following lines.

Which Animals Live in Drain Pipes?


1.    Rats

Just imagine walking into your bathroom and seeing a rat trying to get out of your toilet! This is not an unlikely scenario, as rats are good swimmers and, as we all know, they can swim several miles in almost one breath [1]. Rats can easily get into sewer pipes when looking for something to nibble on, from where they can move towards the drain, and that is bingo for any rat.

Drain pipes provide a cozy lodging, where rats can have a bite of different foods, drink water, and finally – breed (phew!). If you don’t take care of this problem on time, you won’t be having any other choice but to hire a licensed pest control service to save you from rat infestation.

And, just in case you have to deal with just rats and not other pests, we have written two separate blogs on how to get rid of rats in sewer pipes and how to stop rats climbing drain pipes that could be helpful.

2.    Cockroaches


Cockroaches love dark, humid, and hidden places, so, in other words – they love drain pipes. Here [2], you can get familiar with most common cockroach species so you can identify them easily. However, eventually, they start exploring other areas and sources when looking for food, which is why they can easily get into your kitchen or bathroom. If you’ve seen a cockroach  casually walking around your dwelling place once or twice already, make sure to take some steps to prevent these nasty bugs from invading your home.

3.    Fruit and Drain Flies


People often confuse fruit flies with gnats, and they truly look very alike. However, fruit flies have those evil, red eyes and prefer laying their eggs inside trash cans, drain pipes, and anywhere else they can find rotten vegetables and fruits.

Drain flies are very similar to moths, they are very tiny, and have wings and hairy bodies. Drain flies can reproduce easily in your drain and sewer pipes or septic tank and anywhere else they can find any sewage leak.

So, now that you know more about animals that live in drains, we guess you would like to get rid of them even more (and we totally understand you!). Down below, we will suggest a couple of effective methods on how to save yourself and keep those pests away.

How to Keep Animals Out of Drain Pipe?


1.    Clean your drain regularly.

Your drain gets fast and easily loaded with food – fruits and vegetables, that further get mixed with hair, grease, and everything else you flush. Not only do bacteria build up this way but it also attracts fruit and drains flies like crazy (which is, you will agree, only to be expected).

Use drain cleaner at least once a month to make sure pests are far away from your home. If you want to make sure water flows smoothly through your drain pipes and make them less attractive for animals and bugs, you can also hire someone to professionally clean those drains.

2.    Hire a professional plumber to inspect your whole drainage system.

As we already mentioned, both insects and rodents can be found in drain pipes. In order to prevent those creepy critters from living and breeding in your drain pipes, you should ensure there are no cracks through which they can enter the system first of all. Believe it or not, rats can squeeze into cracks the size of a nickel!

A professional plumber would perform an inspection, fill in cracks and seal openings around pipes, if there are any, and make sure your home is safe from a rat infestation. As a bonus, this will help you save up some energy and make your home more energy-efficient. [3]

3.    Install an animal guard for drainage pipes.

There are 2 ways you can keep animals out of your drain pipe -1) you can put a multi-flap on your toilet and 2) you can install a screen on your vent stack.

The vent stack is actually one of the common spots through which animals get into your home. And, you probably already know that the vent stack keeps sewer gases away from your home, but it obviously serves multiple purposes. If you want to keep animals out of your drain, put a screen or your vent stack or replace the old one, in case it got damaged and you can think bugs can easily get through it, with a new one.

How do I install a screen on your vent stack? Well, we are glad you asked! You are going to need some wire mesh, a tape measure, a pair of scissors, a hose clamp, and a flat head screwdriver for this task.

Take a wire mesh and cut two identical squares of around 5 inches or so. The next thing you want to do is take one piece of a wire mesh and place it over your vent pipe, then, bend the wire’s corners and tuck them under the mesh. This will create a secure mesh construction you should place a hose clap over.

Once you do this, you are going to need a flat head screwdriver to tighten the hose clamp. There you go – you’ve made a fully secure wire mesh no rats or birds can break through, and no, they can’t chew through it either.

The second thing you can do is put a multi-flap on your toilet. Cockroaches, rats, and even snakes can get into your home through drain pipes and then through the toilet. The best way to prevent these nasty animals from crawling out is to use a multi-flap or, alternatively, an animal guard for drainage pipe.

Bonus Tips on How to Keep Animals Out of Drain Pipe

If you want to take some extra steps or precautionary measures in order to keep animals out of your drain pipes, follow these bonus tips:

  • Use a plunger to unclog slow drains from time to time, just in case there is some hair and food buildup down there that could attract pests.
  • Use drain screens to prevent bugs from crawling inside your drains or laying eggs there.
  • Pour a mix of baking soda and white vinegar down the sink to clean your drain pipes every once in a while.
  • Keep your food in storage containers and fridges to make it less accessible to house mice and brown rats, the most common types of household rodents [4]. Also, try not to pile up trash in your backyard and make sure garbage collectors take it away as soon as possible


Dealing with any type of pests at your property can take some time. Rats can wreak havoc on water pipes while insects can invade your home and make it almost impossible to live in. Today, we gave you a couple of pro hacks on how to keep animals out of drain pipe, plus several bonus tips. If you think the problem got so big you can’t deal with it on your own, please contact professionals – pest or rodent control.