Watch How Easily A Rat Can Wriggle Up Your Toilet!
There have lots of stories about unexpected things turning up in toilets, such as snakes, frogs, and even squirrels and possums. And rats, of course.
So how easy would it be for a rat to make its way through the sewers, successfully traverse your internal plumbing, navigate the U-bend and find its way into your toilet?
Well according to National Geographic, pretty darn easy. Did you know that rats can tread water for up to three days, and even hold their breath for three minutes? Combine those skills with the ability to squeeze through the smallest of spaces and the chance of finding a rat in your home may not be so slim after all.
First floor toilets are probably more susceptible to rat invasions than upper level toilets especially if the toilet soil pipe runs horizontally or at a very shallow angle to the sewer. Rats are good underwater swimmers. (They can swim one-half mile in open water and can tread water for up to three days.) It’s totally possible for a rat to walk up a horizontal soil pipe from the sewer, swim through the water-filled piping inside the toilet, and surface in the toilet bowl. However, if the soil pipe runs vertically for five or more feet the rat will have difficulty climbing the inside of the slick, wet pipe.
Check out National Geographic’s video below:
Why the toilet?
We say the problem is actually your kitchen sink.
“We flush down food into our sewer system through our garbage disposal … and there are rats there,”
We recommend keeping your sink clean and don’t use your garbage disposal a lot. To clean it out, use a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, and then rinse it with boiling water. You can also use bleach and boiling water. Do it at least once a month.
“Keeping your sink and drain clean hopefully would prevent that food smell that might attract rats to your toilet,”
Most toilets have traps that hold enough water in the connecting pipe to discourage the rats from coming in. However, in unused guest bathrooms and abandoned houses trap water can evaporate. Flushing toilets should be on your maintenance list. The other thing to consider is installing an in-line flap valve. It allows refuse to flow out of the drain, then flaps shut after the water stops flowing through the pipe.
If you’re one of the unlucky individuals who discovers a rat in your toilet, the first thing you want to do is stay calm. Keep the lid down so it’s not able to jump out. Squirt some liquid dish soap through the space in the lid. this helps break the water’s surface tension and also decreases some of the oil in the rat’s fur. Then simply flush the toilet. Keep flushing the toilet.
“Then hopefully the rat will go down the same way it came up,” Helms said.
It’s when people panic that things go bad. They’ll sometimes get calls from people who freaked out, let the rat escape, and are now dealing with a rodent in their home.
“At that point, they can either trap it themselves or call in the Roughnecks to come trap the rat,”