Can Cockroaches Come up through Toilet?

If you see cockroaches scurrying on your toilet floor and you think they come up into your toilet through the toilet bowl, then you’re wrong. Cockroaches can’t climb through the toilet. The cockroaches came into your toilet through another source.

Cockroaches are stubborn, persistent, nasty little pests that can intrude any place at any time. Nevertheless, they can’t still manage to come up through your toilet, and here is the reason why – the toilet trap.

can cockroaches come up through toilet

The toilet trap – located at the toilet base – contains water that seals out harmful sewer gasses. The water also prevents cockroaches and other pests from crawling up the toilet bowl.

Cockroaches can hold their breath for several minutes, which enables them to survive underwater for a long time. However, they have light bodies and aren’t good swimmers, and can’t swim through the water in the toilet trap – cockroaches will likely drown.

This proves that cockroaches can’t come up into the toilet through the toilet bowl except if the trap is empty, faulty, or clogged. If the toilet trap is dirty or clogged, this will help cockroaches to crawl through it into the toilet, remember they can survive underwater.

This is common in homes without a sealed sewer system. Cockroaches can also crawl through the toilet bowl if your toilet doesn’t have a trap. Otherwise, the cockroaches entered your toilet either through the water drain or sink.

The main reason why cockroaches would come into your home is that they need water to drink. So, if you see cockroaches in your toilet, your toilet either has bad odors or water on the floor.

Once you start seeing cockroaches scurrying on your toilet bowl or floor, you need to address this issue immediately.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches in the Toilet?

The first step to take when you see cockroaches in your toilet is to carefully find out the actual source of the cockroaches.

After that, take immediate measures to eliminate the cockroaches, or else they will flood your toilet because they multiply rapidly.

Here are some things you can do to eliminate cockroaches in the toilet:

Keep your toilet clean regularly

While cockroaches would come into your house in search of food and water, they love dwelling in moist, dirty, and smelly areas.

A dirty toilet is a center of attraction for homesick cockroaches, especially if the toilet leaks water on the floor.

Cockroaches hate cleanliness and a clean toilet is uninviting to cockroaches. Flush immediately after use with clean water and keep your toilet clean regularly. Keeping your toilet clean can send away cockroaches.

Fix toilet leakages

If your toilet is leaking, fix the leak immediately. Leakages in the toilet attract cockroaches. Check the toilet tank and around the bowl base for leakages, especially if the leak occurs when you flush.

Also check the pipes, faucets, and valves for leakages. Fixing the toilet leakages can get rid of cockroaches in your toilet.

Fix the toilet flange

If the leak is from around the base of the toilet bowl whenever you flush, this is wastewater, which is dirty and smelly.

It will attract cockroaches and other pests faster than ordinary water. Fix the toilet flange as soon as possible to stop the leak, else it will keep attracting cockroaches.

Fix cracks in the toilet floor and walls

Due to their small sizes, cockroaches can squeeze themselves through any space. Cockroaches can crawl up into your toilet from any cracks in your toilet walls or floors in search of moisture or food. Fix the cracks in your toilet walls or floor to stop cockroach infestation.

This also applies to toilet windows that are left open, especially those with dirt or debris on them. Keep the toilet windows clean and sealed.

Appy pest control

Once you’ve applied the above controls, you can then apply pest control as a final solution to the cockroach infestation.

Pest control comes last because if the access and attraction of cockroaches are not fixed, pest control won’t be effective.

There are several ways to control cockroaches. You can kill them mechanically using a broom or any suitable object but if there are so many cockroaches, you can use insecticide.

There are many different pest control products – homemade and commercial – that can repel cockroaches from your toilet.

What to Pour Down Drain to Kill Roaches?

Are you considering pouring chemicals down the drain to kill cockroaches? You don’t need this as long as your toilet trap is functioning and you keep your toilet clean always.

As said earlier, cockroaches can hardly enter the toilet through the sewer drain due to the toilet trap.

Cockroaches found in your toilet, or even the toilet bowl, came in through another access but found your “dirty” toilet conducive for them.

But if your toilet doesn’t have a trap or has a water drain, you can pour any of the following materials down the drain:

Vinegar and baking soda

This combination is well-known to remove clogs from the toilet bowl and sewer drain. It can also kill roaches along the drain. Pour the mixture along the drain to get rid of cockroaches.

Instead of vinegar and baking soda, you can mix white vinegar and water in 50:50 parts or use bleach.

Hot water

Pouring hot water down the drain can also kill roaches, especially when they’re close to the drain surface. If they’re far enough down, the hot water may only irritate them to come out of the drain.

Insecticides or pesticides

When you pour insecticides or pesticides down the drain, just as it will kill the roaches on the toilet floor, it’ll kill roaches in the drain.

Using any of the substances above should kill roaches in your toilet drain but be mindful of the following.

Hot water may crack your porcelain or ceramic toilet. It can also melt the wax ring or damage the pipes.

Insecticides or pesticides can be environmentally unfriendly and can cause serious issues with the main water supply. The best move is to make sure that your toilet is always clean.

What Insects/Animals Can Swim up through the Toilet?

Don’t be scared, cockroaches can’t swim up through the toilet though they can survive underwater unless your toilet is clogged. However, insects and/or animals that can swim up through the toilet include:

Snakes, rats, mice, lizards, crickets, bugs, centipedes and millipedes, etc.


As you’ve seen, cockroaches can come up through the toilet if there are cracks in the toilet or if the drain is not functioning properly.

The best way to keep cockroaches out of your toilet is to ensure that it’s always clean and in good working condition.

You should also keep an eye out for cracks and repair them as soon as possible. If you have a cockroach problem, you can use one of the methods mentioned above to get rid of them.

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