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How Do I Get Rid of Rats in My Sewer Pipes?

Updated on: January 28, 2021

Rats are small creatures that can fit themselves in tiny spaces to get their way around and survive. One tiny space where you might find rats in your home is in your sewer pipes. This leads to a number of headaches you have to deal with, from property damage to exposure to various rat diseases. 

So what are the different methods to get rid of rats from sewer pipes? To eliminate these pests, then you should repair any cracks in the piping, remove rodent living sources, and catch the rats in the sewer pipes. Afterwards, you would want to check for any remaining signs of these creatures like blocked piping, creaking noises, slow water flow, and cracks and dents to know whether you have completely eliminated them. 

How to Eliminate Rats in Sewer Pipes

It’s a common misconception that rats in sewer pipes can only be found in the city or metropolitan areas. But as long as they can fit in the pipes, there’s always a chance that they might come through. Some species of rats like the Norway rat are great swimmers, so they can swim through your drainage and manage their way to your toilet bowl and bathroom, leading to an infestation. 

Eliminating rats in sewer pipes can be tricky since these are small and hard to reach. But with the right tools and approach, you can safely remove these pests so that they don’t cause any problems inside your home. Here are some ways to eliminate rats in sewer pipes: 

1. Repair Any Cracks in Piping

To ensure that these rodents can’t go through your pipes, make sure that there is no damage in your piping. Repairing any cracks or holes in your piping with the proper materials can help you make sure that none of these pests will be found in these places. Here are some recommended products and materials to help control rat infestations:

  • Rat Flaps: A rat flap is a gate-like object with a hinge that allows water to only flow in one direction. This means that water can flow out of the drainage while preventing rodents from entering your pipes. It is usually made out of stainless steel which is a material that these rodents cannot gnaw through. Rat flaps create barriers that help prevent infestations, so it is recommended that you install these in your bathroom’s drainage system.
  • Caulk and Steel Wool: If you’re looking for a material to efficiently seal pipes and other access points, a compound of caulk and steel wool is one of your best bets. It is not recommended to use these separately because mice and rats can pull it out or gnaw through it. But when used together, it makes the patch surface smooth so rats find it almost impossible to chew through this compound.
  • Putty or Patches: Putty or patches are also a great way to help repair any cracks in your piping and access points. Using these materials is a temporary yet affordable way to halt an infestation. Epoxy putty also comes in different variants, including a multi-purpose epoxy and an epoxy for wet surfaces. 

2. Remove Rat Living Sources 

Learning about different rat resources helps you determine what attracts them to your sewer pipes and bathroom. Different substances and materials that go through your pipes can attract pests into your home, causing infestations. Here are some things that attract rats into your drainage system: 

  • Food Debris: Any food debris in your pipes can attract these rodents since they are constantly looking for food. Pieces of food flushed down the bathroom toilet can stick to your pipes and make tasty treats for pests. Their noses have a sensitive sense of smell and help them easily detect food in the pipes. Mice and rats don’t need a lot of food to survive either and they can live on an ounce of food per day.
  • Nesting Materials: Fibrous materials like diapers, sanitary napkins, and wet wipes offer rats and mice with a ready-made nest. Nesting materials remain intact when flushed down the toilet, so be mindful when disposing these items. Instead, it is better to throw away these materials in the proper garbage disposal.
  • Plants and Vegetation: Though plants, trees, shrubs, and vegetation don’t necessarily serve as living sources for rodents, they provide rats with better access to your pipes and drainage. Their long limbs offer great hiding places and entry ways, and its sharp thorns can create small cracks and holes in your pipes. Cutting back on plants and vegetation in and around your property can help you with this problem. 

3. Catch Rats in Sewer Pipes

Repairing cracks in pipes and removing rat resources can greatly help you eliminate rats in your drainage system. But if you’re looking for other solutions for the problem, then you may want to try these different methods to catch the pests: 

  • Rat Traps: Traps are one of the most popular ways to catch rats, and there are a variety of traps available on the market. It’s recommended to place traps in the bathroom or other places where rats live like the basement. Learn more about the different kinds of traps and how the are used in the table below:
Kind of Trap How It Kills RatsHow It’s UsedEffectiveness
Snap TrapsSnap traps use a quick trigger system to trap rats and kill them. These kinds of traps use an enticing bait which helps lure in the rodent. Its effectiveness depends on how strong the trigger system is. Stronger traps kill the rodents quicker. 
Electronic TrapsElectronic traps kill rats by delivering a high-voltage, humane shock when they come to contact with it. These traps lure mice into a chamber where they are electrocuted.  The high-voltage shock these kinds of traps deliver instantly kills rats. 
Catch and ReleaseCatch and release traps are considered one of the most humane ways to catch rats. It’s simple: it catches the rodent and you can release it afterwards.  It uses a bait to trap a rodent inside a small cage. These traps don’t kill rats. It only traps a rodent inside, and it is your decision whether you want to kill the rodent or not. 
Automatic Gas TrapAutomatic gas traps use CO2 gas to trap and kill rats. These traps make use of a special lure to make it attractive to rodents.When the rat breathes in the gas released by this trap, it will drop and die. 
  • Rat Poison: Rat poison is also an effective way to prevent pests from entering your home. There are two types of rat poison you can use: commercial and homemade. Commercial rat poison is widely available on the market and you can use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

    On the other hand, homemade rat poison makes use of different household items. Popular homemade rat poison is baking soda. When mice and rats consume baking soda, it produces a lot of gas inside their system that they cannot pass. This buildup eventually causes their insides to rupture and cause them to die. 

    To make this, mix 1 part flour, 1 part sugar or cocoa powder, and 1 part baking soda. Place these near your pipes or in areas of high rodent activity. The sweet scent of the sugar and cocoa powder masks the smell of the baking soda and makes it enticing for rodents. 
  • Rat Deterrents: If you’re looking for ways to eliminate mice and rats without killing them, then you can make use of a variety of rat deterrents. Just like rat poison, these can be homemade or bought from the store.  

    Homemade rat deterrents can be anything with a strong scent. Rodents have a strong sense of smell and are likely going to be sensitive to these scents. This can be substances like peppermint oil, ammonia, or citronella oil. Kitchen ingredients can also ward off rats, such as onions, garlic, chili flakes, and tabasco sauce. 

    Another “homemade” rat deterrent is to make your house unattractive for rats. This means removing anything that can make your home habitable for them. Store your food properly and make sure that your garbage is properly disposed of. Reduce any clutter inside your basement or attic since it provides a place for rats to nest and burrow. 

    On the other hand, store bought rat deterrents usually come in the form of electronic rodent repellents. When plugged in, these devices emit a high-frequency sound that rodents are sensitive to. This cannot be heard by humans, so it’s a great way to keep the rats away. 

Remaining Signs of Rats in Sewer Pipes

plumber fixing sewer pipe

After attempting to eliminate rats in your sewer pipes, you should check for any remaining signs of these pests. Make sure to carefully inspect whether or not you were successful in getting rid of the pests to prevent worse problems. Here are some signs that may determine whether an infestation is still present:

1. Blocked Piping

Blocked piping is one of the most common signs of rats or mice in your sewer pipes. If your bathroom’s drainage system isn’t working properly, then you are probably not yet successful in eliminating all the rats. Regularly inspect your pipes for anything that can cause blocks to prevent further problems from happening. 

2. Creaking Noises

If you notice any creaking noises in your pipes, then this can be a sign that there is still an infestation in your property. Remember that these rodents are nocturnal creatures, so you are more likely to hear these creaking noises during the nighttime. These noises may also sound like creatures that are squeaking or running in your piping. 

3. Slow Water Flow

Slower water flows from your faucet can mean that there are still rats inside your drain pipes. If your water flow isn’t in good working order, then there must be something in your pipes. This can either mean that there are still live rats present, or bodies of dead rats have caused slower water flow so remember to regularly check your pipes for anything that may cause this.

4. Cracks and Bends in Pipes

Any cracks or bends in your drainpipes can indicate that rats are still present. Check for anything that seems to be out of shape and repair these immediately to prevent infestations. Small openings in your pipes can serve as access points for these rodents. 

Eliminate Rats in Your Property With PermaKill Exterminating

If you are struggling to find ways to eliminate rats in your drainage system and property, then it is best to call the help of professionals. Here at PermaKill Exterminating, we offer professional rodent control services in Morris, Somerset, and nearby areas. Our team is composed of experts who all value professionalism. 

We are dedicated to offer you the best pest control solutions that help solve your problems. PermaKill Exterminating guarantees to provide you with scientifically advanced pest management services. You may give us a call to know more about us and the services that we offer.

Learn more: Are Landlords Responsible For Pest Control?


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