Can rats swim? Do they drown?
Just like they can climb and dig well, rats are very keen swimmers. When you combine this with the fact
that some sewer systems are quite old, and rats find it easy to break into them, that answers the question -
why are there so many rats in the sewers?
Where the sewer lines have become damaged, or have fallen into a state of disrepair, rats CAN get into the pipework,
and plumbers are often called out to remove a dead rat that happens to be blocking a pipe or drain. Not just happening
when the pipes are damaged or old, over-stressed systems can fall prey to rats - flooding is often a prime culprit.
When the rats are in the sewers, it doesn't matter if they are entirely surrounded by water. They can survive down there
quite happily for three or four days before they've had enough, just treading water. If they can sense there is a way out -
dry ground - they will swim for about half a mile just to get to it, and this can even mean swimming right through the pipes
to end up coming out of your toilet. By the time the rats finally gets to the end - your bathroom - it is likely to be exhausted
and not really in the mood for a fight, but for the average human, the surprise pop up can be quite the shock!
If you have rats in the toilet, call a plumber. Or a rat removal specialist. You can pour bleach down there and give it 15 to 20 minutes
or so, probably resulting in the rat drowning, but you will then have a dead rat in your plumbing. You’ll still need a plumber.
Of course, flushing the toilet will usually force the rat back down for a while. Not forever, of course, but at least for a few moments to
allow you to get your thoughts back together again and figure out a plan of action.
Whatever you do, don’t pour poison down there. It contaminates local areas and can kill off wildlife, including pets, and aside from that,
poison can take days and even weeks to work. You don't have time for that.
When you call in the professionals, they will usually try to use a snare to get the rat out of the toilet system, and this helps to get the rat
out alive and effectively. The snare can only go so far, however, and this might not always be successful.
You can add one-way features to sewer lines to ensure that rats can’t get in, but if they do accidentally get in they can still find their way out
again. Rat-infested sewers are relatively rare, but can happen.
Last but certainly not least, if you have a garbage / trash can outside, check that they’re not close to any pipework or drains. If the rats are
congregating in that area to get to the food inside your trash can, it’ll only be a matter of time before they follow the smell of all things edible
right down into the pipes and drains, and then eventually into your home.
For more rat information, visit our rat removal tips page, or for more specific how-to instructions, read the how to get rid of rats page with 6 step-by-step instructions.
If you have a problem with rats above your ceiling in your house, read my rats in the attic guide. The most important part of rat control is sealing shut entry holes into the building, but after
you've done that, you'll want to know how to kill rats humanely to complete the rat control job. If you need to hire professional help in your city, click on my directory of over
200 rat removal companies servicing 95% of the USA. we can help your with your rat problem!
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