November 5, 2012 at 6:08 am #605465
I’m in shock. Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen. I can’t bring myself to fish out the dead thing right now(it’s the basement toilet, so I can kinda ignore it for another day.) Maybe tomorrow, or I may have to hire someone.
I’ve read the Seattle.gov website, posted a “rat in toilet” report with the city and will wait for the “inspector to call.”
I’ve cleaned my kitchen drain with bleach, vinegar and baking soda. I will now be vigilant about not letting food or grease go into the drain.
And, of course, the toilet lids are now all down.
Ugh! Don’t think I’m sleeping tonight…November 5, 2012 at 6:37 am #776544
As a natural-born skeptic (helps in this line of business) I had to look this up. Always thought it was an urban legend. Guess not.November 5, 2012 at 11:30 am #776545
isn’t it generally dead rats that are found in the toilet…
not the live twitching whiskers image of the urban legend?November 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm #776546
I’ve read that finding a rat in the toilet can be a blessing in disguise, as it’s nearly always an indication that there’s a break in the plumbing somewhere – probably the waste line.November 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm #776547November 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm #776548
It’s an infamous story from childhood in my family…Late one night my mom heard some splashing in the toilet. She got up to check it out and discovered a rat. She yelled for my father who came running. They tried flushing it down to no avail. Not knowing what else to do, they eventually poured bleach in and had to hold the lid down as the rat died quite violently. This was in southern Oregon in the early 80’s. Back then, they had someone from the city come inspect the sewer line and I think bait traps were set. We had a huge yard and had one of those sewer manholes in the yard.
I always leave my toilet lids down, partly b/c we have little kids, but also b/c of the rats!!!November 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #776549
It happened to my sister years ago in Burien. She was about 8 at the time and OMG the screaming we heard. It was at a friends house and she would never go over there again. It can happen anywhere. I’ve heard about it happening here in West Seattle. editing to add that the rat that was in the toilet years ago was a live and trying to get out!November 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm #776550
Yep, definitely not an urban legend. Happened to my best friend, who lived on Alki Point at the time. She found it in her family’s downstairs bathroom, and her dad held it down with a plunger until it drowned. Blech.November 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm #776551
Keep lid down. Flush and flush and flush. One way they get in is through roof vents. Flushing it sends it down the sewer line, and it has plenty of friends there. The new lower water usage toilets mean that after a flush you may have to follow it up with a bucket of water to force it down the line.November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm #776552
It doesn’t happen often but it is possible. Norway rats are excellent swimmers. Imagine actually being ON the toilet and having a rat pull a “U-boat” surprise on you!
If you’re trying to flush a live rat back to where it came from, the trick I’ve heard about is to keep the toilet lid closed and squirt dishwashing liquid (or any other kind of slippery liquid soap) into the bowl through the gap underneath the seat. THEN flush.November 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm #776553
CJ – I saw you posted and then immediately thought “OMG, please tell me he doesn’t have a picture!”November 6, 2012 at 2:39 am #776554
This just started a series of nightmares for me….
I think I will never go again.November 6, 2012 at 5:13 am #776555
OMGosh… I’m now horrified! (Imagine face twisted into a scary snarl of fear!) ;) Years ago I was camping (long before I actually ‘enjoyed’ the whole outdoor concept) and the thought of having to use a pit toilet was repulsive to me. Who better to see rats grappling around ‘down there’ …. YIKES! It took me YEARS to bring myself to use an ‘out house’… NOW… after reading this… even indoor plumbing sounds terrifying!
The Bleach story… too much for me to even allow myself to think about!!November 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm #776556
Whenever this happens to me I just lift up the lid and toss one of my cats in there. These lazy animals sit around the house all day with nothing to do. Let ’em start earnin’ their keep for a change.
What? What’s everyone lookin’ at me like that for?November 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm #776557
In the middle of the night last night i was wondering whether my dogs would alert me before i found a rat in the toilet
in the daytime.. yes..
but at night?
nothing disturbs their sleep.
I used to go in quietly and do my middle of the night thing in the soft glow of the night light
not any more :(
dogs and hubby all raised an eyebrow as i returned to bed last night
apparently bright light will disturb their sleepNovember 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm #776558
Yep, this happened in our basement toilet a few years ago, and I was appropriately horrified. I read that hint about squirting liquid soap into the toilet and flushing, but since we rent, I decided to call my landlord and ask him how he wanted to proceed – didn’t want it to be our problem if we got a rat caught in the line while flushing. He came over and scooped it out with a coat hanger. Glad I didn’t have to get involved or see the whole thing (my husband found it and landlord removed it). But to this day, I won’t use the toilet downstairs, and I always look into the main one upstairs before using it.November 7, 2012 at 5:02 am #776559
Not to discredit any one of the hair-raising vermin experiences shared here, but might there not be a possibility at least one of those unlucky pesky little buggers might have fallen in there? I understand the potential for the signs of there being others present on the basement… but that’s just crazy! Rats in the loo- Yikes!November 10, 2012 at 3:11 am #776560
Hi, all. Thanks for your posts.
Here’s an update. Health Inspector Don Case, called and said he was coming out today to bait the two nearest manholes in the sewer. He returns to check on them weekly and keep baiting if more show up dead (in the manholes). Said they should be gone in a few weeks.
He also said they’d rather people would just flush the dead rat if found dead. (I worked up the courage to pick it out with rubber gloves and a black plastic bag.) I guess they’d rather it end up in sewage treatment than in landfill.
Sorry for the horrible and creepy topic; I just wanted to know if anyone else had this experience because I was so freaked out. Now I realize these things happen in houses with garbage disposals, often on basement level toilets. I keep my kitchen sink/ disposer clean with vinegar and baking soda, keep my basement toilet seat down/ door closed, and understand that animals are attracted to food sources especially in fall/ winter. I may even buy and have installed one of those special devices called a “rat blocker”:VERMENDUSA.COM or the one on ebay:Anti-Vermin Barriers.
If this ever happens to you, I strongly recommend you file a “rat in toilet” report with the city.November 10, 2012 at 7:42 am #776561
Thank you for the update. I have to admit I’ve been thinking about this post ever since it first showed up – SO disgusting. Kudos to you for mustering up the courage to remove the rat yourself (the image alone makes my stomach turn!), and for being thoughtful enough to update with this helpful info.
I’m curious about what part of WS you live in, if you don’t mind sharing. I know this can happen anywhere I’m just curious to know if there will now be rat traps in man holes near me…
I remember an Augustus Burroughs story in which he had to have a dead rat removed from his shower head. The way he wrote it was hilarious of course but I’m forever haunted!
Edit: Had to Google the Burroughs story…he had a rat in the bath tub and learned from a plumber friend that rats get stuck in shower heads, too. Blargh!!November 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm #776562
Yes, fluffy, your situation was handled by the city correctly. It happened to a neighbor of mine about a year ago, and the city came out and baited the sewers. That ended the problem, knock on wood!
Congratulations on fishing the dead vermin from out of the toilet. I have found that the more often you handle these dead rodents, the easier it gets. hehe
After my neighbor’s experience, mind you, I have joined the religion of keeping the toilet lids DOWN.November 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm #776563
I had a rat issue about a year ago- I still cringe! Just so you know, not all rats follow the same pattern. My first indication was a scratching noise coming from my bathroom wall! I talked with the King County rat man and he said it was likely in the sewer line; however, this was on the main floor, not the basement toilet. He said I should check that one as well. Well, the rat had definitely tried that, as the water was drained (the water drains when they open the valve thing to get into the toilet) and there were dirty paw prints in the bowl, but the lid was down and he had not gotten out of there. However, he continued on his journey up to the main floor! Apparently, that was a bit trickey, but he was persistant.I could hear him as he traveled through the system…he got really loud when he finally reached the toilet (the toilet seemed to almost create an echo chamber effect). By now I was totally freaked! A friend suggested I put bleach in the toilet bowl water, which I did. When the water drained from the toilet, he backed off, but only so far. I could hear him back in the wall! I repeated the bleach water a few times, and he either died or gave up. The rat guy had suggested a possible break in the sewer line, as a possible entry point, but since our sewer system was replaced three years ago, that was not the explanation. He said they are quite capable of traveling from the main sewer out to homes, and will do so when the population of the main lines gets so large that they strike out in other directions. Your house will be most inviting if you do not regularly “clean” the system of odors (he suggested using baking soda and vinegar, followed by boiling water. Still creeps me!November 11, 2012 at 4:24 am #776564
I was just reading up on this figuring knowledge is power. I found this link to a map of reports from 2009. Interesting. http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/rats/%7e/media/health/publichealth/documents/ehs/2009RatInToiletComplaints.ashxNovember 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm #776565
EarthMama, in our case, we always keep the lids down as the cat will decide to jump/fall in, so the only way in for the rat would’ve been through the sewer line.
Wish I’d known you could actually report it. Thankfully it’s been several years and we haven’t seen anything else.March 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm #776566
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