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October 3, 2015 at 4:24 am #818570
My son was about to use the bathroom in the basement when all of a sudden he runs up the stairs screaming, “There’s a rat in the toilet! It’s alive!”
My very, very kind neighbor came over and got the rat out and kindly said he’d drive somewhere far and let it go.
I’d really appreciate any advice, suggestions, information, etc … on why this happened, will it happen again, are our sewer pipes bad and need to be replaced, who can and should I call, etc … I have a bad feeling this might happen again because obviously they can swim up the pipe. I want to know what are the next steps I need to take.
We tried flushing it down but that didn’t work. Does anyone know if they can get out of the toilet with the lid closed? Thanks.October 3, 2015 at 5:13 am #828267October 3, 2015 at 5:29 am #828268
phoenix: I’ve heard stories of this happening, especially when I lived in Manhattan where rat stories and experiences are fairly common. Rats are superior swimmers so they have no trouble at all holding their breath for long distances, though the fact that this was a basement toilet does not surprise me as it is the first exit they’d encounter when traveling from the sewer pipe. Very simply, there is an entry point at some place down the sewer line and rats are attracted by all of the food that goes down the drain from garbage disposals.
Keeping the toilet lid closed with a brick on top should do the trick for the time being. You might want to speak to an exterminator about what can be done from there. Oh, and a few good squirts of dishwashing liquid should help in making things extra slippery when flushing the rat back in the direction from which it came.October 3, 2015 at 6:24 am #828269
DianaParticipantOctober 3, 2015 at 9:48 am #828270
I did some poking around the internet-seem this is common in the PNW.
Yes, rats do come up through the toilet. You (ok, plumber) can install a baffle on the sewer line to prevent them from coming up.
Don’t put food down the kitchen sink, food particles in the sewer line attract the rats, they look for food, the easiest way in is the toilet.
Keep the toilet lid closed, if the lid is open, and they find their way in, they can and will jump to get out of the toilet, then you have a wet rat in the house. If the lid is closed and they find their way in, they can’t get out, and will wear themselves out trying to get out and drown, or swim back from where they came.
if you do find a live rat in the toilet, pour bleach in the toilet, close the lid and wait 20 minutes, the bleach will suffocate it. Then you can dispose of the intruder.
As a kid I heard stories of rats in toilets here so I always keep the toilet closed.October 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm #828271
John with Adept Pest is the ultimate pest guy, always tops here on the WSB. He’ll never try to sell you a poison plan, but will try to find you an effective, common sense solution – at an extremely reasonable price. He came over just the other day and plugged a wee hole in my siding that explained the mouse under the sink. I can’t even tell you what he charged me, it was so ridiculously low. Unfortunately, it sound like you’re going to need a plumber as well, and I wouldn’t count on any good deals there…October 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm #828272
I would recommend John at Adept also.
When I moved here, the house had both Norway and Roof rats. John got the rats out and did an awesome job of exclusion.
He also told me to get rid of all the ivy (Previous owner cultivated it) and blackberry to alleviate possible nesting sites and travel paths.
When you see a rat in the toilet, think your kitchen sink.
Rats live in sewers and can follow the food in pipes up to your toilet.
Keep your kitchen sink rinsed clean and use garbage disposals as little as possible.
Rinse out your kitchen sink once or twice a month.
Use 1 cup of bleach (an alternative to using bleach, 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar) and rinse with boiling water.
Never throw grease down the drain.
Keep your toilet lid down when not in use.
If you find a rat in your toilet, flush it! (hint: squirt a little dishwashing liquid under the lid into the bowl, wait a couple of minutes then flush)
Some great info:October 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm #828273
Ugh! I think I would have a heart attack!!! God bless your neighbor!
This has been addressed in the blog forum a few years back, and I remember a link to a map King County uses to track areas where this has occurred, but I could not find it.
Talaki34 beat me to it, but if you look up the website. http://www.kingcounty.gov, environmental health services, rat prevention, it has a number to call so someone can come out and inspect the sewers.
206-263-9566.October 3, 2015 at 5:41 pm #828274
Thank you all for your suggestions, referrals, and ideas. I really appreciate it.October 3, 2015 at 11:20 pm #828275
When I was a kid we were at a friends house in Burien and my sister went into the bathroom and lifted the toilet lid and there was a big rat swimming in the toilet. I have never heard someone scream so loud!October 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm #828276
I had a similar thing happen (it was stuck in the bathroom drain instead of the toilet. I called the sewer department, and they put some poison in the sewer around my house because they said that usually means there is an overpopulation in that area.October 5, 2015 at 11:24 pm #828277
We had the same thing happen to us about a year and a half ago in our basement toilet. Luckily it has not happened again. In the 18 years we have been in our house this had never happened before. I used to put out birdseed in a feeder for the birds, but had to stop because I started seeing a rat there every night. We live near a ravine and I think we have an overpopulation of rats in our neighborhood.October 6, 2015 at 10:25 pm #828278
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