Found a Cockroach In Your Toilet Bowl? (Here’s What to Do)

The first thought when you hear of finding cockroaches in toilet bowls is probably “Well just flush it!”

Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the actual problem of how a roach ended up there in the first place.

Normally, roaches are associated with dirty dishes left in the dishwasher, the kitchen sink, or scavenging food crumbs from your kitchen floor or pantry.

They can also infest your refrigerator or microwave if you’re not careful.

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However, cockroaches are also attracted to moisture, making the bathroom a prime target for these annoying critters.

Roach in Toilet: The Unwelcome Discovery

The bathroom is one of the more attractive spaces for these pests to visit. They can hide in the walls, under bathroom sink, in the bathtub, or even the toilet bowl.

While it’s a little unusual for them to be found inside the bowl itself, this can happen simply from a roach getting clumsy while running around under the toilet seat.

See Also: Why Is There a Frog In the Toilet?

Why are there Roaches in the Toilet Bowl?

There are several reasons for finding a roach in a toilet bowl, but the main cause is an unclean toilet.

A toilet that’s regularly used but not regularly cleaned is ideal for roaches.

Related: What Does Cockroach Poop Look Like?

Can Roaches Swim Up the Toilet Drain?

This is a surprisingly common question, and the answer is yes – and no.

Can cockroaches swim? Some species will float, but none are very good at actually swimming.

 For this reason, it’s not impossible for a roach to make its way up a sink or toilet drain.

However, there’s a good chance that it will drown before reaching the surface due to the way a toilet is designed.

Other Potential Causes

Leaky pipes and other water sources near the toilet can attract roaches.

As a result, an existing cockroach infestation might spread out from the room of origin into the bathroom.

How to Get Rid of Roaches in a Toilet Bowl

If the roach is low enough in the toilet bowl, simply flush the toilet. Immediately after, properly apply toilet bowl cleaner and let it sit there for a few minutes. This not only helps clean the toilet, it prevents the cockroach from climbing back out of the water in case they weren’t fully flushed down the drain.

If the roach is too high to flush, shoot it with roach killer spray or bleach to knock it into the water (then flush).

With either method, you’ll want to use a toilet brush to clean the toilet. Finally, mix a gallon of water with a cup of bleach and clean the remainder of the toilet and tile floor.

Can You Flush a Cockroach Down the Toilet?

flush toilet

Yes, you can flush a cockroach down the toilet, but there’s  chance it can return if you didn’t kill it first.

And if the roach was already dead, it may be a good idea to consider the potential reasons.

What Happens if You Flush a Cockroach Down the Toilet?

Flushing a cockroach down your toilet will send it into your sewer pipes.

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Depending on when the ride ends, a surviving roach may discover somewhere in the line to begin nesting.

When the resulting cockroach eggs hatch, it can lead to a population explosion that may find its way back out of the pipelines.

Can Cockroaches Come Up Through The Toilet?

Modern toilets are designed to have multiple safeguards such as the water trap. This prevents sewage from backing up into your tub or sink and also blocks toxic gasses from coming back up through the bowl.

This also means that a roach will likely never make it into the toilet from your sewer lines.

Can Cockroach Eggs Be Flushed Down the Toilet?

Yes you can flush roach eggs, although it won’t necessarily kill them.

Instead, the eggs will pass through your sewer lines into the community sewer main.

Note that there’s a small possibility the eggs can get caught on obstructions during this journey.

However, the water pressure prevents any eggs from avoiding this trip in a relatively unobstructed line.

Preventing Roaches In the Bathroom

Sealing potential entry points is only the first step into protecting this important room.

A dirty bathroom is heaven for roaches, so regular cleaning is essential.

You can wash the floor and walls with soap and hot water, but should do a deeper clean using bleach or OxyClean once per month.

Keep all of your bathroom drains clear using vinegar and baking soda at least once per month.

This is much cheaper than investing in bottles of Draino to solve hair clogs and other obstructions.

When washing the floors, don’t forget to get the corners and around the back of the toilet.

You never know what’s hiding back there because it’s an easy spot to ignore.

You may also wish to sprinkle some diatomaceous earth behind the toilet or under the sink.

Finally, make sure there are no leaky pipes and your taps aren’t dripping.

How to Pick Up a Dead Cockroach

Let’s say you managed to kill a few roaches that snuck into the bathroom.

Any time you’re tackling a roach infestation, you’ll have to dispose of some corpses.

To pick a dead cockroach, put on a disposable glove or use toilet paper or a paper towel.

A broom and dustpan is another option.

Do not pick them up with your bare hands, as even a dead roach can transmit diseases.

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Flush the corpses instead of throwing them in the trash, as many species give off a post-death odor that actually attracts other roaches.

If you used your hands, make sure to wash them good with an antibacterial liquid soap after, even if you didn’t come in direct contact.