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How to Stop Roaches From Coming Up Your Drain

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You’re washing your dishes peacefully when suddenly you saw something disturbing.

Two cockroach antennas are peaking through your drain.

You wondered…

Are there more?

How did they get up your pipes?

How can you stop them from entering your home?

Panicked, you grab your computer to search for ways to get rid of the pests.

The good news is that your search is over.

In this post, we’ll tell you exactly how to stop and prevent these roaches from having direct access to your home.

Let’s get started.

1. Use a Drain Stopper or Cover

Drains stoppers are typically used to prevent large items from going down your sink.

But, they are also an effective way of preventing cockroaches from coming inside your home through the drain.

For this, I recommend using the mesh metal drain stopper.

Unlike plastic and rubber stoppers, metal stoppers wouldn’t easily tear.

And even the smallest hole can let in cockroaches inside your home, so it’s best to use metal.

2. Keep Drain and Garbage Disposals Clean

Roaches are scavengers and will eat anything.

If your drains are dirty and full of gunk, roaches are more likely to climb up your pipes.

To remove any excess food buildup from your drain, you can use an enzymatic cleaner.

Pour an enzymatic cleaner down your drain and follow up by running warm water.

Another option is to mix ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of vinegar and pour it down your drain.

Rinse off with cold water to finish.

Roaches may also be attracted to the food in your garbage disposal.

The cockroaches may not be coming from the inside of your pipes.

They may already be in your home and are merely going to your garbage disposal for food.

Here’s an easy, natural way you can clean your garbage disposal:

  1. Mix ice with ½ cup of salt crystals, then place them in your garbage disposal.
  2. Let cold water run from your faucet for 2-3 minutes with the garbage disposal turned on.
  3. Drop orange oil into your garbage disposal to repel cockroaches in the future. 

3. Make Sure Water Traps Are Full


Water traps are built into most plumbing systems for sink and shower drains. 

They prevent insects and vapors from the sewer from entering your home. 

However, sometimes, water traps dry up, rendering them ineffective at blocking cockroaches from entering your home. 

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your drains traps are always full:

  • Install a trap primer at each water supply. Trap primers have sensors and automatically or timers that refill your water trap when it loses enough water.
  • If you have a drain that you rarely use, make sure to pour at least two cups of water into it at least once per month. Do this twice a month during the summer.
  • Pour a thin layer of mineral oil down your drain every couple of months. Doing so will prevent the water from evaporating fast.
  • Pour a trap seal primer down your drain. Trap seal primers are a biodegradable liquid that prevents your water trap from drying up. They typically last for three to six months or longer.
  • Flush your toilet regularly even if you are not using it to keep its water trap filled.

4. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda is another natural substance you can use to kill roaches.

And, when it comes to cockroaches, they’re quite deadly.

When ingested, the baking soda destroys the roaches digestive system, which causes them to die.

That’s because roaches don’t have a gastrointestinal system to release the gas from the baking soda.

After ingestion, roaches will die between 24 or 48 hours.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the pipe, followed by ½ cup of distilled white vinegar.
  2. Cover the drain for 3-5 minutes, then pour several cups of boiling water down the drain.

When you combine vinegar with baking soda, it sparks a chemical reaction.

Vinegar makes baking soda fluff up, ensuring that it covers your entire drainage area.

Then, the boiling water will help distribute the baking soda down the drain.

For the best results, pour this mixture to all your drains.

Cockroaches may hide in a different drain opening after you release the initial batch.

If you see a clogged pipe or drain preventing the baking soda and vinegar from going down, stop performing the treatment.

Baking soda and vinegar can increase pressure and clog drains.

In worse situations, it can cause pipes to burst.

5. Check For Leaks and Damaged Pipes

Look around your home for any leaky pipes or broken drains.

There is a chance that cockroaches are entering your pipes through a leak or rupture on it.

Inspect properly and have a professional come in and fix any broken or leaky pipes.

6. Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drains contain chemicals such as bleach, hydrochloric acid, or sulfuric acid that can kill cockroaches on contact.

But, while they can be effective at eliminating cockroaches in your drains, I would not recommend excessive use of these chemicals.

Hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid can break down your pipes and eat away at your sinks and bathtubs.

While they certainly help target minor infestations, they aren’t suitable to treat large infestations.

To kill large infestations with chemical drains, you will have to cause severe damage to your pipes.

What You Should Not Put Down Your Drain To Kill Cockroaches

1. Insecticides

While pouring insecticide down your drain may sound like a good idea, it’s not.

Insecticides have harmful chemicals that are illegal to pour down your drain in most states.

The drainage system in the U.S goes to water treatment centers, where water is recycled.

These water drainage systems can’t remove pesticides from water, and as a result, pesticides can go out to damage flowers, plants, and wildlife in the process.

2. Bleach

While bleach can kill cockroaches, pouring it down, your drain is not an ideal solution.

Pouring bleach down your drain is illegal in many states.

Bleach can react with calcium build-up and release fumes back up your drain.

It can also corrode pipes or cause them to burst.

3. Boiling Water

While pouring boiling water can kill cockroaches, it’s not very useful.

By the time the boiling water reaches the roaches, it will likely not be boiling anymore.

Plus, pouring an excessive amount of boiling water is dangerous.

The hot water breaks down the grease and fat in your pipes.

If you begin to melt the grease and fat, you will only provide more food to the roaches hiding deep in your pipes.

They will begin expecting food, and they will likely come searching for more in your pipes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Type of Roaches Live In The Sewer?

Many different roaches can live in the sewer due to the abundance of water and food sources.

The most common of which is the American cockroach.

The American cockroach is often referred to as “sewer” cockroaches.

Other common cockroaches found in the sewer are German, Asian, and Oriental cockroaches.

Can Coockroaches Calimb through the sewer?

Yes, cockroaches may climb through the sewer systems.

However, this will only typically happen if:

You have a severe infestation
Your water trap is dry

Most drains have water traps that prevent insects from coming up the pipe.

But water traps may dry up, rendering them ineffective.

Roaches can also make their way past these traps if you have massive infestations.

If there are enough roaches, they can pass through the trap by pushing each other.

Cockroaches go into your drains for water and food sources.

As such, you’ll most cockroaches come up in kitchen drains.

Can Cockroaches Climb in Through My Toilet?

Yes. Cockroaches can climb up through your toilet.

Toilets have a water trap to prevent this from happening.

But if toilets go unused for long periods, then these traps will dry out.

Water may dry out if you are on vacation if you have a big home with a restroom that does not get used.

To prevent this, regularly flush the toilets.

What to Pour Down The Drain To Get Rid of Cockroaches?

To kill the cockroaches in your drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the pipe, followed by ½ cup of distilled white vinegar.

Close or cover the drain for 3-5 minutes, then pour several cups of boiling water down the drain.

Baking soda is another natural substance you can use to kill roaches.

And, when it comes to cockroaches, they’re quite deadly.

When ingested, the baking soda destroys the roaches digestive system, which causes them to die.

That’s because roaches don’t have a gastrointestinal system to release the gas from the baking soda.

After ingestion, roaches will die between 24 or 48 hours..

What is a P-trap?

A P-trap is a water trap.

It is a device that prevents fumes and other insects from entering your home through the pipe.

Other names for water traps are Straps and U traps.

Will a Water Trap Stop Cockroaches?

Yes. Water traps are effective at stopping cockroaches from getting into your home through your drain.

That said, water traps are rendered useless at this when dry,

For water traps to work against roaches, it needs to have sufficient water.

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