Can You Flush A Cockroach Down The Toilet?

Cockroaches are one of the most invasive and disgusting pests that can invade your home. You may resort to some home remedies for killing cockroaches and are now left with dead cockroaches lying around your home. You may even have trapped some live cockroaches that have been hiding in your home.

Either way, you now need to dispose of these roaches dead or alive. Flushing them down the toilet seems an obvious and safe method, right? They won’t like the water and the flush will take them out and away from your home, but beware this may not be the most ideal solution.

You can flush a roach down your toilet, but make sure it is dead first. You can’t kill a cockroach by simply flushing it because it can hold its breath for up to 30 minutes. Flushing a live cockroach will send it to your sewer line, alive. From here it could make its way back into your home.

Live Cockroaches Flushed Down Your Toilet

Flushing a live cockroach down your toilet is not advisable. It is not always the case, but there is a big risk that the roach will find its way back into your home.

These creatures are hearty and can survive in extreme conditions, including underwater. If you do happen to flush a live cockroach down your toilet, it will likely find its way back to the nearest water source in your home. It could also use this same path to re-enter your home, multiply, and you would have the same problem all over again. There are two reasons cockroaches could return after being flushed:

The Flush Not Strong Enough

The main risk of flushing a cockroach down your toilet is that it will be brought back up if your flush is not strong enough, or the pressure in your pipes isn’t sufficient to keep it down. The roach may get stuck in a loop, where it is being pushed up and then down again to the septic tank or sewage system but then back into your home. Cockroaches don’t technically swim, but their leg movements in a frantic action can move them through a small body of water successfully.

single cockroach in a toilet

Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes, and they may survive a slow flush. If the roach goes down the toilet this doesn’t mean that it is gone forever. Slow flushing or a weak push may cause the roach to return from where it came. This is especially true if you have a second-floor apartment or home, and the roach finds itself in the sewer line.

Escapes The Sewer And Returns

When you flush a toilet, the water is pushed out through your pipes and into the septic tank or sewer line.

The roach will end up at the same destination as your waste, but it won’t be dead when it arrives. It could crawl out of the hole in your septic tank, where most homeowners are less likely to check. The roach could then just exit this sewer system and make its way back into your home.

Dead Cockroaches Flushed Down Your Toilet

Flushing a dead cockroach down your toilet can be done. You may want to wrap the insect in a tissue or paper towel before you flush it. This ensures that the roach will not leave any staining or residue on your pipes, and it won’t clog your toilet.

You should also be careful to use a strong flush and keep an eye out for signs of cockroach reappearance, as mentioned above.

Dead cockroaches will still float as live ones do, as their bodies are filled with air. However, as soon as they lose their air supply and fill with water instead, roaches will sink to the bottom of your toilet bowl and remain there until you flush again.

Flushing is an efficient approach to get rid of roaches once they’ve been killed. However, be sure it’s really dead; roaches are talented at pretending to be dead.

Can I Flush Cockroach Eggs Down The Toilet?

If you flush roach eggs down your toilet, can they hatch in the sewer system and multiply?

Flushing doesn’t necessarily mean the eggs are getting rid of this pest for good. While flushing your toilets regularly will keep your house clean, it won’t necessarily kill all of the offspring that could still be living in your pipes or septic tank.

Roach eggs are also unlikely to drown. They’re protected by a strong, protective sac. It’s natural that not all of the eggs will reach their destination, but the issue is that not all of them need to do so in order for the colony to survive.

Before flushing the eggs, make sure they’re crushed. Otherwise, the eggs might hatch in your pipes or sewer, resulting in a mess. They can mature into adults once surrounded by plenty of food and water.

If you flush roach eggs down your toilet without properly disposing of them, they will simply continue to grow and multiply in the sewer system. The likelihood of this happening is low, but it is still possible if the conditions are right.

Other Causes Of Roaches In a Toilet Bowl

Aside from you flushing them, there are other reasons why you may find roaches in your toilet bowl.

If you keep finding cockroaches in your toilets, it’s possible that they’re simply traveling to the bathroom for food and water. If this is the case, then making sure there is no food in your house will go a long way in keeping the pests out of your toilet.

If there is food around, cockroaches will continue to enter your house and then attempt to go into your bathrooms. And if they’re hungry enough, they may just end up in the toilet bowl itself.

Bacteria, germs, and other pathogens grow on the surface of unclean toilets. Roaches will come to a filthy toilet that is frequently used but seldom cleaned because they can eat human feces. They crawl over the toilet seat while looking for urine and feces droplets splattered on it.

Many cockroaches in a toilet about to be flushed

Can Cockroaches Come Up Through The Toilet?

Another possible reason for roaches in the toilet bowl is that your plumbing isn’t sealed properly. If you have rustling or something disturbing them under the roof, then they will run away just like any other intruder would. They may even head to the safest place they can think of—your toilets.

Roaches can easily slip through drains, pipes, and faucets and show up in your toilet without warning. You should not be surprised to find a cockroach has come up through a toilet if the conditions are right and the plumbing system favors them in a way that allows quick and efficient movements without prolonged time fully submerged.

How To Get Rid Of Roaches In Your Toilet Bowl

If you have a problem with cockroaches in your toilet, there’s a simple process you can follow to get rid of them. Although bleach may seem like an ideal solution, it’s probably going to need large quantities to kill roaches. Bleach is something that roaches hate to be in contact with, but won’t die unless fully submerged for a prolonged amount of time.

Our advice is to use a soapy water mixture. Roaches can drown to death if they are fully submerged in soapy water because the water tension is broken by the soap and causes the roach to sink then eventually drown.

Pour some dish soap and water (2 parts soap to 10 parts water) into a bowl, then down the toilet. This should drown the roaches within a few hours.

Another homemade solution that may not be thought of as a cockroach killer is Listerine mouthwash. This is because it contains the scent of peppermint which repels cockroaches. This could serve as a quick and easy solution to cockroaches in your toilet if you mix some Listerine with water and pour it down your toilet bowl.

How To Dispose Of A Cockroach

Flushing a cockroach down the toilet, alive or dead, is not our advised method to dispose of a cockroach.

The best way to dispose of a cockroach is to first ensure that it is dead. Stepping on a cockroach firmly with a foot will usually kill it. Using pesticides designed to kill roaches is also an option.

Once you know that the cockroach is dead, place it in a plastic bag, seal the bag tightly then throw it into your outside garbage. If you are worried about the cockroach still being alive and biting through the plastic, double or triple bag the cockroach to be sure there’s no easy way for it to escape.

How to Pick Up a Dead Cockroach

You shouldn’t pick up a dead cockroach with your hands. Cockroaches are carriers of bacteria that can cause food poisoning, gastroenteritis, or even typhoid fever.

After you have killed the roach, use a piece of cardboard to slide the cockroach into a disposable container such as a takeaway food container or a jar, and then dispose of the bug in the garbage.

If the container is sealed tightly with a lid then there’s little chance of any bacteria getting out when disposing of this dead insect in your outside garbage can.

Use disposable gloves when removing dead roaches from your home, and be sure to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after disposing of the cockroach. If you are using gloves that you usually use for household chores such as washing dishes, it is recommended that you throw these out after coming in contact with cockroaches to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Using other household items such as a dustpan and brush is also not recommended as this will spread bacteria further. Using 100% disposable items is the best option when disposing of dead cockroaches.

Can you flush a cockroach down the toilet?

How To Prevent Roaches in Your Toilet

The best way to prevent cockroaches in your toilet bowl is to ensure that there are no openings or places that could allow the roaches easy access or hiding places.

Caulk around the toilets and seal any gaps, cracks, holes, or joints between other surfaces such as floorboards and walls to prevent access.

If you find that cockroaches are often in or around your toilet, then try cleaning the bowl more regularly. This will ensure that any grime particles and other matter aren’t left behind where roaches can access and feed on it.

If you’re concerned about a roach infestation in your sewer system, speak to your landlord to see if the problem can be addressed or call a professional pest extermination company who will have specialist equipment to check for an infestation and tackle it.


Flushing a roach is usually an efficient approach to get rid of it, however, we suggest you ensure the roach is dead before doing so, or they may return back up your plumbing or out of your sewage system and into the house again.

If you do have live cockroaches in your toilet bowl, we suggest using soapy water to drown them. Cockroaches can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes but will find the composition of soap or detergent in water difficult to survive, so will ensure they don’t come back.

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