Do Roaches Come Up Through Drains (If Yes, How To Prevent?)

If there's one place that cockroaches thrive, it'd have to be in the drainage system. To begin with, roaches need water to survive. Besides providing lots of moisture, drainages also provide food and protect the nasty creatures from freezing temperatures.

And if you know anything about roaches, it's that they prefer to hide and breed in the dark, moist places__sounds precisely like your kitchen drainage, right? 

So not only do roaches come up through drains into your house, but they will also breed an entire colony in your sewer system!

Roaches are extremely sneaky about getting into homes and businesses. And despite your diligent efforts to keep doors ever-shut, windows screened, and the house immaculately clean, if roaches are determined to get into your house, they will find the most unthinkable entryways. And drains are not an exemption!

Perhaps you have tried numerous unsuccessful ways to deal with roaches crawling up through your drain? No worries. This guide provides you with the safest, most effective ways to prevent roaches from coming up through drains. 

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Where Do Sewer Cockroaches Come From? 

Numerous types of roaches can live in the sewer. But the American roaches are the ones most commonly found in sewers.  

Sewer cockroaches generally measure 1.5-2 inches in length. They are relatively flat with a reddish-brown and sometimes dark-brown color. On a closer inspection, you will quickly notice six legs and two long antennae that resemble threads. Touch their exoskeleton, and you will be surprised at just how hard it feels, making it extremely difficult to squish. 

These roaches can slip through the small openings in your drain. And the chances are that they're not coming from the drain itself. 

Sometimes, you will see them bustle about the drain when really, they are coming from the ground level via the drain into your house. That's the reason why pouring chemicals down the drain may not kill roaches but rather damage the system. 

Do Roaches Come Up Through Bathroom Drain? 

Roaches are filthy, and they don't discriminate entry points as long as they can squeeze through. So yes, roaches can come up through the bathroom drain. 

Whether used infrequently or on a daily basis, drains are a bridge between your house and the outdoors. If there are small gaps or crevices in the drains and pipes, roaches will effortlessly slip in. 

Can Roaches Come Up Through The Shower Drain? 

Needless to say, roaches will come up through the shower drain as easily as they do other drains. Actually, if roaches played favorites, shower drains would be their best spot! Why? You may wonder.

Perhaps you don't know that cockroaches are omnivores. This means that they eat plants and meat, including human flesh. (Yikes!) While they are highly likely to bite your feet and hands, roaches will enjoy your eyelashes, fingernails, and hair just as much. 

These creepy critters have also been found to feed on soap and grime. And the sad truth is, most people rarely clean their shower drains as they do the kitchen drain. The material build-up (hair, fingernails, soaps, etc.) is a big cockroach attractant. 

Luckily, however, most shower drains have protective plugs and covers, making it hard for roaches to pass through. 

Do Roaches Come Up Through Floor Drains?

Again, roaches are not picky about anything! And it should be no surprise if you see them more attracted to the rarely used drains. A good example of such a drain is the floor drain in your basement, and garage__roaches prefer some seclusion. 

Besides, floor drains provide both an uninterrupted stay and direct access to the sewer. These drains are rarely ever in use, and the roaches are barely ever washed down with water. Hence, they have convenient access to your house. 

Can Roaches Come Up Through The Toilet? 

It's highly unlikely, but not impossible! 

Theoretically speaking, roaches can come up through the toilet. However, the toilet has many obstacles that make it extremely hard for the roaches to access your home. Consider the following: 
  • Toilets are almost always built with an internal water trap. This trap acts as a seal, preventing waste and bugs from accessing the toilet bowl. 
  • Toilet bowls are always filled with water to a certain level. This means that roaches and other bugs would have a really difficult time trying to make any progress up the bowl. 
However, if your toilet water trap is broken and the toilet is always dry, cockroaches will climb up pretty easily.

Can Roaches Swim?

If cockroaches can swim, homeowners will be in serious trouble! That's because the nasty pests would easily find a way around the water, paddle up through the drains and enter your house.

Most cockroach species are awful swimmers! But that is not to say that they can't tread in water. Remember that these ancient pests have been around for more than 300 million years. So, they have mastered their way around so many obstacles, including water! Roaches swim, but not in the manner you expect. 

Their method of 'swimming' can best be described as 'floating.'  This method allows roaches to survive both in water and underwater. These intelligent invaders simply close their spiracles, blocking water from entering their bodies. Additionally, roaches can hold their breath for a whopping 40 minutes! In a nutshell, roaches have an easy time coming up through drains. 

Cockroaches can also survive being submerged in the sewage tank and the pressure of a flushing toilet on their rigid exoskeleton. But they can't overcome the water running down your kitchen sink and shower drain. They won't die, but the water will wash them out of your drain. 

Why Do Roaches Come Up through Drains? 

Roaches are ever-busy, unhygienic scavengers! They are extremely opportunistic and will take advantage of any chance they get to access a meal, water, and shelter. 

In addition, if conditions outdoors become unfavorable for them, they'll quickly seek a safer, secluded shelter. Below are some reasons why do roaches come up through drains?


The organic waste passing through drains can be odor-causing, especially if the drains stay uncleaned for long. The kitchen sink can accumulate food residuals while the shower drain accumulates soaps, dead skin cells, and hairs. Roaches are attracted to the resulting smells. 


Roaches are big explorers. They have a preference for venturing into small openings. But the primary reason why roaches will venture out of their hiding spot is if they need food and water.

If by any chance, roaches consider your drain a suitable habitat, they'll be happy to take the route into your house. But if you're constantly draining water down the drains, it'll deter the opportunistic pest. 

Running From Insecticides

Perhaps you recently treated your home or yard with an insecticide poison? That may explain why you're seeing roaches in your drains. Sometimes, cockroach treatments and deterrents may send the pests further into hiding, especially when not applied by a trained pest expert. 

Following Members Of Their Colony

Roaches tend to live in colonies. They nest whenever they find a good hiding spot with adequate food and water. When roaches move, they leave droppings that produce a pheromone which attracts other roaches. The roaches follow these scent trails to your drain, where the rest of the colony is nesting. 


When it rains heavily,  the cockroach nests near sewers will be flooded. Roaches living in these nests will be forced to go out in search of a more suitable and drier home. By chance, these might be the pipes leading to your drains. 

How To Prevent Roaches From Coming Up Through Drains?

The thought of roaches scurrying around your sink is truly disgusting and unsanitary! These filthy pests are responsible for spreading bacteria, viruses, and diseases.

Below are effective steps to prevent roaches from coming up through drains:
  • Inspect your sewerage system and seal all cracks, leaks, and tiny holes using caulk. If need be, contact a plumber to fix any complicated damages. 
  • Use a stopper to cover your drains at night. Roaches are nocturnal pests, meaning they are more active at night. This way, you deny them food during their most active hours, and they'll have no reason to infest, 
  • Keep your sinks dry at all times. Remember that roaches are attracted to moisture like nothing else! Clean your sink and pat it dry every time after it's been used. 
  • If your faucets are leaky, your sink will constantly have stagnant water, and the drain will be moist at all times. That's enough to attract roaches into your drains. 
  • Clean all pipes regularly to get rid of dirt like soap, hairs, dead skin cells, and other organic wastes. Besides providing food for roaches, the clogged waste on pipes makes it easier for the roaches to climb up through drains.
Perhaps you're having a hard time stopping roaches from coming up through drains? Or you just want to skip the tedious and time-consuming hassle of cockroach control? Then you should contact a pest control company near me to get rid of roaches effectively. 

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