Last Updated February 25th, 2023: Cockroaches can make almost every room a home under the right conditions. Most people think they only invade kitchens, but that’s not the case. Most kitchens have many windows connected to the outdoors, but the average bathroom has one. The first step to preventing a cockroach infestation in your lavatory is to deduct how they gained access to it. We’ll cover everything there is to know about cockroaches in bathroom, how they get in, and how to get rid of this bathroom infestation!
Cockroaches In Your Bathroom:
Cockroaches get into bathrooms in various ways. These entry points include drains, crevices in skirting boards, leaky pipes, and small cracks in walls or ceilings. Cockroaches sneak through other areas of your home and then journey to your restroom. Moisture and human food attract bugs.
Pouring white vinegar, baking soda, disinfectants, and insecticides into your bathroom drain will not permanently solve your cockroach infestation. It will cost you money and only help for a few days if you are lucky. Use hot scalding water as a free solution that sends roaches scurrying back to the sewer. Then you cover up any cracks or holes so they can’t resurface and do whatever you can to keep your bathroom dry because they love damp places.
In this guide, we will discuss in more detail how cockroach infestations happen in your lavatory and what you can do to prevent this situation.
Why Are Roaches Coming Into Your Bathroom?
Bathrooms attract roaches more than most people know. This room provides all the conditions it needs to survive and stay well fed. Some of these conditions include:
Bathrooms are water havens for an insect who loves to drink this life-giving liquid. You will find them drinking it from your sink, toilet, and shower drain. It’s an important reason why you should wipe everything down daily with a microfiber towel.
Sufficient Hiding Places
Cockroaches live a very high-stress life with predators and humans out to kill them anytime. Hence, finding spots to conceal themselves until it’s safe to come back out can mean life or death. Bathrooms give them this sense of safety with hiding places like:
- Garbage Bin
- Behind The Toilet
- Bathroom Cabinet
- Surrounding Shower Area
- Under The Tub
Thankfully we do have a guide on how to get roaches out of their hiding spots!
Cockroaches don’t have bones but have an exoskeleton instead. Because of this, the tiniest holes become an issue because they get right through. The smallest hole they can access is around 1/6th of their body width.
After a long day at work, everyone loves a nice hot shower with lots of steam to feel relaxed. Your warm shower creates a climate that attracts roaches because they thrive in them. A hot bathroom becomes more of a problem when the other areas in your home are cold.
Possibility of Finding Food
It’s not the usual place to find cockroaches eating, but it does happen because of the few food options available. Some of the sources include:
- Toothpaste residue
- Soap bars
- Flavored skin care creams
- Toilet tissue
- Used Tampons, ear cotton swabs, and any other female hygiene goods
Closets and bathrooms tend to be the areas in your home with the least amount of light. Other places like the kitchen and the living room have a small light for visibility when moving around the house. More cockroaches arrive when fewer humans frequently come in and out, making bathrooms the perfect place for a cockroach infestation.
It’s the perfect location to build a nest under places like drain pipes. Take a look at our guide on identifying a cockroach nest! They are so discrete and clever that you’ll be left wondering how roaches enter bathrooms the way they do.
How Roaches Enter Bathrooms
Most people don’t know how a bathroom can attract roaches nor how it’s possible to gain access to one. The possibilities are endless, but they often arrive in this room without going through other parts of your home first. It could also be structural defects in how your home was built that leave cracks significant enough for entry to be easy. If you find bathroom cockroaches, start with these access points to figure out how they got in:
Drains and pipes are damp places roaches use to access your home from sewer systems. When they get old and start to break down, cracks form on the pipes that give them a way in from an outside perimeter. The moment you notice cracks or small holes like this, act quickly, or your cockroach problem will worsen by the day.
If you don’t act fast with a temporary quick fix, you’ll see roaches entering your bathroom and increasing their population. From this point, they will start to spread to other rooms in your house with similar water sources. Most plumbing in single-family homes points to the bathroom, which is why pest control experts spray down your drains.
Apartment renters and condo owners encounter more problems when dealing with damaged drain pipes. No matter how clean a person you are, all it takes is one neighbor with a cockroach infestation for it to spread to your home through the walls. The situation worsens if your neighbor is irresponsible and doesn’t handle the cockroach problem immediately because the population will grow daily. Once there’s not enough space or food next door, you become the second place to visit.
Even if they do handle the issue and fumigate for cockroach control, it’s a high possibility they will make a run for it to your apartment. The pipes help them accomplish this by becoming portals to unexplored living spaces.
Cracks and Crevices in Your Walls
Houses start to break down as they age in many ways, and one of these includes forming holes and cracks on the outside walls. Common external wall areas to watch for are paneling, trimming, foundation skirt, and edges because they form crevices with time. If ignored and the fissures become more prominent, leaks and the overall structure will continue to fall apart. The bad news is that a cockroach doesn’t need to wait this long since they can get in your bathroom once the minor holes start forming.
The International Pest control conducted a study to prove that even giant German Cockroaches can get into holes as tiny as 3mm. People that don’t know about this research ignore spots like this, and this lack of knowledge can form a severe cockroach infestation in your bathroom.
Baseboards and Tiles
Another part of your bathroom to focus on should be the baseboards and tiles. A roach can get through the foundations of a vinyl board or a marble tile if there are small holes. If you buy the cheaper ones, tiles crack easily, and it doesn’t have to be the entire square. All it takes is a tiny crack on a corner of the tile to open the floodgates for cockroaches. It may seem like a lot of work to replace the one square tile, but avoiding the headaches of a cockroach infestation is worth it.
Wooden baseboards change shape when they get wet and start to chip with time, especially if you are a fan of a steamy hot shower. Even if you hire a craftsman to put them in correctly, they last a good amount of years but not forever. It’s because you are using your shower at least twice a day, exposing the baseboards to constant moisture, which adds up.
Spaces Under Doors
It’s common for cockroaches to travel through your home by using the gaps under your door. Using this method could lead to your bathroom if they discover that your kitchen is too clean and all food sources are sealed.
Some people leave their bathroom doors open, but if you have the habit of closing the door, they will take advantage of any space or crack under the door they can find. There is usually always a way to get into your bathroom, no matter how hard you try to prevent roaches from gaining access.
Roaches Coming Out Of Your Toilet
Many readers ask if cockroaches can get in through the toilet the way they do via the drain pipes. Can they travel through your neighborhood’s sewer systems and straight up through your home?
The good news is that this is fake news, and we will explain why you don’t need to worry about this myth.
Why Roaches Can’t Breach Your Toilet
If you live in a modern country, it’s impossible for your toilet not to have a water trap. Water traps are shaped like pipes at the bottom of your toilet. The function of the water trap is to block the gasses from entering your bathroom from the sewer systems because it leaves a bad smell.
As you may have guessed, the interior of a water trap contains water. It forms an airtight seal to prevent smelly gasses from coming to the surface. If a cockroach uses a drain pipe to access your toilet, it will have a lot of swimming to achieve its goal. The likely fate it will suffer is death by drowning after the roach runs out of strength to keep going.
What should you do if you see a roach swimming in your toilet bowl? This scenario is improbable, but here are two possibilities why it happened:
- Toilet not equipped with a water trap
- Toilet is blocked
The smell that surfaces from your toilet in both situations are unpleasant. Without a trap, the odor source comes from the sewer systems. And in the second scenario, having a blocked toilet gives the cockroaches the ability to get around the water trap. The smells can harm your health, so we advise you to contact an emergency plumber to assist you.
Why Are Dead Cockroaches inside the Toilet?
On the way to the bathroom, you encounter a cockroach no longer alive on the water’s surface. One possibility of how the unlucky roach got there is that it was thirsty and needed a drink but slipped in by accident and died. If the material of your toilet bowl is slippery, its ability to recover and scuttle back up was impossible, so it suffocated under the water. Since cockroaches can drown, it’s not unlikely that they met their demise in the toilet.
Submerged underwater, a roach can stay alive for 3 to 7 minutes without being able to breathe. This proves it’s not easy for a roach to die by drowning. Before it reached your toilet bowl, it could’ve come into contact with poison in other parts of your bathroom, and it took a while to kick in.
Do Bathroom Cockroaches Arrive Via Sewers?
Sewers attract bugs of all shapes and sizes. Your bathroom is linked to the sewer, so if you face a cockroach infestation, the culprit you need to inspect or have a professional examine is the sewage system or the tank if you have one. It’s possible that cockroaches:
- Targeted your home for a reason
- Got access through tiny cracks in your pipe drain
- Located a gap somewhere on your drain below the base of your residence
Can A Cockroach Infestation Only Be In the Bathroom?
The typical infestation does not originate in the bathroom, so if you see a cockroach, the source is likely from another area. You will often see them in the bathroom because there are many things to get stuck in that will prevent roaches from escaping back to the nest. The bathtub is one place you will find cockroaches trying to climb out like crabs in a barrel. Other polished surfaces that are slippery include:
- Enamel and stainless steel sinks
- Shower tubs
- A drain pipe
- Toilet bowl
Should I Panic If I See 1 Cockroach?
Even seeing a single roach should make you want to sound the alarms because it means that there are others nearby ready to reproduce and multiply.
At this point, the best advice would be to scan the entire home because they could be anywhere cockroaches like to keep nests. Sticking only to the bathroom will lower your chances of finding the lair, and your problem will escalate.
If you are lucky, that one roach might be the only bug around, and you don’t need to fear a massive infestation. But the important thing is to take action as soon as possible to make sure that is the case so you can eliminate them if you have to.
Dealing With Roaches Coming Out of Your Bathroom Drain
Seeing a cockroach scurry out of your sink drain when brushing your teeth is enough to frighten anyone. It’s even worse when you are taking a shower, and one crawls up your leg, causing you to almost fall. These situations are challenging to avoid because:
- Pipe drains are not easy to clean
- It’s hard to access the interior of the pipe
The question remains, what methods can you follow to prevent cockroaches from crawling up your pipe again?
What Do You Put In Drain to Eliminate Cockroaches?
The advantage of having internet access is getting any information you want, but it’s not always accurate. Always ensure when taking advice online that the person writing the guide is a pest control expert. Following an amateur giving false information could break your pipes or worsen the infestation.
Some of the solutions recommended by a specialist include:
Bleach is a powerful cleaner used to whiten fabrics and clean other things in your home. This chemical is also used to prevent roaches from entering your home and can eliminate them if they do. The drawback to using it is that it destroys your pipes and corrodes materials like plastic and metal. This corrosion process creates cracks or crevices inside the drain pipe, giving more cockroaches options for getting into your bathroom. In worst-case scenarios, your pipes weaken to the point where they burst.
Because of this, we do not recommend using bleach to eliminate cockroaches from your drain. Only use it if it’s all you have in the home but make sure to diminish its potency with water. It will not be as effective as the options below, but it’s better than nothing.
Insecticides are the go-to products to poison roaches. The issue is that 90% of brands on the market are meant for fumigations and used for spraying directly on pests. You may or may not eliminate some cockroaches if you put the liquid down the drain, and it could also cause bad things to happen.
Since insecticide chemicals are incredibly deadly, they could contaminate your water source and harm your family’s health. The toxic poison may take a few pests out, but the risks are not worth it if you have other safer options.
The Journal of Economic Entomology conducted a research experiment to prove that insecticides remain in your soil for 2 to 3 years. It’s precisely why Home Owners Associations (HOA) in major cities ban residents from pouring insecticides down the drain.
#3 Baking Soda And Vinegar
Mixing vinegar with baking soda is a natural solution to assist in unblocking pipes and killing cockroaches. Once combined, a soapy liquid is formed that is safe for humans to smell, unlike the previous two options. Some say it performs wonders in unclogging pipes and killing cockroaches, but others consider this mixture slightly helpful.
We recommend experimenting with this solution and moving on if it doesn’t solve your problem. The good news is that since it’s all-natural, it will not crack your pipes or poison the local water supply, unlike bleach or insecticides.
#4 Boiling Water
Using boiling water to eliminate cockroaches climbing up your drain is a good idea that costs you no money. It will not damage your pipes, and the HOA will not ban you from using it to handle pests. If the water is boiling, roaches will not stand a chance and die when this liquid makes contact with them.
Before testing the technique, there are some things you should know first. The water must be as hot as possible for this method to work. Next, once it’s poured into the cool drain pipes, the hot water will lose effectiveness the more it travels. This will not be good if the roaches are too deep in the drain because, by the time the water makes contact, it will be cooled down.
Other Natural Cockroach Solutions Include:
How to Prevent Cockroaches From Getting in Your Bathroom
You can be as clean as you want, but you will eventually see a roach or two in your bathroom if your home is in a warm climate. The good news is there are steps you can take to decrease the chance of this happening below:
Clean The Bathroom
The dirtier your bathroom is, the more likely cockroaches will appear. Dirty bathrooms allow them to enjoy:
- Wet spots all over the area
- Skin Cells
If you are habitual about keeping your bathroom tidy, roaches will take a pass and move on. Always take out and properly store hygiene products that lure cockroaches.
#1 Soap Bars
Never leave your soap bars out after a shower because cockroaches feast on them due to their high oil levels. If you buy organic brands, it’s even more important to store these because they are made with animal fat. Invest in an inexpensive soap container and take your bar out only when you need to shower. You can buy liquid soap if this feels like a lot of work.
#2 Toilet Paper
Keep this hygiene product in its container until you need to use the toilet. Cockroaches love paper because it is edible and if they leave a lot of bacteria behind on it after they finish their meal.
Always inspect the drains in the bathroom sink and tub for hair after you use them to never leave hair behind because they love this organic material.
Ensure your garbage containers are always sealed so roaches don’t squeeze through. We recommend buying a premium quality bin and commercial strength garbage bags to guarantee cockroaches don’t make this their dining area.
Install Water Traps to Sinks
Toilets are not the only places you can install water traps. You can also install them in the sink drains. With these traps installed in sinks, you will not face any blocked pipes and keep roaches away.
Never do temporary fixes when dealing with leaky pipes. If you do this, the pipes will break again, especially if the weather is freezing. Winter time is when cockroaches seek shelter in warm places like your bathroom.
To ensure these pests stay out permanently, pay a professional to come and fix everything correctly the first time; it’ll be the best investment you make.
Final Thoughts On Roaches In Your Bathroom
Unfortunately for all homeowners, your bathroom naturally provides a habitable area to live for cockroaches. This means you need to pay extra attention to the state and cleanliness of your bathroom to ensure you are feeding a cockroach infestation.
If you are dealing with an infestation in your home, we’ve created the ultimate guide on how to get rid of cockroaches rom your home!