Easy Tips to Rid Your Sink and Drain of Roaches

Cockroaches are unwelcome visitors in any home. They can carry and spread dangerous pathogens, contaminate food and sometimes even trigger asthma attacks.


If you see even a single cockroach, living or dead, you may have an infestation on your hands. Getting rid of cockroaches can be challenging because they're hardy creatures that can live without food and water for a long period of time and can withstand extreme conditions.

Related: What Do Cockroaches Eat?

However, common household roaches still want food and water and prefer to make their homes in your bathroom or kitchen, where they can access both. So it's not uncommon to see one of these pests climb up out of your drain. If you find cockroaches in your drain, there are a few things you can do. Read on to learn more.

Why do cockroaches come up through drains?

No one wants to see something crawling up out of the drain while they're trying to brush their teeth or rinse some dishes. But why does this happen? Cockroaches love warm, moist, dark environments and are adept at entering homes through even the smallest cracks. One cockroach generally associated with entering homes through drains is the American cockroach.

Pipes can be difficult to maintain, especially when they're usually tucked away out of sight. Depending upon your locale, cockroaches may dwell in the sewer. With heavy rains, these pests may crawl up into pipes to escape flood waters, causing a problem in your home. Small cracks or holes in your pipes are a great way for cockroaches to squeeze in, and your pipes create that perfect environment where cockroach infestations thrive.

How to get rid of cockroach entry points

Removing cockroach access points into your home can go a long way to prevent an infestation. It's also important to eliminate food sources, as well as the sources of water that may attract cockroaches. Here are some tips to help make your home less appealing to cockroaches:

Inspect and replace pipes

Use a flashlight to identify cracks or holes in the pipes underneath your sink or behind your washing machine, for instance. If you see an area where light shines through, it's likely a cockroach could squeeze through. Similarly, sewer gas can be smelled or a discharge can be spotted in the pipes if there are holes. While caulking any cracks or holes you spot can be a temporary fix, it's recommended to have a professional repair or replace your pipes.

Fix leaky faucets

Leaky or dripping faucets will leave small puddles that cockroaches will use as water sources. If you notice that there's standing water in or around a faucet, there may be a leak. Have a professional plumber inspect your issue and make the proper repairs.

Seal up any crevices and holes around your drain pipes

These areas can be entry points for roaches. You can use duct tape as a quick fix for cracks and crevices. For a longer-term solution, use silicone caulk, plaster or cement. A professional plumber is, again, recommended.

Look for gaps around the pipes under your sink

Roaches can get through very small gaps. Fill these gaps with foam or a silicone sealant. For larger holes, plug them with copper mesh or steel wool before sealing.

Address holes in your walls

In particular, look for any holes in your walls where pipes may come through. These holes can be filled with expanding insulation foam to seal off the space.

While you may be concerned about excess water attracting roaches, food crumbs and debris are the biggest magnet for roaches. In terms of what may be construed as a water source, water in the pipe "trap" stays there, giving roaches a water supply to drink from. That water serves a purpose to keep sewer gases out and actually keeps sewer originating American roaches out, too.

Although it's important to be sure you minimize any avenues that may attract roaches, excess food, crumbs, and grease build-up make for the most attractive environment for cockroaches. Making regular cleaning a routine practice can help to make your sink and drain less attractive to roaches.

Tips to help prevent cockroach infestations in your drains

Even if you've eliminated their entry points and water sources, roaches can be resourceful. It's best to take extra precautions to help prevent an infestation. Here are a few tips that can help:

Move or remove garbage cans

Garbage cans in your kitchen or bathroom can practically be a buffet for roaches. Remove food waste and trash regularly to reduce food sources for cockroaches and other pests.

Keep drains covered at night

Roaches are mostly nocturnal and will likely forage around your home during the night. Covering drains with a stopper or screen can help prevent them from getting in.

Keep your kitchen drain clean

Rinse your drain with hot water and a kitchen sink cleaner to get rid of debris and food particles that may attract roaches.

Keep counters and appliances clean

Don't leave any trash, debris or food out on your countertops at any time but especially at night when roaches are most active. Do not allow dishes to remain unwashed overnight or caked with food debris. Practicing good kitchen hygiene can help to deter roaches from congregating.

These tips can certainly help you prevent cockroach infestations, but these bugs are not easy to send packing once they're in. If you're still struggling with roaches, a professional can help.

Important: Don't pour bleach down your drain

If you're wondering what to pour down the drain to kill roaches, you may think about reaching for the bleach. While bleach may work to kill roaches, pouring this chemical down your drain is largely ineffective and can end up doing more harm than good to your plumbing.

Terminix® can help

Even with the most valiant efforts, cockroaches may still cause you issues. If you have a cockroach problem, contact us to tackle the problem once and for all.


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