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Can You Flush Cockroaches Down the Toilet?

Finding cockroaches in your home is never a good thing.

If you see one, there’s a good chance there are more hiding in your walls.

It’s also difficult to get rid of a cockroach infestation because the insects are adaptable and can reproduce quickly. 

There are many ways to kill cockroaches and dispose of them, but I always recommend calling in a professional to do the dirty work for you.

You can flush a cockroach down the toilet, but it’s best to kill it first. Cockroaches can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes, and if your toilet doesn’t have a trap, they could easily climb back up and get back into your home. 

Can You Flush a Live Cockroach?

A cockroach floating in the toilet.

You can flush a cockroach, but that doesn’t mean it will kill it. Cockroaches can’t swim, but they are agile and can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. 

That means the cockroach could easily make it to your sewer system, where it could survive and build a nest or climb back up into your home (or your neighbor’s home) through the drains.

If you are going to flush a cockroach, it’s best to make sure the cockroach is dead first.

Can You Flush Cockroach Eggs?

You can flush a cockroach egg sac if you find it, but it could survive the trip from your toilet to your sewer system. 

Cockroaches love dark, wet areas – it’s where they thrive best – so if you flush an egg sac and it hatches, you’ve just sent the baby cockroaches to paradise where they can grow up and find their way into your house or other houses in your neighborhood. 

Instead of flushing the egg sac, it’s better to ensure it’s dead by soaking it in alcohol or freezing it. 

Can You Drown Cockroaches?

A dead cockroach floating on a glass of water.

You can drown a cockroach, but it takes a long time and some effort. 

Unlike most animals and other insects, cockroaches do not breathe through mouths or noses. They breathe through openings in their bodies called spiracles.

Because of this adaptation, they can hold their breath for long periods of time by closing the spiracles and trapping oxygen inside their bodies. 

If you wanted to drown a cockroach, you would have to hold its entire body underwater (or trap it in water) for up to an hour.

Can Cockroaches Come Through Your Toilet?

If your toilet does not have a water trap, cockroaches can use it to infiltrate your bathroom.

While most modern toilets do have water traps, this is not the case for all of them or all drains. 

If you have drain problems, an older home, or a unique system, there may not be anything blocking the cockroaches from entering your home through the toilet. 

What Causes Cockroaches In a Toilet?

A dead cockroach floating in the toilet.

Cockroaches are attracted to certain scents as well as water. 

They need water to survive, and if your toilet has a leak or condensation around the bowl, the roaches may be in it as a way to get a drink. 

Sometimes roaches can also live in sewer systems and may travel up your sewer pipes to get into your home. You may find them in your toilet as a result. 

How Can You Prevent Cockroaches From Coming Up Through Your Toilet?

The best way to stop cockroaches from coming up through your toilet is to make sure you only flush cockroaches that are dead and keep the bowl clean. 

You can also keep the lid down to prevent cockroaches from exiting the toilet. 

If you keep seeing cockroaches in your toilet, there could be a nest deep in your sewer, and you may need to call a professional exterminator to take care of the problem.

What is the Best Way to Dispose of a Cockroach?

Close-up photo of a dead cockroach on the floor.

The best way to dispose of a cockroach is to kill it first and dispose of it however you choose. 

Regardless of the method, it’s best to get the carcass as far away from your home as possible. 

Other insects and even other roaches may be attracted to the scent of the dead body and could be tempted to visit your home.

What Are the Best Ways to Kill Cockroaches?

There are many ways you can kill cockroaches; some options are more affordable than others or work better for certain people. 

If you cannot kill the cockroaches yourself, consider calling a professional exterminator to help you deal with the problem. 

Traps – These small devices attract cockroaches and trap them inside, where they die. 

Bait – Many baits attract roaches. The bait contains pesticides, and when it’s shared with other cockroaches, it will help kill them all. 

Sticky Tape – Sticky tape is so sticky that roaches walk on it and can’t walk off. They are trapped and eventually die of dehydration. 

Pesticides – You can buy many different types of pesticides that kill cockroaches. However, confirm with a professional what’s best to use, as some roach species are immune to certain store-bought pesticides.


If you have a cockroach problem, there are many ways you can deal with the situation. 

Flushing can help you remove dead cockroaches, but it’s not an effective way to kill them. 

It’s best to kill the roach before you flush it. 

You can kill cockroaches with alcohol, fly swatters (or a heavy shoe), or traps, or you can call a professional exterminator who will spray your home with a pesticide that will kill all the roaches.