Dealing With Cockroaches Coming Up Sink Drains


Cockroaches are one of the more persistent and frustrating insects that may cause a pest infestation in a home or building, and their ability to live for weeks without food or water, and in extreme conditions, is part of this. One potential location where you may see cockroaches if they’re invading your home, due to their preference for water if possible, is climbing up out of your sink drains.

At A-1 Exterminators, we’re happy to provide a wide range of pest control services, ranging from insect control solutions that include cockroaches and numerous others up to rodent control and even bird control via high-quality Bird Barrier products. Why might you see cockroaches coming up in your sink drains, and what can you do about this to prevent an infestation from forming or continuing in your home? Here’s a primer on everything you should know if you spot these harmful pests in your drains.

Why Cockroaches Sometimes Come Up in Drains

While cockroaches are versatile and adaptable, they do have preferences. Generally, they prefer to live in warm, moist and dark environments, locations they will attempt to access by crawling through a number of extremely small holes or cracks.

And in many cases, your home or building’s drain pipes serve as ideal locations for them. Especially for pipe areas that are not visible to the naked eye, it’s common to see certain cockroach types dwell in them, and even crawl up into pipes to escape flood waters during high rains or even major flushing periods. If there are any holes or cracks in your pipes, these will raise the risks here – they may allow cockroaches inside. One of the most common cockroach types that may invade your drains it the American cockroach, which is found throughout the US.

Identification and Removal of Entry Points

If you have noticed cockroaches in your sink drain (or any similar location) and are looking to remove them on a DIY basis, the primary goal here is to remove their access points, as well as food and water sources that may attract them. Here are some of the specific areas to attend to:

  • Pipes: As we noted above, pipes are often a prime location for cockroaches that have invaded your home. If you believe this to be the case, use a flashlight to inspect your pipes as closely as possible, especially in accessible areas like under your sink or behind your washing machine. If you see light shining through, even in a small crack, a cockroach can make its way through this – you should seal this area well using caulking, plus consider calling a professional plumber for pipe repair.
  • Crevices and holes: As you’re performing this basic pipe inspection, also look for openings like crevices or holes near the pipe areas. If you find any, use caulk, plaster or cement to seal them – or duct tape for a temporary fix while you wait on assistance from a plumber.
  • Leaks: Another possible source of cockroaches in the drain is pooling water, which puddles up if your faucet is leaking and provides a moisture source they’ll be attracted to. If you see standing water in or around your faucet, check it for leaks and consider hiring a plumber to replace them.
  • Gaps and walls: Also check for gaps around pipes, holes in the walls near your pipe entries, or any other openings that may allow cockroaches to move around easily. Also look for things like food crumbs and debris, which might be attracting them. Remove these sources and seal these openings whenever possible.

No Bleach

For some who discover cockroaches in their sink drain, there may be a temptation to pour bleach down the drain and kill them. This is not advisable, for two reasons: For one, bleach may only be partially effective with killing roaches – it may not work for some of them, especially for larger infestations. For another, pouring bleach directly down the drain runs the risk of damaging the pipes through corrosion, especially if you’ve poured other chemicals down the drain in the recent past.

If your infestation is large enough that extermination is required, call our team for professional assistance instead of attempting solutions like bleach.

Future Prevention

Here are some basic tips that will help prevent future infestations of cockroaches in your drains:

  • Garbage cans: If you have garbage cans in your kitchen, bathroom or any other location where drains are present, they may serve as a conduit for cockroaches. Remove waste and trash regularly, and perhaps even consider moving the garbage to a location further from the sink.
  • Drain care: Keep kitchen drains clean regularly, using hot water and basic sink cleaner products. At night, keep drains covered – cockroaches are generally nocturnal, and tend to move around most at night as they forage for food.
  • Counters and appliances: Speaking of basic cleaning, it should be maintained for areas like your counters, appliances and any other items that are close to sinks. Don’t leave dishes with caked-on food debris in the sink or on the counter overnight, for instance, and generally work to improve your kitchen hygiene in ways that will make the entire area less attractive to pests.

Professional Assistance

For any of these areas, whether you need help with identifying cockroaches, securing entry points or exterminating an existing infestation, call on our pros for assistance. We have extensive experience with cockroaches and other roach forms, and we’ll help you spot the signs and engineer full removal – plus future prevention of further cockroach infestation.

For more on cockroaches in sink drains and how to deal with them, or to learn about any of our pest control services, speak to the staff at A-1 Exterminators today.

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