Preventing Cockroaches From Living In Your Drains

A cockroach infestation can be quite a headache!

For a start, there is a chance that the roaches will bring diseases into your home and, secondly, make your home dirty. This can increase stress levels and frustration.

It is not easy to eradicate them once they infest your drain. At night, they will climb out and hunt food particles in your kitchen, spreading whatever they have on their feet over your countertops. You may not even be aware of this as you use them to prepare food for you and your family!

Don’t worry; in this post, we will look at some measures you can put in place to get rid of cockroaches from your drains and some preventative measures you can implement to stop them from getting there in the first place.

Preventing Cockroaches From Living In Your Drains

Immediate steps you can take if you have cockroaches in your drains

water flowing down a drain
  • Keep the kitchen drain and sink clean – Once you finish washing the dishes, clean the sink and the drain pipes. Usually, the food particles that remain are what cause the roach infestation. Use any sink cleaner for the cleaning that is also safe for the drain pipes.
  • Keep the counter and table clean – When the cockroaches crawl up the drain, they look for food on counters and floors. Therefore, do not leave any leftover food unattended on the kitchen counter or table because the roaches will feast on it. Make sure to clean the table and floor if you spill food and beverages.
  • Taking the garbage out – If you keep the garbage bags/cans in your kitchen under the sink, take them out every night. Because nighttime is when roaches come out for food scavenging, garbage cans are the best place.
  • Plugging the drain – Many sink drains have a plug or stopper, so make sure to use it to stop the roaches from coming out. You can also use a rubber stopper or metal screen if you don’t have plugs.
  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink – Try not to leave any food scraps or dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Properly clean the kitchen before going to bed.

How to stop cockroaches from coming up your drains

cockroach near a drain (1)

You cannot stop the cockroaches from going places! They usually come out at night when you sleep, so there is no way to kill them then. The best alternative is to prevent the roaches from climbing up the drain pipes.

You can use the following tips to do so:

  • Keep the garbage disposal and drain clean – If the pipe and drain are dirty with many food particles stuck, the roaches will climb up to feast on them. A home remedy is to use half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of baking soda, pour it into the drain, and rinse the residual with cold water. Make sure it has all been washed away, though, or it could cause some damage if allowed to sit in your pipework. Another tip is to pour enzymatic cleaner and then wash it down with warm water. Many times the roaches can already be present in the home and go to the garbage disposal for scavenging. You need to keep it clean too.
  • Boiling water – Boil some water and pour it down your drains to help get rid of any cockroaches lurking in them.
  • Use a drain stopper – The mesh stoppers can help prevent the roaches from climbing up the drains and entering your home. The rubber and plastic stoppers can also be used but are not made of durable quality. Thus, save yourself the effort of changing it and just use the mesh metal drain stopper.
  • Water traps should be filled – Most home plumbing systems have this water trap. Found in the shower and sink drains, it helps block the path of these roaches so they cannot climb up the drain. So, make sure that these traps do not dry up. Pour a few cups of water once or twice a month into sinks that are not used very often.

Remember that if you have a cockroach problem in an apartment, you will also need to discuss the issue with the rest of the apartment block, or they will keep coming back.

How to kill cockroaches in the drain

dead cockroach near a drain

If you somehow still find these roaches lurking around in your home, you can use the below-mentioned measures to kill them.

  • Use gel bait – The gel bait has proven to be a very effective insecticide to kill roaches. It is so good that even the roaches that consume it secondhand or are exposed to its toxins also die. Therefore, this cockroach gel bait is a good way to eradicate roach colonies.
  • Natural remedies – Previously, a mix of vinegar and baking soda was recommended. But apart from these, there are a few more natural remedies to eliminate sewer roaches. First, you can use Boric Acid. It is very effective and can kill the roaches even if they walk through it. Another remedy is using Borax (Before using borax, click here to read how to use it safely) and powdered sugar. Together they work as the gel bait, attract them, and then kill them.
  • Use glue traps – Place the glue traps along the walls under different sinks and around drains, this is where many cockroach infestations are more prevalent. Check which trap catches most roaches, then place the maximum glue traps in that targeted area. The most common place these insects enter, apart from sinks and drains, is through wall cracks, utility/heating vents, and plumbing penetrations.
  • Treating the drains – The best way to prevent infestation is by keeping your drains clean. You can use a small amount of bleach to disinfect the drain and thoroughly flush it after around 30 minutes. Next, keep the sink and counter clean using foam cleaner so the insects cannot trace any food particles. Lastly, the easiest method is to use water. Regularly flush the drainpipe with water, so the traps are filled and the roaches cannot climb up.

Items not to be poured inside the drain

read sign with NO written on it

The best way to prevent roaches is to keep the drain pipes clean, but you should be careful with what you pour down. Here is a list of things you should not pour down the drain.

  • Bleach – Bleach is an effective solution to kill roaches, but pouring too much of it down the drain can be quite dangerous. It can cause damage to the pipelines and even release dangerous fumes and toxins if it gets mixed with calcium buildup.
  • Insecticides – Insecticides are meant to kill insects, so it seems a plausible way to kill roaches. But when it is poured into the drainage system, it mixes with sewer water. This sewer water is treated and recycled, but the water treatment process cannot separate the water from these insecticides.


Cockroach infestation leads to unhealthy living environments, and you should take care of it, especially if you have toddlers in your home.

Taking measures to stop them right at the entry points is the most effective way to eliminate them.

But if the situation is out of hand, then it is best to call pest control and get the house cleaned.

Good luck!


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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