Flushed away?

This is bizarre....White rats pop up in toilets

Residents of a neighborhood next to the University of Arizona say small, live white rats have been swimming through sewer pipes and into their toilets.

Making it from the sewer into someone's toilet is a difficult trip. A 4-inch pipe runs from the house to a sewer main. And there's no "trap door" or other barrier in place. If the lines are running, the rats have to hold their breath and swim uphill against the water current.

The best part of the article:

The Pima County Health Department said it's best not to handle or touch a toilet-surfing rat, although the chance of getting rabies or plague is low in this situation.

My guess: if you have a rat climbing into your bowl while you're on the toilet, your first thought isn't going to be about rabies or plague...

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The article overstated the difficulty in getting up the waste line. Although it would be unpleasant, a waste line should not run full even when in use, when not in use the pipe should be a simple traverse for a rat. The only real impediment would be the pee trap, and it is only a few inches of water. My question would be what attracts the rat up the line in the first place.

By Eric Juve (not verified) on 09 Jan 2007 #permalink

When I was little I was scared of plesiosaurs from beyond the u-bend.

By William the Coroner (not verified) on 09 Jan 2007 #permalink

Eric, rats are very intelligent and curious little critters. They will look anywhere for food or new teritory.

Snakes will sometimes pull the same trick if they find their way into septic systems.