Pardon me, but is that a rat in your toilet?

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
October 29, 2009 - 3:59PM

Over on Habitat’s BoardTalk column, the talk is about rats today. Specifically, a ground floor co-op resident apparently saw one attempting to climb out of her toilet bowl last night. 

This possibility had never really occurred to us before, so we picked up the phone and called BrickTank expert and plumbing genius Philip Kraus to ask him how concerned we should be.

“It’s not that common,” says Kraus, the president of Fred Smith Plumbing & Heating in Manhattan.  “I’ve heard of it but never had anybody call me.”

So what, exactly, had he heard?

“They get into the sewers and then come in through the sewer line from the street,” says Kraus.  “Or it could be that there’s a broken pipe inside the building that nobody knows about underground where there are rats.  Some of the pipes are 10 feet down, and through the years you can get some undermining of the foundation and if the pipe is broken it will slowly wash away.”

The real NYC plumbing horror stories don’t usually feature rodents, Kraus assured us.

“The most awful things are these horrible stoppages where you have sewage backing up into apartments, or when you have a water pipe break and it completely floods an apartment.”


What to do about that rat in your toilet

Cool Stuff: A better way to zap your mouse problem

3 reasons you might not owe rent after all

One morning, I found a mouse in my suit pocket

Do ultrasonic mouse repellents really work?

The creepshow inside your trash chute


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.