Yes, Rats Can Come Up Through Your Toilet!

Leave a Comment - 64



Subject: Concerned

I am on septic and wonder if snakes and rats can get in my toilets. I am scared of them all


Subject: Ick!

I lived in a house in a big city& had rats come up thru my toilet. It was an old house with a mostly unfinished basement & I noticed chew marks at the bottom of the wood cellar door leading to the kitchen! I put a metal plate at bottom& poison in the cellar... occasionally found dead sewer rats and some were HUGE! Size of a cat . I'll never live in an old house in a city again!

Theresa Azaroff


I came home one evening to find a rat/mouse in my toilet. slammed the lid down and tried to figure out what to do. It was December and very cold outside. I took an empty plastic container, Cool Whip, scooped the little guy up and very quickly put the lid on the container. I threw him out the front door and the rascal ran back to the house foundation. Have not had an experience like that before. I have had spiders in the bath tub come in through the drain and that's almost as bad.

Roland W. Provost

Subject: Rats

Have never found a rat, but have found scratches on the underside if the toilet cover.


Subject: Keeping Rats Out

If you've ever had rats in your attic or roof you will know what a nightmare this is. If you have not ever had this problem then believe me you don't want it. Make sure you inspect all of the eaves and soffits around your home as well as areas where the roof meets the underlayment. I would do this once or twice a year in order to make sure the varmints are not able to get into your property. It took us four weeks to get rid of the roof rats that we had all because of one little hole. I swear every rat in the neighborhood was partying in our attic. I never even knew we had rats in our area until I woke up at 4 a.m. to hear them frolicking around over my head. So check all entry points, make sure you seal holes and even small thin holes thoroughly so that you don't have to go through what we did. Because it is a nightmare.

Susan Schultz

Subject: bull frog in toilet

Never found a rat but I know a frog as big as my hand came up through the toilet in my FL home. Toilet seat wet, wiped off. Next time I checked, seat again was wet and toilet paper was unrolled! How big was this creature that had made its way into my bathroom??!!! Found him on the wall above the door. Grabbed a towel, closed my eyes into the towel he went, and then out the front door! Thanks for this article as I know no one has ever believed me!

Andrew Spear

Subject: Rats in Your Toilet

Actually, all of your homes sewer pipes are mostly air, except for very brief periods when you flush your toilet, take a shower, your washing machine or dishwasher actually drains, etc. And the toilet drawing is incorrect. The only part of the toilet pipe that has water in it is from the bowl back to the top of the divider between the upward and downward portions of the trap. Water in the back portion of the trap will fall down into the sewer line and drain away. So there are lots of pipe for the rate (or other creatures) to be in where they can breathe quite normally.

John Jacobson

Subject: Rodents

Can rodents come in toilet if you donot have city sewer? I have septic tank and mound and my own well


Subject: It happened to me!

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and my dog was sitting beside the toilet, which she never did. I looked in and there was a rat trying to get out of the water, but it kept slipping back in. We ended up flushing it and then we called the sewer district. They said that if the water in the sewer got up to a certain level and the trap door opened, a rat could get in there. He baited the sewer and we didn't have a problem after that, but I NEVER sit down without checking first!

Liz Johnson

Subject: Rat in toilet

I try to remember that rats are part of nature. If we were more clean and careful, we'd meet up with fewer of them. I lived in Wash, DC for 20 years and encountered them in many old homes I remodeled to live in and sell. I always made keeping them out the primary job. This meant paying some guy about $200 or so, long before winter came around, to block all the entries into the home through the foundation and through adjoining walls between my row-home and the next-door neighbors' homes. Also, making sure your cabinets and drawers are sealed off from the inner walls of the home. If rats cannot get to my cereal boxes and pet food bowls, they either will go on to someone else's house, or they will have to eat what they find in nature. It is SO simple, and requires no traps or poison. If you are an adult, and able to own a home, then you make sure your home is not open to nature getting inside it. Period. So much more humane than allowing animals to follow scent trails into your house over and over and over and just killing them at your end. Re: the drowning of the rare rat who finds his way into your toilet, geez, scoop him up and put him outside. Would YOU want to be drowned?


Subject: rat in the toilet - Yuchh!!

Yep, I found a rat in my toilet - dead. I called the local water company and they said it wasn't uncommon. My toilet is a long way from the street/sewer access, so evidently it drowned as it headed up the hill to my house. The water company suggested that I periodically flush bleach down the toilet since rats don't like the smell and will often take a different route.

Ann Suydam

Subject: Rat in Toilet:

A number of years ago, I had a rat that tried to enter my house through an unused basement toilet. The rat was unable to escape the curve in the toilet drain and drowned. The pest remover told me that I was lucky that the toilet was so old because the newer toilets were built in such a way that many rats could escape. Yea for old toilets! I lived near a commercial area with many restaurants and was told that rodents broke into the garbage cans at night. They traveled the sewers in near-by neighborhoods.


Subject: Found in toilet

A few years ago there was a white frog found in the toilet. We were bewildered, so I know that small disgusting things can get through.

Sandra G Geres

Subject: rat in toilet

Yes, it happened to me many years ago - thank goodness it was dead and it has only happened once! My next door neighbor came over with tongs to take it out as I was so grossed out! I then got on my roof and put wire mesh over all stacks into the house. I always keep my toilet seats down because it still creeps me out even after all these years.

Mairead H

Subject: Horrified

I live in Stuart. Florida now, but moved here from Santa Monica, California years ago. There We were adding a swimming pool in our backyard and had workmen everywhere. One morning I was making up a bed in the master bedroom when I heard a splashing sound coming from the bathroom. Upon investigating the cause, to my horror, terror and shock, there in the toilet bowl trying to claw its way out was a white, large rat. I slammed the lid down and ran to get one of the workmen, a couple of them came in to look but the rat had gone They had a good laugh and asked 'have you been eating little white pills'


Subject: My rat in the toilet story

One night after work I showered to get my hair wet then applied henna. It needs to be left on your hair for about 45 minutes so I got out of the shower, put on my robe and lifted the toilet lid. There was something strange in the toilet. I looked closer, realized it was a rat and slammed the lid closed. I guess I would fall into the freaking out category based on my heart beating a million times a minute. My first thought was to call a male friend to deal with it, my second was to let my cats have at it and my third was to call the sewer department. This was in San Francisco.. The man I spoke to was actually excited to get my call. He had heard stories of this happening but had never spoken to anyone who had actually experienced it. This is what he had me do. Put a very large pot of water on the stove until it boils.. Turn the water to the toilet off and flush the toilet until the tank was empty then fill the tank with the boiling water and flush it again. He said the rat would turn around and swim out to get away from the boiling water. I then had to wash the henna out of my hair so weeks later I would joke about it saying somewhere in the SF sewer system there is a red haired rat. It did work to get the rat to leave but I never sat on that toilet again.

Roy B

Subject: Surprise!

Lifted the toilet seat to find a smallish (7" to 8") rat standing in the bowl. Quickly closed lid and stuffed towel under door to seal room. Picked up empty trash can and opened lid. Rat jumped onto wall. I trapped it in trash can against wall. Now what? Call wife to help. She loves being awakened at 1 am. She brought materials i needed. Slid heavy cardboard between trash can and wall and used duct tape to seal it. (Add that to the list of uses of that versatile produce.) Creative disposal followed.

Patrick collins

Subject: Rat in toilet

35 years ago I lived in Ft laudedale FL and I was in one of those cheap motel/residence places. I heard something in the BR and was surprised to see big rat in the toilet. I closed the cover and called landlord. It was pretty freaky seeing it. I always thought was urban legend.

Alison M.

Subject: Rat in shower, not in toilet

Years ago in SF I went to take a shower one morning (glass door enclosed shower) and found an 8 inch rat in the tub. I cornered him with a heavy duty brown paper grocery bag and scooped him up in it. I rolled down the top of the bag, stapled it closed and put it outside on the sidewalk. Then I showered. I figured the rat had a fighting chance to gnaw his way out of the bag and he would be outside while he did so.

Joyal Riggins

Subject: rat in the toilet

We had an old Victorian house in Alameda, CA a few blocks from the San Francisco Bay. A combination of high tides, heavy rain and some lagoon flooding brought a huge rat into our second floor master bathroom. We finally found a use for the old encyclopedia gathering dust in the book case. All ten volumes sat on the lid. The rat stayed around for two days until the city crew removed it. Toilet seat and lid had to be replaced and you can bet the bathroom lights were always turned on before seating!


Subject: Solution for rats in toilet

We’ve experienced rodents coming up through the commodes when we are away from home for a while. The water dries up and the rodents eat their way through the toilet seats. Solution: Drain the water and replace it with the type of antifreeze use in RVs. Most hardware stores carry it.


Subject: Not quite accurate.

This article looses credibility when it depicts and mentions the space behind the u bend as full of water. Actually there isn't just a tiny bit of air at the top of the u bend, it is just about ALL air after the u-bend. To get into your toilet bowl, a rat will likely do a lot of scurrying and climbing and may only have to swim that last 1 foot.


Subject: Welcome home!

When I and my Mother returned to her home in Florida after being away for 6 months, I went to use the bathroom. We always keep the seats down and now am glad we do. Opened the seat and inside the bowl were two newborn rats side by side. Since I was startled I must have let out a scream when I saw them and the mother's snout and I dropped the seat. Came back 5 minutes later with my mother, who opened the seat....All were gone. Since we were gone for an extended period of time, she shuts the water main off. The line must have dried up over the summer and gave the sewer rat a safe breeding ground in our absence. Gross! We've since sold, but continue to keep the lids down when not in use!

J Ackerman

Subject: Yes it happens!

Huge rat found in the room next to the ground floor bathroom in a fully-renovated 1911 house. I cannot for the life of me figure out how it got in - unless it came up through the toilet. Definitely happens. The scary part about that is that the toilet seat is down 99% of the time. This guy got in anyway, so a locking seat would be the only way to have kept it out. Yikes!


Subject: Not a rat, but...

It wasn't a rat, but a bird that ended up in my toilet. I have to say that even with an explanation of vent stacks and learning how a bird could get in, you're just never prepared to find a bird in the toilet. Unfortunately the poor creature did not survive. And yes, the toilet seats stay down and we always check before using the toilet now.


Subject: Mouse in my toilet

I did find a dead mouse in my toilet one day years ago. I am glad to have seen your article because I never knew that it was possible for a rodent to appear in my toilet bowl in this manner.

Bill Kirchner

Subject: Rats in toilets

There are devices that can be installed in the sewer lines to prevent rats and other unwanted critters from getting into you home through the toilets or broken plumbing line. Check with your local exterminator or plumber. Two brands are the Ratflap (r) or Multiflap.


Subject: 2 rats!

A rat invaded our basement toilet, which fortunately has the lid down all the time. How did I know it was there? Over a period of time it had chewed away much of the lower seat, trying to get out into the house. Second: I drew a bath one day and came in to find a baby rat treading water in my tub. Must have been quite a ride through the rushing bath water, through the spigot and into the tub. It was actually kinda cute and I didn't have the heart to kill it, so I released it outdoors to fend for itself. Hopefully I made the neighborhood hawk very happy.

Marianne from Skokie

Subject: Rats in the toilet

It happened to my aunt many years ago. She went in to clean the bathroom, opened the lid, and there were two beady eyes staring at her. Her husband came in and dispatched the rat. But the thought has always given me the creeps!

David K.

Subject: rat in toilet

not in the toilet, but I had one in my shower one day. Turns out one of the screws on the grate was missing and he (or she) found a way to push it open. I was able to catch him and turn him loose on the golf course next door, but it was certainly a surprise. Just glad it wasn't my wife that found him instead.

Bob Rust

Subject: Rat in toilet

Had this happen about 35 years ago. Was putting young daughter on the toilet and she was acting scared. Didn't notice it in there when I had put her on the seat but it must've already been there since I found that it was a drowned rat. Very freaky to find that. Luckily the lid had been down. Rat must've climbed up the sewer pipe from the basement level to the main floor level.

Marlene Gomez

Subject: Rat in my toilet

I was in livingroom watching t.v. and turned around and looked in my restroom and there goes a big rat next to my toilet the landlord was doing some work in my bathroom that's how it may have came in. I screamed and landlord came to my rescue.

Mary Elaine Kiener

Subject: Sewer rats

A couple of years ago, my next door tenant was sitting on the toilet (!) when she heard splashing beneath her. Many screams later, she and her roommate finally caught the rat and got rid of it. The plumbing company didn't believe me when I called--said it wasn't possible. But when they came to video the sewer line, we found they needed to dig up the yard and replace a broken tile!

Jon Kitner

Subject: Rats in the toilet

I live in South Florida. Rats are widespread but not too numerous in my suburb. Nevertheless I installed a "check valve" on my sewer line that prevents backflo or critters from coming up into my home.


Subject: HAD IT HAPPEN!!

I can 100% verify this does happen and it occurred to my family. Fortunately I had only opened lid to rest my foot on the seat for some nail grooming, and I saw a tan piece of string dangling into the bowl. I lifted to the lid and found what I thought was string to be attached to a black slender body of rat tucked underneath the bowl rim. SCARED THE BEJESUS OUT OF ME!! I Slammed the lid down, flushed the toilet 3x and did what any red blooded American would do.... Got my wife to see if it was gone!! ; ) Keep your lids down people, ALWAYS!!!

Dangerous Dan

Subject: Rats in Toilet {Thank God}

I have seen many politicians swimming around in my toilet, munching down on the contents therien. They had such jolly expressions on their happy little faces; ...I couldn't dare to interfere !


Subject: Grandma with the pliers and the rat

I was but a young lad and was helping out my grandmother canning something or other. She had a toilet in the basement that was set on top of the sewer cleanout and I'm guessing my grandfather didn't have a permit for it. Ya think? At any rate, it had kind of a barn door for a door where the door goes to about 18 inches off the floor. She went in there, started what I'm assuming now was swearing in Swiss, came out, went over to a tool box, got out a pliers, back into the toilet room and came back out holding the rat by the tail. She marched outside with it and I never wanted to know what happened to it. I'm pretty sure it wasn't going to bother anyone again though. And we all went back to canning.....

Melissa Perry

Subject: Wharf Rat just popped up to inspect our toilet.

I grew up in Decatur GA in a really unique house built by two professors from Agnes Scott College. We had all kinds of built in secret doors on the second floor including a bower for Juliet if performing Shakespeare. The house was surrounded by the woods, & ivy & bamboo. The wife had been a Botanist while husband was a Biologist. We had plants you couldn't even find in a conservatory. But we also had a huge rat (Wharf Rat) come up the main floor bathroom. The city of Decatur in anticipation of growth of apartments in the far woods behind us put a large water pipe just over the fence that ran down to another newer subdivision. When the rat visited - my mom heard splashing & went to see if we younger children was in the bathroom. She flipped on the light looked behind the door and came eyeball to eyeball with the rat. I honestly don't know what was worse, hearing her scream or seeing all the displaced water as the rat went back down the way he came. I have never sat on a toilet without inspecting it in the last 60 years. City Water Manager came out and explained how the rat made it thru the pipes. He looked in our basement & crawlspace but said rat had to come from new water drain. Mom used a lot of chemicals to discourage further visitation. She had a pest control service come out and put out tons of rat poison in the crawlspace. We never saw it again. But I loved that house & the woods around it. I had an idyllic childhood of utter freedom to explore with my brother. Rats, snakes, red ants & chipmunks were our pets. I even have another great story about the flying squirrel mother managed to wrap up in the drapes to get rid of it outside and the killing, in error, what turned out to be a King Snake on the terrace that we played. It was at least 7 foot long - but we didn't find out what is was until Mom came down on it's neck with a hoe. They ate Wharf rats. If we had only known!


Subject: rat in basement toilet

We used a fish net to get it out of the house and it ran away. I called the town and was told that was impossible. I duct taped the lid down and found a dead rat a few days later. The town still insisted that it was not possible. We did find a very small hole in basement floor and put a piece of steel wool in it. We have never had another one and it's probably 30 years.


Subject: Sewer rats

Of course they can...haven't you ever heard of being crazier than a sh*thouse rat ??!!


Subject: There's even a video

Not only did this happen to us, but it became part of a National Geographic special called Rat Genius. A clip of the video posted on NatGeo's website is still their most-watched video. True story.


Subject: The classic "I never thought it would happen to me"...

Mine was a squirrel — a drowned squirrel. And I'm not even on the city sewer system, but rather a septic tank. I still have no idea how it got in there, and neither does anyone else I've asked. I prefer to think it found its way into the house somehow and then trapped itself in the toilet, rather than that it Shawshanked its way UP.


Subject: Rats/Sewer = goodbye basement toilet

I had my basement toilet removed because I've had rats swim into the bowl and drown when they couldn't escape (heavy lid.) Three times. 4 dead rats. Not for the faint of heart. And when we removed the toilet, one enterprising little rat managed to scurry out of the pipes before we could get the lines/drain capped. It ran upstairs and hid under the fridge. At least this one had a happy ending - we got it out and set it free (far, far away.)

Deborah Yates

Subject: Rat in toilet

Never saw one but there was evidence of a rat in my house. Called Critter Control to come out and give me an opinion as to where it may have come in. They examined the toilet in my basement and I was told there appeared to be paw prints in the toilet. (I had had the water to this toilet cut off previously). Suggestion was since we were not using the toilet, put heavy object on the top of the toilet to keep the lid down. Now I am wondering if the simple solution may have been to turn the toilet back on.

Mark A Gotschall

Subject: Noy a rat in the toilet

I got home from work one day last summer, or the summer before and my daughter had found a large field mouse, drowned in the toilet bowl. I live in the country with a septic system, so no sewer pipes. Must have dug it's way in thru the finger system? I just figured it got in and the cat knocked it in the toilet..ha


Subject: Yes, I found a rat in my toilet!

I lived in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC in 1968. One night I left my bed in the middle of the night, did not turn on the lights, and sat down nude on the toilet seat. I immediately heard a swishing and splashing sound coming from the toilet bowl ! I jumped up, turned on the light, and started to scream for my partner to get into the bathroom and do something ! He came, looked, slammed the lid down and started to flush numerous times. The rat did disappear. When we told the landlord in the morning, he nonchalantly admitted he gets similar reports all the time from his other tenants! By the way, this was a nice neighborhood then and still is today.

Carolyn Bowman

Subject: The rat in the toilet

I lived in a small, mountain town, in Eastern Ky. As a child, about 8 years old, I went into the bathroom one day to find a rat looking at me from the toilet. He was perched there with his two front paws on the seat, just looking around. My father came when I called out to him and removed the rat; I am not sure how he did it as I did not watch. That was many years ago, and I have never seen another rat in the toilet. I am just grateful it was not a snake, as we occasionally had those outside. Until now I have never thought of a snake coming up the toilet. Interesting thought ! ! !

Cindi Johnson

Subject: Rat in toilet

It wasn't actually a rat. I found a mouse swimming around in mine. It seemed to think it was at Club Med. I started to get it a towel and a martini. But I flushed it instead. We have a contained self composting sewer system so I am not sure how it got in there. Can they come in through a system like that?

Robert Chamberlain

Subject: Not a Rat in the Toilet

Not a rat. Twenty-five years ago or so (This is 2017), I returned home after being away during the summer for perhaps six weeks. I always kept the lids to all toilets down. I raised the lid in one bathroom and found a dead squirrel in the toilet bowl. I'm assuming the squirrel swam into the toilet somehow, but that explanation has never felt quite right. I don't really want to be responsible for anything drowning in my toilet, but I don't want the animal to come in that way either.


Subject: rats!

I had a rat show up in my upstairs toilet in Seattle. I give the little critter credit for making the trek from the sewer, then up the drain line from the street to the house, then all the way up to the second floor, to show up in my toilet. Found out later that the City of Seattle has people on staff whose job it is to do rat control in the sewers.

Eddie Hebert

Subject: Rats in toilet

A plumber can install a device called a "check valve" in the sewer line. It works like the exterior vent on most dryers--it has a flap that opens and closes-- It allows water to flow our but prevents anything from coming in--i.e. sewage and rodents-- the down side is you must always tell a plumber about this should you have to call one out for a stopped up line

R Boyd

Subject: Rats in toilet

I have had 2 of them over several years and in both cases, held them down with the toilet brush until they drowned and then flushed them down.


Subject: Toilet Rat

I would assume (and the article really should've mentioned) that septic systems are immune to this type of amphibious rodent commando mission.


Subject: Rat in toilet

Roughly ten years ago I went into our master bath in suburban Honolulu and found a rat in our toilet. I flushed. He braced all four feet against the bowl and stared at me. I flushed again. Repeat. It had no interest in either retreating or drowning. Since my ensuing acts probably constituted a federal civil rights violation I won't detail my next steps, but suffice to say that rat will never invade any other toilet. When I told my wife, she freaked, and I don't blame her: at night she sits down on the toilet without turning on the lights.

Lara O

Subject: Oh the horror!

Last week at 2 am I woke to hear a splashing sound in the bathroom. Much to my chagrin I stood bleary-eyed over the toilet watching a 6-7 inch rat treading water, trying to climb out of the bowl! He saw me and dove straight back down the way he came in and we haven't seen him since.
The next morning a nice man from the city sewer department talked me out of ripping my toilet off trying to find an imaginary infestation in the floor. He said they get 2 or 3 such calls a year and he sent workers out to bait the sewers in my area. Needless to say we now have a strict lid down rule in my house!


Subject: Oh no!

I think I'd be so freaked out and startled that I'd yell and try to fight it, with a broom or something. I don't think I'd be okay with just putting something heavy on the closed lid, even in concert with lots of duct tape, like suggested in the article. It's not okay for a rat to be in ones toilet.


Subject: Ohmygosh

That would've made me pee myself!! I absolutely detest rats!! They freak me out so bad! I hope since I don't live in a big city this will never ever EVER happen to me!!


Subject: Ditto

Happened to us twice within 48 hours last summer. I have yet to use that bathroom... husband had to hold ithem down with plunger and drown it both times while I sat on kitchen counter and freaked out.


Subject: Interesting

Is that what you told your husband after he found that you had been gone for so long in the middle of the night? Ha.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.