How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies.

You may have a problem with drain flies if, while you are washing the dishes, you start to see fuzzy flies around the diameter of a shoestring shooting out of your kitchen sink like fireworks on the Fourth of July. In addition, according to their name, drain flies actually make their homes in drains.

Drain flies, like most other types of flies, have six legs, a pair of wings, and antennae. Their length ranges from about 1/16 to 3/16 of an inch (1.5 to 5 millimeters). Their skin is either a pale gray or tan color.

Their body, antennae, and wings are all covered in hair, giving them a fuzzy and some could even say endearing appearance. Their defining attribute is the hair that covers their whole body. Because of this, they are also sometimes referred to as moth flies because of their fuzzy look, which is similar to that of moths.

According to Frank Meek, a board-certified entomologist who works for Orkin and is the company’s technical manager, these insects are also known as sewage flies or filter flies.

According to what he describes in an email, these names originate from locations or circumstances that are representative of common breeding and development areas for the pest.

Hotspots for these flies are places that are damp and, ideally, coated in their preferred foods, which include food scraps, sewage, decomposing plant life, and other organic materials that are rich in nutrients.

That makes your sinks, storm drains, shower drains, septic tanks, compost heaps, and any mound of dog excrement in the backyard seem like a delectable spread by comparison.

moths that fly

Insects in general do not linger around to raise their offspring, and drain flies are no exception. They are quite content to lay their eggs in the same locations where they consume, which may include food waste, dung, wood, or even your sink. However, the soil is almost always their preferred location in and around your house.

“They like to lay their eggs in wet soil, which may be found in pre-mixed soil, in pre-potted houseplants, or even in the dirt found below your house. Because this behavior happens behind the scenes, homeowners often don’t become aware of a problem until fully formed drain flies start showing up in their kitchens and bathrooms “Meek adds.

It takes around 8–24 days for the little white larvae that develop from the eggs to reach full maturity after the eggs have hatched. Their lifespan as adults is a meager two weeks, which is in stark contrast to that of a housefly, which may survive for up to a month.

What Steps to Take in the Event That You Have Drain Flies


Meek notes that you are more likely to see them lounging on walls since flight is not one of their strong features. “Drain flies are poor flyers, so inside, they are often spotted crawling on walls or other surfaces,” he explains. “This is the most common way to see them.”

If you think you have drain flies, it’s a good idea to stay in the kitchen for a while after supper and observe the area closely. The evening is the most active time for them, when they may fly or hover over drain openings within buildings or sewage filter beds outdoors. “Their greatest activity is in the evening.”

The good news is that just because you have drain flies does not always indicate that you live in a filthy environment. It is quite likely an indication that you have a drain that is sluggish or plugged.

“Drain flies are attracted to damp or standing water, where they congregate, mate, and deposit their eggs. The slimy coating that develops in sewers and drains is a popular breeding location as well as a source of food for the organisms that live there.

If you put off the routine cleaning and upkeep of these locations, it’s possible that you’ll attract pests and provide a place for them to eat and grow “Meek adds.

According to Meek, it is not known that drain flies convey any major illnesses to people or big animals. However, there have been isolated instances in which the inhalation of drain fly body pieces has caused bronchial asthma.

Nevertheless, this should not be a cause to delay removing them. It’s possible for drain flies to land on your charcuterie board and transmit germs; even if you love blue cheese, that’s a little much to put up with.

How to Eliminate and Prevent the Infestation of Drain Flies


While you are washing the dishes, if you see these fuzzy flies emerging from your drain, it is time to clean your home. This is what you should do:

Investigate the possible nesting grounds. “A thorough inspection is required to find the fly’s breeding site, so you should look at a variety of places,”

Meek says. “Places to look at include drains, dirty garbage cans, saucers under potted plants, birdbaths or feeders, clogged roof gutters, clogged storm drains, air conditioners, cooling towers, moist compost, and rain barrels.” Check the area surrounding your septic tank or sewer as well, if you have any of them.

“The issue is resolved after the organic material (along with the larvae) has been taken away; the only remaining issue is the adult flies. They will survive for around 20 days but will not be able to continue their life cycles since they will not have a location to deposit eggs “he says.


Clean your drains. However, according to Meek, a regular drain cleaning would not solve the issue. “Foaming enzymes administered by specialists in the field of pest management break down the film covering that drain flies consume and may also target the eggs of drain flies, so assisting in the prevention of further generations of drain flies.

This therapy is completely safe and will not do any damage to the plumbing “he explains. The use of an ultra-low volume (ULV) fogging machine is still another method for eliminating the fly population; however, as this method does not target the breeding site(s), it does not offer control that is sustainable over time.


Do not give in to the temptation of pouring bleach down your drain.

“Bleach may kill some of the larvae in the drain, but it does not penetrate the thick accumulation where the female drain fly deposits her eggs, therefore it is unlikely that this chemical can eradicate all of the larvae.

As a consequence of this, bleach is not effective in getting rid of drain flies the majority of the time “says Meek.

According to him, it is also corrosive and has the potential to destroy older pipes. Also, under no circumstances should you pour ammonia and bleach down the drain together. This may result in the production of chlorine gas, which, if breathed, is very dangerous.
a someone cleaning out drains
It’s possible that you’ll need the assistance of a professional to clear your drains.



Drain flies may be eliminated by the use of natural methods.


The following are some chemical-free methods, courtesy of This Old House, for getting rid of drain flies and preventing them from returning:

To prevent accumulation, it is recommended that you flush your drain with hot water twice a week.
Put a solution of baking soda, salt, and vinegar down the drain and let it sit there overnight. The next day, after waiting overnight, pour boiling water down the drain.


You may try a mixture of vinegar, dish soap, sugar, and water that’s been sitting out on the kitchen counter in a basin. The flies will give in to the delicious and sugary seduction (don’t we all? ), and then they will perish in the soap’s stickiness.


If you only have apple cider vinegar, you might try using it instead. It could work. It should then be wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a container before being sealed. Make a few very tiny holes in the container’s plastic using a needle and a pin so that flies may enter the container but cannot leave it.


You will still need to locate the breeding location and take action to eliminate it in order to prevent a further infestation of drain flies.

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