If you’re looking for the best way to get rid of drain flies you’ve come to the right place!
Picture this.....you’re hosting a summer dinner party and are excited to have all of your guests in your home. You walk to your sink to fill a pitcher of water for your friends and family, only to see a monstrosity of a creature crawling out of your drain.
It’s not something out of a horror movie - unfortunately, for millions of people, it’s a gross reality.
If you’ve ever had to deal with drain flies, you probably already know how annoying they can be. These pests aren’t limited to the kitchen, either. They can also be found in floor drains, bathroom sinks, and even standing water outside.
Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to remove drain flies for good.
At just ⅛” long, drain flies might not seem like a huge problem, but they’re actually a major nuisance. These tiny pests are generally black or brown with a unique vein-like pattern on their wings.
Also referred to as moth flies, filter flies, and sewer flies, these pests look a little bit like moths. Their bodies are covered in hair, and if crushed, they will leave behind a faint odor and a powder-like smudge.
Usually found around drains, drain flies aren’t limited to this area and are often confused with similar species that can infest drains, like fruit flies and phorid flies. They tend to breed in drains along with sewers, septic tanks, and contaminated soil.
Drain flies aren’t harmful in that they don’t bite humans or transmit any diseases.
However, they aren’t exactly pleasant to look at - and should serve as a signal that it’s time to give your kitchen a good, deep cleaning!
Drain flies prefer to hang out around shallow bodies of stagnant water, typically those near a source of food.
They prefer areas that aren’t used frequently or are left untouched for quite some time. They feed on organic matter and moisture but can sometimes appear in clean environments, too.
Practice Good Sanitation
The easiest way to prevent drain flies, as all other pests, is to maintain proper sanitation. Drain flies usually breed in drains, hence the name, so you’ll want to start your cleaning chores here.
These pests survive by eating debris that catches in the drain trap, so if you use a knife to scrape down the sides and then clean with baking soda and vinegar, you’ll be able to get rid of a potential breeding ground.
Drain flies can also be found around sump pump pits. Make sure you clean these areas and remove any excess moisture around the pit. Don’t forget to clean your bathroom drains, either.
Although drain flies usually hang out in kitchen sinks (there is more food there), they can also be found in showers or bathroom sinks, too.
Finally, take some time to clean up around your kitchen equipment. Although drain flies breed in drains, they’ll come out every so often to nibble on waste around your appliances, too.
You should also clean up around garbage containers and remove any standing water near house plants.
Clean Up Outside, Too
There are plenty of potential outdoor sites for these pests, too, including in clogged gutters, beneath air conditioners, and in thick mulch.
Try to remove any excess moisture by draining standing water in birdbaths and puddles.
Before you do anything else, make sure it’s actually the drain from which your flies are originating. Check all potential breeding sources, including rotten fruit and other foods, small puddles, grease, and more.
Still not sure if it’s actually the drain causing you problems? Here’s a quick tip....place a piece of tape over the drain (you can pop a few tiny holes in it for airflow).
The drain flies will get stuck to the tape as they exit the drain and you’ll be able to identify the culprit for good.
Scrub A Dub
Start by giving your sink a good scrub down. While you’ll definitely need to do this at the outset of an infestation, you should try to scrub and sanitize the sink once a week to keep the flies at bay, too.
Simply scrub in and around the drain with a pipe brush. You can add a bit of dish soap (it has borax, which has insecticidal properties) to keep things clean and pest-free, too.
White Vinegar Or Bleach To Get Rid Of Drain Flies
Don’t use white vinegar and bleach together, as this can create an incredibly toxic production of chlorine gas. However, you can use one or the other to help combat drain flies.
If you use white vinegar, start by pouring half a gallon of water down the drain. Use hot water, if possible, but avoid boiling water, as it can cause surface materials to crack. Then, pour in a cup of white vinegar. This will remove the larvae stuck inside the pipe.
You can also add half a cup of salt and/or half a cup of baking soda to help further loosen up debris and larvae, if you wish. If you use bleach, just pour a capful of bleach into the drain.
Again, do not combine it with any other chemicals. You don't need quite as much bleach as you do vinegar because it is much more potent. Just be careful when applying it.
Apple Cider Vinegar Trap To Get Rid Of Drain Flies
Apple cider vinegar might not smell the best, but it can help eliminate a drain fly infestation. Simply pour some apple cider vinegar into a shallow dish and cover it with plastic.
Place it near the sink (there should be a few tiny holes in the top, too). The flies will be lured in but unable to escape.
Use A Drain Cleaner To Get Rid Of Drain Flies
If the more natural remedies aren’t doing it for you, you may need to consider a drain cleaner like Drano.
Drain cleaners aren’t insecticides but will eliminate any debris that could be clogging your pipes and producing a breeding ground.
Remember, the more often you use your sink, the less likely you are to have a drain fly problem.
To keep these pests away, try to use each sink in your home on a regular basis - even if it just means running some hot water down the drain.
Keeping a clean home will not only help prevent drain flies, but a wide variety of other pests, too.
Good sanitation and regular inspections is the best way to get rid of drain flies and keep your home clean and safe for you - as well as for your guests.