Drain Flies: What Causes Them and How to Get Rid of Them

Drain Flies: What Causes Them and How to Get Rid of Them

All About Drain Flies

Did you know that there is a specific species of fly that lives in and around your drains? It’s true! Drain flies, also known as moth flies or sink flies, are a type of fly that is attracted to and lives in dirty drains and pipes.

With a lifespan of about two weeks and a reproduction time of about 48 hours, drain flies can quickly turn from an annoyance to an infestation.

Here’s all you need to know about drain flies and what you can do if you suspect they’ve taken over your home.

How to Distinguish a Drain Fly

Drain flies look very similar to other types of gnats and from far away can look like fruit flies. But these creatures didn’t come in with your groceries.

Drain flies live off of whatever is in your drain. If it’s partially clogged or there is food stuck somewhere, they will look for that organic material to sustain themselves.

Drain flies are distinguishable by their fuzzy bodies, flat wings, and gray or tan color. Despite their lifestyle, they don’t pose an immediate threat to human health. They do, however, become a nuisance and can be particularly troubling in the kitchen, possibly contaminating your food with bacteria.

Where They Come From

Since they are so small, they can often make it through doors, windows, and other openings around your home.

Their destination? Your drain pipe. The flies are attracted to the water and bacteria buildup and set up camp there. As long as there is standing water available, they will be able to reproduce.

You may notice drain flies after being away for a while, or even after just a few days without using your sink—also watch out for flies regularly in drains that may not get a lot of use, like a guest room or basement. If you see some flying around your kitchen or bathroom, the first place you should check is the drain pipe under your sink.

Treatment Options

It can be difficult to prevent drain flies completely, but you can reduce the chances of them being attracted to your drains by keeping them clean. This is as simple as refraining from putting clog-inducing items down the drain, like coffee grinds, rice, solid foods, hair, and more.

If a clog does occur, even just a partial one, don’t ignore it. The drain flies would love nothing more than to swoop in and live in your clogged drain, but you don’t have to let them!

As for treatment for an existing infestation, the University of Kentucky recommends going after the breeding sites, as these will continue to produce drain flies even after you’ve caught the ones flying around. These are often in your drain pipe and need to be cleared out. The slime along your pipes is what attracts them the most, so cleaning this would be the most effective solution.

DIY Methods

You can try common drain clearing methods like boiling water or baking soda and vinegar. It’s still not a good idea to use a chemical drain cleaner, and you should never put pesticides down your drain.

There are many DIY fly traps out there that you may find useful in catching the flies that have already escaped the drain. Our favorites include apple cider vinegar and some dish soap in a small bowl. Place it on your counter and wait!

Comprehensive Drain Cleaning Solutions

Whether drain flies have taken over or you have a tough clog that needs fixing, the team at Aztec Plumbing & Drains can help! Contact our experienced and knowledgeable team today at (239) 232-2012 to get on your way to a clear drain.