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

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What Causes Drain Flies?

Did you know that a specific species of fly 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.

1. Home Openings

Since they are so small, they can often make it through doors, windows, and other openings around your home. They’re looking for standing water, similar to other flies and insects.

2. Your Drain Pipe

Their destination? Your drain pipe. The flies are attracted to the water and bacteria buildup and set up camp there. As long as standing water is 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, you should first check the drain pipe under your sink.

3. Trapped Sewage

Trapped waste that is part of a clog in your drain pipe is also what causes drain flies to infiltrate your home. They love sewage and will look to inhabit and reproduce inside your pipe. This is another reason why it’s crucial to deal with clogged drains immediately.

How to Distinguish a Drain Fly

Drain flies look very similar to other types of gnats and can look like fruit flies from far away. 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.

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.

You can try standard 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.

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 239-932-2959 to get on your way to a clear drain.

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