What are Drain Flies and How to Get Rid of ThemCat McCarthy
They’re tiny, annoying, and seemingly come out of nowhere. Drain flies, also known as sewer flies, or moth flies, can quickly become an unwelcome presence in your home. They are relatively harmless, however have the potential to carry bacteria. In this blog, we’ll delve into what drain flies are, what causes them to infest our homes, and how to eliminate them effectively (and without the use of nasty chemicals).
What Are Drain Flies?
Before we get into environmentally friendly drain fly eradication strategies, let’s understand what we’re up against. Drain flies are small insects, about 1-3 mm in size, with a moth-like appearance. They are often mistaken for fruit flies due to their size and flying habits. Drain flies earned their common names because they are typically found in damp, organic-rich environments like drains, sewers, and plumbing fixtures. But in my home, with their cousins the fungus gnat, they like to hang around my indoor plants (potentially due to me over-loving them with water).
What Causes Drain Flies in Our Homes?
Drain flies are attracted to moist, organic matter where they lay their eggs. Here’s what can cause them to infest your home:
- Blocked Drains: A build-up of organic material and debris in drains, particularly in rarely used drains, provides an ideal breeding ground for drain flies.
- Stagnant Water: Any stagnant water source, such as unused toilets, sink overflow drains, or floor drains, can become a haven for drain fly larvae.
- Leaky Pipes: Moisture from leaky pipes creates a suitable environment for drain flies to thrive.
- Rotting Organic Material: Decomposing organic matter in your drains or sewage system serves as a food source for drain fly larvae.
Environmentally Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Drain Flies
Now that you know what drain flies are and what attracts them let’s explore some effective methods to eliminate these pesky insects from your home:
- Boiling Water: Pouring boiling water down the drains can kill larvae and adults living there. Repeat this process several times if necessary.
- Natural Drain Cleaners: Avoid using harsh chemicals that may harm pipes and the environment. Try some natural and effective combos such as pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain.
- Remove Standing Water: Eliminate any stagnant water sources in your home, like in unused toilets or sinks, to deny drain flies breeding sites. In my home, it’s the plant saucer that needed to be removed.
- Repair Leaks: Fix any plumbing leaks promptly to reduce moisture levels in your home, making it less attractive to drain flies.
- Cover Drains: Use drain covers or plugs when sinks and showers are not in use (such as a guest bathroom or shed sink) to prevent drain flies from entering your plumbing.
- DIY Traps: Create DIY traps by placing apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and sugar in a jar with a few drops of dish soap. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke small holes in it. Drain flies are attracted to the scent, crawl in, and get trapped.
- Clean Drains Thoroughly: Regularly clean and sanitize your drains using a mixture of hot water and a drain brush or a drain snake to remove built-up organic matter. For really dirty or blocked drains, give us a buzz and we can unblock your drain for you.
- Professional Pest Control Help: If the infestation persists, consider contacting a local pest control professional who can exterminate the bugs for good.
Keep Drain Flies Away for Good
While drain flies can be a nuisance, understanding what attracts them and employing the right strategies can help you get rid of these tiny invaders effectively. By maintaining clean drains, eliminating standing water addressing plumbing issues promptly, (and not overwatering your plants!) you can bid farewell to these unwelcome guests.