Do you have fruit flies or drain flies in your drain? Let’s get rid of them!
But first things first — let’s get the names straight. Before you can solve a problem, you need to know what you’re dealing with. And a big part of the battle with flies in your drain is knowing their actual names. After all, you can’t know what they are unless you know their names.
So — those irritating and frustrating little bugs flying in and out of your sink drain are either Psychodidae (aka drain flies, filter flies, sewer gnats, sink flies) or Drosophilidae (aka fruit flies, which can often be found in drains).
How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies
Fortunately, these little buggers are mostly just a nuisance. Although some members of each family can cause health problems in certain individuals, they’re not generally considered a health hazard. They also don’t bite.
Their presence, however, may indicate some sewage or refuse problems that should be addressed. Many drain fly infestations go away once the affected sink or drain is put back in regular use. It’s one of the reasons you’ll sometimes see an increase in the flies when you come back from a long trip or vacation.
The family classifications of Psychodidae and Drosophilidae contain many different flies. They can range in appearance; some of the Psychodidae look like tiny moths, for instance.
These and similar species of flies can be found in and around kitchen or bathroom drains or sinks, showers, sump pump pits, septic tanks, and sewers. Basically anywhere there is organic matter that’s in the process of decay. The adults lay eggs — many hundreds at a time, and their life cycle can be as short as eight days or up to about two weeks. That’s why drain flies breed so rapidly.
One of the reasons that these types of critters — drain flies, in particular — are so difficult to get rid of is that they have water-repellant hair all over their bodies. Furthermore, the drain fly larvae are difficult to drown since “they are able to trap air bubbles and remain submerged for a day or more.”
Perhaps the most important thing to know about eliminating drain flies is this: Do not pour insecticides down the drain! The goal is to eliminate their breeding site. The most effective method for doing this is to call a plumber and have them mechanically clean the pipes of the slime and organic material that tends to collect in the pipes and drains.
Here are some other home-remedy-style methods for identifying and ultimately getting rid of drain flies:
- Pour warm water or boiling water down the drain. This may only be a temporary solution, however.
- Coat a clear plastic cup with vegetable oil. The flies will enter the cup and become stuck.
- Coat a clear plastic cup with petroleum jelly. Same as above.
- Cover the drain opening with sticky tape.
- High-pressure drain cleaner. Call your plumber for this one. It takes more than just a pipe brush and dish soap. It also usually takes more than white vinegar or apple cider vinegar mixed in equal parts with 1/2 cup of baking soda, but you’re welcome to try!
- Inject foams with bacteria or enzymes to help eat away at the slime that’s congealed in the pipe. This is an effective method because it does no good to kill adult drain flies; you’ve got to eliminate the food source of the larva.
Get in touch with Meticulous Plumbing today. We can help start a discussion about how best to get rid of drain flies.