Moth Fly

Nothing is frustrating as the presence of flies that appear mysteriously. Moth flies can be a nuisance in your home as they gather near lampshades and windows, especially at night.

Read on to learn about how to identify a moth fly and ways to prevent an infestation.

Facts, Identification, and Control

Below are some facts about moth flies.

Latin Name

Family Psychodidae


Moth flies are eighth an inch in length, and their bodies have tiny hairs. You’ll notice that most of these flies have a mousy brown color, although some are brown. Find 13-segmented antennae with each section having a circle of long hairs and some swelling.

While these flies have wings, they are weak flyers. Most species are harmless and do not bite, but the subfamily sand flies are bloodsucking and can spread diseases. The camel fly has six legs and a pair of wings.

Moth fly larvae are about four to ten millimeters when mature. Also, they have a dark stripe on their dorsal area. Larvae are legless and do not have eyes.

Facts about Moth Flies

These flies go through a complete moth fly life cycle. Females lay eggs in irregular masses where there is decomposing organic matter. The eggs hatch into translucent larvae. Moth fly larvae can survive extreme temperatures and low oxygen levels.

Once the larvae mature, they emerge as adults. The adult fly lives for two weeks, although new adults emerge to replace them.

Where Do They Live?

Moth flies breed and live where there are organic debris and lots of moisture. You may find them indoors in drain pans under the refrigerator, shower drains, loose tiles where water collects, and infrequently used toilets.

You may also spot them outdoors in or near septic lines, air-conditioner drains, and places where mold grows, especially on your foundation.

These pests are more active at night, and you may notice them making short hopping flights when disturbed.

What Do They Eat?

Moth flies consume organic material and sewage

How Did I Get Moth Flies?

You may get these flies if you have a clogged or slow drain. These pests mate and lay their eggs in moist places. That means if you have stagnant water in your yard or indoors, you’re likely to attract these flies.

Failure to clean the slimy film that is found in drains and sewers could also attract these pests. Such areas give them a place to feed and develop. A moth fly can gain entry through drains, windows, and your basement.

How Serious are Moth Flies Problems?

Moth flies can be a nuisance as they infest in significant numbers. These pests breed on organic material and feed on sewage, which means they can spread bacteria and cause diseases to you and your family.

What Can I Do About Moth Flies?

If you have a moth fly problem, you can remove the breeding site to prevent an infestation. Ensure that you inspect the areas that may be attracting these flies and clean thoroughly. Sometimes using a drain cleaner won’t help, and you may need the help of a professional to identify the breeding areas.

Signs of a Moth Flies Infestation

You may have a moth fly infestation if you spot tiny black mots. Another noticeable sign is the presence of adult flies near organic materials, bathrooms, or when breeding outdoors. You may also see the larvae in the breeding area.

Moth Flies Prevention and Control Tips

You can prevent a moth fly infestation by:

Using a Trap

A homemade trap is an effective way to locate the breeding area. You can use a jar coated with vegetable oil. Place the inverted pot over the drain that you suspect is infested. Leave the trap for 24 hours before checking if you’ve captured any flies.

Clean Neglected Areas

It’s easy to neglected places like under sinks, toilets, and drainpipes. Use a stiff wire brush and a drain cleaner to remove the organic debris. Read the instructions to know how to use the chemical safely. Furthermore, you can use an enzymatic drain cleaner to prevent the accumulation of slime in your drains.

Empty Garbage Containers and Clean Them

Ensure that you cover your garbage containers properly and empty them. If possible, clean them after to prevent a moth fly problem.

Practice Moisture Control

Eliminating breeding sites through moisture control can help with long-term control. Inspect your house for any standing water in your toilet or containers under houseplant pots. Check for wet lint under the washing machine.

Do not forget to perform a water audit on your irrigation system to find out if you have a standing water issue. The audit will also tell you if you have wet mulch that may provide a convenient breeding site for these pests.

Moth Flies Professional Pest Control

Eliminating breeding areas is paramount to control moth flies. However, it’s not always easy to identify these places. That’s why you may need the help of a professional fly pest control company to address a moth fly problem.

The company has a team of qualified staff who can correctly identify the pest problem, locate the breeding sites, and come up with the best way to get rid of these flies.

More information about moth flies