How to Get Rid of Drain Flies
As a homeowner, inspecting your inside cabinets and under sinks for signs of a pest infestation is essential. However, most people forget to check under their drains, where drain flies could be hiding.
These flies are attracted to the organic material that collects underneath your sink. If you’ve noticed some flies around your sink, you may be dealing with a drain fly problem.
Fortunately, this is something you can resolve. Below is everything you need to know and tips on how to get rid of drain flies.
Identifying Drain Flies
Drain flies have a black or brown color. They have wings, and their body has lots of hair, something that gives them a hairy appearance. Also, they range from 1/6 to 1/4-inch in length.
The drain fly folds its wings over the body when at rest in a roof-like manner. Drain fly’s larvae are legless, do not have eyes, and measure ten millimeters in size.
Habits of Drain Flies
Drain flies thrive in moist conditions and any place that has organic materials. That means you can find them in home drains and other outdoor drains. They used wet areas to breed like mosquitoes.
Nevertheless, you can find them on compost piles and walls looking for a place to nest. It’s easy to also spot them in cluttered gutters, moss-ridden tiles, toxic drains, and on air conditioning units. They consumed decayed materials.
Drain Fly Life Cycle
Drain flies lay eggs where there is decomposing organic material. The eggs hatch into translucent and white larvae. The larvae can survive extreme temperatures and places without enough oxygen.
Once the larvae mature, they rest until they become adults. An adult moth fly lives for two weeks. The lifecycle takes 24 days, but this depends on the temperature.
Sources of Drain Flies
Drain flies need moisture to survive and can live anywhere that have water. They can sneak into the fine slime layer that forms along the water surface in infrequently used tanks and toilet bowls.
It’s easy to spot them on drain pans under refrigerators and in floor drains in garages or basements.
You can overlook the larvae in breeding sites, as they are tiny. The use of a trap may help detect their presence. Improvise by getting clear plastic cups with a coating of petroleum jelly Invert the cups over drains for some days to catch emerging adults. That method can also help establish the breeding sites.
When outdoors, you’ll find these flies o cluttered utters or in air conditioning units drain.
Are Drain Flies Harmful?
Drain flies are not harmful, as they do not cause structural damage to structures or plants like other pests. Nonetheless, they can carry pathogens, as they are common in drains, sewers, and anywhere that has decaying materials. Drain flies can spread the bacteria, leading to illnesses.
Signs of a Drain Fly Infestation
You’ll only notice an infestation if there is a significant number of adult drain flies around. These sewer flies may be seen resting on the walls in bathrooms or near decaying materials.
If you notice these flies near a drain or a pipe, these places could be the source of breeding. However, it’s essential to note that large infestations of drain flies are rare.
Do Drain Flies Bite?
Sewer flies, unlike other fly species do not bite. They are harmless.
How to Get Rid of Drain Flies
Here are some tips on how to eliminate these bathroom flies.
Conduct an Inspection and Clean the Drain
The first step towards getting rid of drain flies is to carry out an inspection. Doing this will help you establish the breeding source. Once you’ve known the source, it’s time to remove any dirt and slime that could be acting as a food source for these flies.
Ensure that you clean the drain and pour at least two liters of lukewarm water to make the drain moist. Take a pipe brush, and move in different motions to clean all areas of the drain. Pull out grime using a snake or any other tool you may find.
Use a cleaning gel to remove decayed organic materials. Wait for a few hours before pouring enough water to get rid of organic matter that could be trapped.
Get Rid of Anything that Could Act as a Food Source
A buildup of organic matter in your pipes could lead to an increase in bathroom flies. If you notice a fly in the bathroom, you may want to inspect the area for the presence of debris and sewage.
If you have old pipes, you can pour some boiling water to send the material further down. Alternatively, use a metal pipe brush to dislodge any stuck material.
Use a Trap
If you’re facing an ant infestation in your kitchen, you may want to get a trap. You can create a trap by setting a bowl with equal parts water, sugar, and white vinegar. Combine this with a few drops of liquid dish soap, and leave this underneath the sink overnight. The flies will find the mixture appealing, and will eventually drown.
Use Chemical Sprays
You need to deal with adult flies once they are dead. Avoid using these sprays in the kitchen, as they could be toxic to you and your family when exposed to edibles.
Use Super Septic
You can now find a blend of bacteria that degrades organic waste in drains, septic tanks, and pit latrines. Applying this mixture not only helps to kill drain flies, but it also breaks down clogged organic material that could create a drain fly habitat.
Get Fly Swatters
A mechanical fly swatter can help get rid of drain flies that rest on walls. Whack the insect, but remember this will leave a trail of blood behind. Once you’ve captured them, ensure that you clean the walls.
Get Professional Help
While some of these DIY methods may help get rid of sewer gnats, sometimes you may be dealing with the infiltration of these monsters. It’s best to call in a professional pest control agency that has experience handling drain flies. Moreover, they have the expertise to discover the source and destroy these pests.
Preventing Drain Flies
It’s said that prevention is better than cure, and the same applies to drain flies. You can prevent an infestation by:
Removing Organic Material
If you have wet organic materials lying around in open sites, you may be laying a breeding ground for these flies. Also, if you have ongoing construction and debris lying around, you need to remove it to prevent creating a nesting site.
Clean Your Drains
Always clean your drains to ensure that there’s nothing clogged, which could cause a drain fly infestation. Don’t forget to repair broken or corroded pipes, to ensure there are no signs of larval habitat.
Also, clean out the gutters to ensure they are directing water away from your house. If you have leaky faucets or pipes, fix them immediately.
Use Essential Oils
Drive out any bugs quickly with essential oils. These oils have a strong scent and deliver a stinging sensation when they get into contact with the pests.
Clean the Dishes
Drain flies love organic leftovers and thrive in such an environment. Ensure that you clean your dishes once done. Once you’re done, ensure that you clean any wet lint under the washer to avoid creating a breeding ground. Also, keep the caulk around the drain clean, as these flies like to lay eggs.
Get Windows That Don’t Have Glass or Mesh
You can keep these flies out by getting windows that do not have an opening in the glass or mesh. If you notice any torn parts, ensure they are repaired immediately. Enclose air vents with firm mesh to prevent the flies from creeping in.
Avoid Having Stagnant Water
Drain flies thrive in stagnant water. They breed in this water, which could lead to an infestation. Avoid collecting stagnant water inside or outside your house. In case of the rains, make sure that any water has a proper drainage system, especially in the lawn and backyard.
Remove Lights from Open Windows and Doors
Lights tend to attract flies. However, you may need lights, as rooms get darker in the evening. If you must have lights, ensure that they are away from open doors or windows. That will prevent the flies from getting into your house. Alternatively, you can use sodium vapor lights or insect lights as deterrents.
Although drain flies do not bite or cause any significant damage, they can pose a threat to your health. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to be dealing with sewer flies inside the bathroom or kitchen. Fortunately, dealing with drain flies is much simpler.
You can use the above DIY methods to get rid of drain flies. One of your best bets to kill sewer gnats, contact a professional pest control company that has experience dealing with drain flies. They have the equipment and expertise to handle an infestation. Moreover, you’ll get advice on how to prevent future infestations through a pest control audit.
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