Also known as sewer flies or moth flies, drain flies are considered as a 21st-century problem. Most homeowners and even business establishment owners are the ones facing a day-to-day problem with these pests.
They are often mistaken as fruit flies but where they live and breed are different. Drain flies breed and live in organic matter that is found inside drain pipes. Most of the time, you’ll find these flies around your kitchen or bathroom.
Ways to Get Rid of Drain Flies
Though they aren’t considered harmful nor do they transmit any form of illnesses, the fact that they come from drains and sewers is simply dirty. Below are ways on how you can get rid of these pesky flies in your house:
1. Tackling the Main Cause of the Problem
The main reason why you have these flies in your home is the organic material building up inside the pipes. This scenario is most common in older pipes. You must get rid of the buildup in the pipes.
To do this, you can use a metal pipe brush that can remove build up on the pipe walls. Once done with brushing, pour boiling water on the pipes to flush down the material.
Using a pipe brush is an effective method to eradicate the flies and get rid of their food source.
2. Eliminating Drain Flies with Vinegar
If you’re looking for one ingredient in your kitchen that has a lot of uses, it is no other than vinegar. You can use apple cider in this process.
All it takes is for you to pour about a ¼ cup of ACV in a cup, cover it with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes on the wrap. Place the trap you made near the drain to attract the flies. Once the flies dive into the jar, they won’t be able to escape and drown in the vinegar.
3. Boiling Water, Vinegar, and Baking Soda
Aside from getting rid of the flies, the mixture will also leave your drains squeaky clean. Simply pour some baking soda down the drain and followed by pouring vinegar slowly.
This should start making the mixture fizz or bubble and some may even come out of the drain. Make sure that you do this slowly to keep the mixture inside the pipes. Let it sit for about an hour.
After at least an hour, pour some hot water to wash the solution down. This procedure will not only get rid of the buildup but will also kill the flies in all life stages.
4. Using Bleach
A stronger alternative you can use is bleach. This can also do the same effect as the mixture above when it comes to killing adult drain flies, larvae, and eggs.
Create a mixture by mixing 10 parts water and 1 part bleach and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for a couple of hours and flush with cold water. One main drawback with this method is that it doesn’t give the same scouring on the pipes, unlike the vinegar/baking soda mixture.
These are your natural options when it comes to trying to eradicate these pesky flies on the breeding grounds in your bathrooms or kitchens.
Other Common Solutions for Removing Flies from Your Home
There are other common solutions that you can use to remove these flies in your home and prevent them from coming back. Some of the things that you can do are:
1. Cleaning the Hair Catcher
If possible, remove the filter or hair catcher of your bathroom drain. Get rid of all the hair tangled inside and clean it thoroughly.
You want to remove the breeding grounds of these flies and one way to do that is by removing debris, hair, and grime. These are common areas where these flies are laying eggs.
2. Moisten the Drain
When you have drains that aren’t used on a regular basis, you might want to moisten them by pouring one or two gallons of warm water. This will be enough to get rid of the buildup and flush down all the buildup and even possible flies inside the drain.
3. Use a Plumbing Snake
Pull out any clumps of grime lying further down the drain by using a plumbing snake.
4. Pour a drain cleaner in gel form in the drain
Apply about 125 ml of cleaner around the drain’s edges. This will coat the drain, its edges, and the pipes. Most cleaners are specially formulated to loosen the organic matter.
The use of cleaners may also require around a maximum of seven days of repetition. Do the procedure once daily with the same dosage to get better results.
5. Finish cleaning up using a plunger
After you’ve used a cleaner, you can flush it with lots of water. To get rid of the remaining build up, you can use the plunger and remove everything trapped in the drain.
With these solutions in mind, you will have more options on what will work best in eliminating the drain flies in your home.
Getting to Know Your Enemy
One way to effectively kill these flies and prevent them from coming back is getting to know them well. This will give you an advantage on how to use or do the treatments effectively.
Their eggs are cream or brown in colour and can hatch in a span of 48 hours. Larvae eat the gelatinous matter found in drains and are able to mature within a span of 14 days. They are able to survive even in low oxygen conditions or in high temperatures. The entire cycle may last for about 3 weeks.
When an infestation is just starting, these flies can be considered beneficial because they help in breaking down materials clogging the drains.
Eating Habits, Behaviour, and Habitat
These flies are considered nocturnal and like damp habitats. They don’t fly often and are usually resting on ceilings or walls. These flies are not known to bite humans. They also feed on organic and damp resources.
Drain flies are around two to five mm long and have a tan and light grey in colour. They have leaf-shaped wings and have short bodies.
These flies have a fuzzy appearance because their wings and body have small hair. Wings are usually too large than their body and their wings fold like a roof pattern.
Possible Damages Brought by Drain Flies
The population of these flies can multiply quickly within a few days. This is the reason why they are considered a nuisance.
Though there are not known to transmit any diseases, they are capable of cross-contaminating food items. This is possible since these flies are usually breeding and living in filthy sources like septic tanks, garbage disposal areas, and even standing water.Their presence can also intensify or trigger bronchial asthma to some people.