Drain flies are a common pest in many American households. Because they thrive in damp conditions and live on the organic materials that build up in our drains naturally over time, it is easy to get a drain fly infestation.
Luckily, drain flies are not poisonous and don’t carry any diseases that can be harmful to humans or pets. Still, they are annoying and even embarrassing, especially if you are dealing with a lot of them.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of drain flies, today is your lucky day. Join us as we learn more about drain flies, why they are attracted to drains, and how to get rid of these annoying flies for good.
What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies are small flies that are attracted to moisture or standing water.
Drain flies are small flies who grow to be about 1.5 to 5 millimeters long when mature. Also known as drain moths, drain flies infiltrate our drains and pipes, where they feed on organic matter that has built up along the walls of drains.
These flies like to lay their eggs in moisture or standing water, making clogged drains or slow drains with lots of buildup especially ideal breeding grounds.
The lifecycle of a drain fly is rather short, taking only 10 to 15 days for a drain fly to go from an egg to an adult and then to reproduce. This is why drain fly infestations seem to happen so quickly and also why drain fly infestations can be somewhat to nip in the bud if you’re not paying attention.
In fact, if not taken care of, drain fly infestations can last all year around inside your home and drains. But don’t panic. When you are looking for ways to get rid of drain flies, try and keep in mind that drain flies are not dangerous to people and pets.
If anything, these pests are more annoying and, in severely clogged drains, drain flies may even be considered a beneficial insect as their eggs and larvae can feast on the buildup from inside the drain.
That said, as long as you are taking care of your drains consistently and continue to keep them clog-free and clean, you should be able to get rid of drain flies easily.
But how do you know if you are dealing with a drain fly problem as opposed to other types of flies or insects inside your home?
Let’s find out.
How To Identify If You Have A Drain Fly Problem
Seeing a drain fly on the wall or ceiling near a drain is usually the first sign of a drain fly infestation.
One of the first signs of a drain fly infestation is going to be the sighting of adult drain flies. Most people notice adult drain flies resting on walls or ceilings in kitchens, bathrooms, or anywhere else indoors where drains or pipes are located.
If you notice flies hanging around your drains, you can use an easy method to tell for sure if you are dealing with drain flies. Simply put tape over your drain and leave it overnight. When you wake up, if you have flies stuck to the tape, you know you have drain flies.
Along with using the tape method to determine if you’re dealing with drain flies, you can also identify these insects by sight. It’s usually simple to tell an adult drain fly from any other type of fly as it has a unique appearance.
Drain flies have six legs and long antennae that look almost fuzzy. The shape of their wings, their “furry” bodies, and fuzzy antennae is what makes them resemble a combination of a fly and moth.
When you see adult drain flies in your home, it’s usually a sign that you have a slow or clogged drain. Keep reading to learn more.
What Attracts Drain Flies?
Drain flies are usually a sign of a clogged drain.
If you notice drain flies in your home, this is likely the sign of a clogged or nearly clogged drain, as we mentioned above. Remember, drain flies are attracted by a combination of the shelter and food. Since drain flies feed on the organic matter that builds up in our drains, this is a perfect smorgasbord for them.
Furthermore, drain flies lay their eggs in moisture or standing water, which often happens in clogged drains or pipes and makes for a perfect breeding ground for these insects.
Once a drain fly lays its eggs in your pipes, the eggs hatch and become larvae which then feed on the slimy buildup along your pipe’s walls.
Again, keep in mind when working on getting rid of drain flies that their life cycle is rather short and it takes just about two weeks for an egg to become an adult drain fly, which is part of the reason an infestation can seem to appear out of nowhere.
Luckily, drain flies are usually simple to eliminate once you take care of clogged drains. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some common methods you can use for how to get rid of drain flies.
Best Treatment Methods For Getting Rid Of Drain Flies
There are a few different methods you can use for drain fly control.
Because drain flies are attracted to clogged or slow drains and pipes, the best method of removal for how to get rid of drain flies is typically a drain cleaner that is specifically designed for killing these types of insects. Of course, there are other methods and remedies you can use for how to get rid of drain flies.
Some of the best treatment methods for getting rid of drain flies include:
- Commercial Products
Because drain flies are typically taking residence in your clogged drains, the best commercial products for getting rid of drain flies are going to be natural, biodegradable, and eco-friendly. This is because whatever you are putting down your drain typically goes into the environment and water source. Furthermore, using natural products is also usually easier on your pipes.
Whichever commercial product you use for how to get rid of drain flies, make sure you are using products that will not corrode or cause other damage to the inside of your drains or pipes, otherwise you could be in for a leak and other serious problems in your home.
That said, there are some products that require an insect growth regulator to help kill drain fly eggs and prevent drain fly infestations from recurring that may be necessary in especially clogged drains, which we will discuss below.
- Home remedies
We love using home remedies for how to get rid of drain flies. However, not all home remedies will be strong enough to clear severely infested drains.
If you want to use home remedies for how to get rid of drain flies, we recommend first unclogging the slowed drain in order to ensure you have removed desirable breeding grounds and food matter for these insects.
- Drain Brushes
When working on how to get rid of drain flies in your home, we recommend you not only use a gel that pours down into your drains to kill the drain flies but also a drain cleaner like a drain brush. This will ensure that you get all the debris and buildup so that drain flies don’t return.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best commercial products you can use for how to get rid of drain flies in your home quickly and effectively.
How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies Using Commercial Products
Many of the commercial products for how to get rid of drain flies are natural.
As we mentioned briefly above, most of the commercial products recommended by experts for how to get rid of drain flies use natural, eco-friendly ingredients to kill drain flies and unclog stopped up drains.
That said, there are some drain fly infestations that may require the use of harsher chemicals or insect growth regulators in order to stop future drain fly infestations from occurring.
If you’re not sure which product would be best for you to use for how to get rid of drain flies, don’t worry. We have listed several of our favorites for you to take a look at below.
Green Gobbler Drain Fly Killer
We like Green Gobbler products because they are safe, natural, and biodegradable, which is always nice when you are putting anything down your drain. It uses citronella oil to kill and repel drain flies, eggs and larvae and is easy to use and apply.
It also gets rid of fruit flies and sewer flies. Because the product uses natural ingredients for getting rid of drain flies, it is safe to use on your pipes and will not corrode drains.
Pest Peeve Bye Bye Drain Flies
No products found.
Another natural and safe product you can use that is friendly on the environment but effective for how to get rid of drain flies is Bye Bye Drain Flies by Pest Peeve.
This product uses natural ingredients to quickly kill drain flies while also eliminating debris and buildup in your drains. It also helps to reduce chances of a stinky odor that clogged drains can cause with a scent that smells like grape.
It is specifically designed for drain fly removal and is an eco-friendly alternative to harsh chemicals.
Natural Armor Drain Fly Killer
Natural Armor is a natural, environmentally friendly product you can use for getting rid of drain flies, fruit flies, gnats, and sewer flies. It is simple to use and, like most of the above products, works when simply poured it into the affected drain.
You can order this product in different sizes depending on the severity of your drain fly problem or the number of drains affected. It works using a thick gel that sticks to the lining of your pipes and drains to help krill drain flies and unclog drains.
Since the ingredients are all natural and environmentally friendly, it is safe to use for both your family and your pipes.
Fly-Zyme Drain Fly Eliminator Gel
Fly-Zyme is an all natural, environmentally friendly gel you can use for how to get rid of drain flies and fruit flies invading your drains.
It works using natural ingredients that are eco-friendly, including enzyme gel that sticks to your pipes and kills drain flies, darin fly eggs, and drain fly larvae. This product also helps to deodorize your pipes and drains and will help unclog organic matter that has built up overtime.
InVade Bio Drain
Another product we like for how to get rid of drain flies is an organic product called Bio Drain. This product uses citrus oil and microbes to unclog drains and kill drain flies, fruit flies, phorid flies, and more.
It is a commercial product used by professionals and often used in restaurants and other commercial buildings to keep drains and pipes clean and sanitary. Best of all, it is completely safe for the environment and will not only help eliminate drain flies, but it will even prevent “sugar snake” from occurring.
Basic Concepts Fly Trap
If you have a severe drain fly infestation, you may want to hang some indoor fly traps along with using other remedies for how to get rid of drain flies. The above fly trap by Basic Concept is specifically designed for smaller insects like drain flies, fruit flies, and gnats.
That said, keep in mind that hanging a fly trap will not solve your drain fly problem completely, as getting rid of drain flies needs to be taken care of at the source, which is inside the drain.
Gentrol Aerosol Insect Growth Regulator
Once you have used the above products for how to get rid of drain flies, many experts recommend spraying an insect growth regulator like the one listed above to keep drain flies from coming back.
An insect growth regulator stops insect eggs from developing and hatching, which is an important step to ensuring your drains don’t become infested all over again with these annoying insects.
Another way to ensure your drains don’t become reinfested is to consistently keep them clean using drain cleaning products like the ones listed below.
How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies – Keeping Your Drains Clean
Keeping your drains clean will help remove drain flies.
Along with using commercial products for how to get rid of drain flies, it is equally important to keep your drains clean and unclogged. One of the best ways you can go about removing drain flies and preventing them from returning is to ensure you adequately clean and unclog your drain.
For cleaning and removing buildup in clogged drains, we recommend using brushes and enzymes that help break down buildup and keep the lining of pipes clean. We have listed some of our favorite products to keep your drains clean once you have figured out how to get rid of drain flies below.
Brushtech Drain Brush
Along with knowing how to get rid of drain flies using commercial solutions, it is also important to keep your drains clean and clog-free in order to keep these annoying insects from returning. We like this extra long drain brush by Brushtech for keeping drains clean and bug free.
This product will not only help keep your drains clear of debris but will reduce the organic materials that drain flies eat and lay their eggs in.
Green Gobbler Drain Opening Pac’s
Another drain cleaning tool you can use for how to get rid of drain flies and keep them from returning is made by Green Gobbler. We like these drain cleaning pacs because they remove buildup, are natural and eco-friendly, and help reduce drain flies by removing unclogging organic matter these insects need in order to thrive.
Each order comes in a pack of five and they are specifically designed to get rid of hair, grease, soap scum, organic matter, and more. You can use these in all kinds of drains and pipes as well.
DrainScrup Enzyme Drain Cleaner
This is a powder drain cleaner that uses enzymes to help break down organic and bacterial buildup, unclog, and deodorize your pipes.
We like this product because it is environmentally friendly and safe to use in a number of drains, meaning it will not corrode or otherwise harm your pipes. It won’t necessarily kill drain flies or other drain pests but it will help keep them from returning, so we recommend using this product once you have removed the drain flies as a preventative treatment.
How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies Using Home Remedies
Boiling water can help kill drain flies at the source.
If you would prefer to use your own home remedies for how to get rid of drain flies, you’re in luck. There are plenty of useful methods you can use and recipes that work well for removing these annoying pests.
Home Recipes You Can Make For Getting Rid OF Drain Flies:
- Sugar Drain Fly Trap
- 5 – 10 Drops of Liquid Dish Soap
Mix equal part water, sugar, and vinegar with 5 to 10 drops of dish soap in a bowl near the infested drain. Drain flies will be attracted to the sugar and drown in the solution.
- Homemade Drain Fly Solution
- ½ Cup of Salt
- ½ Cup of Baking Soda
- 1 Cup of Vinegar
Mix the solution and pour it down the drain and let it sit overnight. In the morning, pour boiling water down the drain to kill any remaining drain flies, eggs or larvae.
- Vinegar Drain Fly Trap
- 1/4th Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Glass
- Plastic Wrap
- 1 Rubber band
Pour vinegar into a glass and cover it with plastic wrap, securing it with a rubber band. Poke holes into the plastic wrap and set the glass near the infested drain. The drain flies will climb into the holes of the plastic wrap to get to the vinegar and will not be able to get out again, thus drowning.
Tips On Preventing A Future Drain Fly Infestation
Cover drains that aren’t used often to help reduce chances of a future drain fly infestation.
When working on how to get rid of drain flies, one of the most important steps you can take is preventive measures to control a future drain fly problem. Since drain flies are often a sign of a clogged or slow drain, the best methods of prevention are to ensure you keep your drains clean and free of buildup.
Experts recommend using eco-friendly drain gel at least once a week to help reduce the chances of having a drain fly infestation and to help break down the buildup that drain flies feed on.
You can also cover drains that are not used often to help reduce the chances of adult drain flies laying their eggs in these drains.
If you live in an area that is especially prone to drain fly activity, you can also cover your drains at night or use drain gel before bed.
There are also a few home remedies you can use to prevent drain flies, including:
- Boiling Water
Boil some water and pour it down your drain two times a day for a one week to get rid
of drain flies. This method works best when used after cleaning your drain with a
metal drain brush.
- Baking Soda
Pour ½ cup of baking soda with warm water down your drains to help keep drains clean after drain fly removal.
- White Vinegar or Fresh Lemon
White vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon can help deodorize clogged drains and prevent future drain flies.
So, do you have other methods that work for how to get rid of drain flies and keep them from coming back? We would love to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts on how to get rid of drain flies in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.