A drain fly sitting in water.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

Did you wake up one morning and enter your bathroom, only to find fuzzy little bugs in your sink or shower? These insects are known as “drain flies,” and they are a common nuisance for homeowners near and far.

While these small, winged insects aren’t harmful to people, they are incredibly frustrating to deal with — especially since it seems like they never go away on their own. If you’re dealing with a drain fly problem inside your home, you’re probably searching for the quickest and easiest method of removing them once and for all.

Below, we’ll discuss how to get rid of drain flies forever. Before we do that, it’s important to know what these insects are and what causes them to appear in the first place.

What Are Drain Flies?

Drain flies, which are sometimes referred to as “filter flies” or “sewer flies,” are only one-eighth of an inch in length. They’re usually recognizable for their fuzzy, grayish bodies and wings.

Although they’re incredibly different from one another, some people mistake these insects for fruit flies. While fruit flies tend to go solo and hover around rotten fruit, drain flies are known to clump together in large quantities. What’s more, drain flies don’t eat regular food items, such as fruits. Instead, these insects live off of the organic material that is found in stagnant water.

What Causes Drain Flies to Appear?

Before discussing how to get rid of drain flies, it’s crucial to know what causes these insects to invade your house in the first place. When it comes down to it, drain flies will gravitate toward anything with stagnant or standing water. These insects will lay eggs in the organic material found here since it also doubles as their food source.

Where is stagnant water usually found? The most common location is in a clogged sink. When the water is unable to drain in the sink due to a blockage, it can collect on the surface — making this the perfect breeding ground for drain flies. 

Sewer flies are usually the result of an open or broken sewer. Sewage pipes are an ideal place for these insects to breed. Fortunately, though, these insects won’t invade your home if you have traps with water seals (such as those found beneath your bathroom or kitchen sink). Sewer flies will only enter your home if there’s a breach in the water trap.

Will Drain Flies Go Away on Their Own?

You might find that drain flies disappear after some time — even if you haven’t done anything to get rid of them. However, it’s important to note that they will likely stick around if they’ve found a suitable place to lay their eggs.

If the problem keeps recurring, it’s possible that you have an open sewer or a plumbing fixture with a broken water seal trap. If this is the case, you’ll want to schedule a plumbing service right away to address the damaged trap.

Are you ready to wave goodbye to these insects? Although there isn’t one best way to get rid of drain flies, there are a few methods worth trying. Let’s discuss them in detail below.

5 Ways to Eliminate Drain Flies

If you ask a friend or neighbor what you should do about the drain fly problem in your bathroom, they might suggest contacting a professional for assistance. However, if you’re trying to cut back on costs, you probably aren’t looking to call a pest control company for help.

Fortunately, we have some DIY removal methods that you can try. You’ll only need a few materials for most of these tips!

1. Standing Water

First and foremost, we can’t discuss how to get rid of drain flies without mentioning that you should remove all the standing water from your showers and sinks. This is a crucial step that will prevent the insects from laying even more eggs in your drains.

After you’ve cleaned off your surfaces, consider using a pipe brush and soap to give the inside of your drain a quick scrub. When you keep your bathroom or kitchen spic and span, you can help avoid this problem from reoccurring in the future.

2. Use Hot Water

If you’re seeking the best way to get rid of drain flies, you might want to consider some of the easiest methods first. For example, boiling a pot of boiling water down your drain once or twice a week can be effective at preventing drain fly infestations.

When you pour boiling water down the drains, make sure that you are careful not to splash any on yourself. Although you might be eager to remove this inconvenient problem, your safety should always come first.

3. Create a Trap

Are there drain flies flying around the room instead of living in the drain? Consider making an apple cider vinegar trap. Simply fill a small clear bowl with apple cider vinegar and cover it with plastic wrap. After poking small holes in the wrap, place the bowl in the affected area. This method can help kill drain flies because they will fly into the trap and be unable to get out.

4. Try the Duct Tape Test

Place a strip of duct tape over the affected drain. If there are drain fly eggs inside the drain, they will hatch and try to fly to the surface. Once here, they’ll become stuck to the duct tape.

Some homeowners consider this to be the best way to get rid of drain flies because it addresses the problem directly. You’ll know if you were successful when you remove the duct tape and there are insects on the other side of it.

5. Make a Natural Drain Cleaner

If you have a clogged drain, you’re creating the perfect breeding ground for drain flies. It’s important to remove this blockage as quickly as possible. One way to do this is with baking soda and vinegar.

Pour a cup of baking soda into the affected drain, followed by one cup of vinegar. Once everything is in place, place a stopper over the drain and let the mixture sit for a few hours — or better, overnight. Afterward, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to flush it out.

Most agree that this is the best way to get rid of drain flies because it is gentle yet effective. A baking soda and vinegar mixture is a safe alternative to store-bought drain cleaners. Of course, you might find that your drain needs to be cleaned by a professional plumber. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to call our DC plumbing experts for assistance.

Clear Your Drains With Our Plumbing Experts

Now that you know how to get rid of drain flies, you might have realized that your drains aren’t as clean as you previously thought they were. If it’s time for a professional drain cleaning, turn to Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for assistance. We offer a wide range of solutions, including 24-hour plumber services. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!