We’re all familiar with a common household pest like bugs, but have you spotted some small little flies buzzing around your home, particularly near the kitchen sink or bathroom drains? These are drain flies, and when discovered, most people look at how to get rid of drain fly infestations in their homes or businesses.
This blog post will look at ways to prevent this pesky problem from recurring and how to clear up an outbreak of adult drain flies and their eggs.
What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies, also known as sink flies, sewer flies or sewer gnats, are tiny moth-like critters that buzz around openings in your plumbing system. They have six legs, fuzzy wings and antennae, and are usually about 1.5mm to 5mm in size. People typically mistake the drain flies for fruit flies, which are entirely different critters (with their own problems, too).
How to Identify Sink Flies Eggs
Did you know that drain flies typically lay between 10-200 eggs inside discarded grease, hair, food sources, fats and oils within your home? The build-up in drain pipes and septic tanks is what attracts them and where they lay eggs after one or two days of finding their new home.
Drain fly eggs are a brownish or cream colour laid deeper into the organic material and wet matter in your drain traps and garbage disposals. Between 30 and 100 eggs are laid at a time, and sometimes up to 300 within 48 hours of becoming an adult. Once the eggs hatch, the young will eat the organic matter and become adult flies within seven to twenty-eight days.
Are Drain Flies Harmful?
It’s easy to assume that drain flies are harmful, especially when seen in large swarms around your sink and drains. Depending on your area, they can carry and spread bacteria, but as a whole, they are not harmful to buildings or human health. It is an indication, though, that the area where you found them needs a good cleaning.
Signs You Have A Drain Fly Infestation
While the best way to determine whether you have drain fly larvae and adult fly infestation is with CCTV technology that Canberra Plumbing and Drains can provide. However, with the naked eye, you know it’s a problem when you see them in the following situations:
- Resting on kitchen and bathroom walls and bathroom drains in significant numbers
- Tiny white larvae at the opening of drains
- Sewer flies lingering by garbage and birdbaths
- Drain flies around wet mops and buckets.
5 Easy Steps to Deter Drain Flies
While your drain fly issues may seem overwhelming at first, you can successfully deter drain flies and prevent them from returning in the future. By taking these five easy steps, you can learn how to get rid of drain flies and ensure your home no longer has an infestation without needing to contact a pest control company.
1. Find the Location of the Drain Fly Problem
Before using any remedies to start pest control, it’s essential to find the source of the problem. If you have drain flies gathering around your sink, they have likely come from stagnant water in the drains closest to your kitchen. They might also be drawn to rotting fruit, animal waste, compost piles, and other forms of discarded organic products.
You can also determine the location by placing the sticky side of duct tape over half of the drain’s opening, leave overnight or for a few days, and, if you have a problem, drain flies will be stuck to the sticky side.
2. Pour Boiling Hot Water Down the Drain
If you’re looking to get rid of drain flies, you should know that they don’t like boiling water. We recommend you pour boiling water down your drain a couple of times a day for about a week. Using this method is particularly effective for killing larvae before they can reach the later stages in their life span, and as a bonus, it not only gets rid of drain flies, but also cleans your pipes, keeping these pests away in the future.
3. Use Vinegar and Other Natural Remedies
Using baking soda, different kinds of vinegar, and other home ingredients is another great way to naturally keep your drains clean, particularly in the kitchen. Using the following methods is an effective pest control method for a drain fly infestation because it drowns the sewer gnats and their larvae.
Baking Soda with White Vinegar
Combine bicarb soda and white vinegar, and pour it down your drain to sit overnight. It will expand, attract the drain flies, and trap them.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap
Another DIY combination includes creating a fly trap by filling a container with an inch of apple cider vinegar, topping it with plastic and pricking small holes in it to allow the pests in but not allow them to escape.
Dish Soap, Water, Sugar and Vinegar
Combining a few drops of dish soap into a bowl with sugar, water and vinegar and leaving it close to your drain will attract drain flies. The addition of soap traps the gnats and helps you eliminate the pests from the breeding ground. Drain flies find the sweetness of the sugar attractive, which draws them to the mixture.
4. Use A Chemical Drain Cleaner
Another option for homeowners to use when looking at how to get rid of drain fly infestations is to use a chemical cleaner. The cleaner removes the build-up that attracts flies to your household and storm drains.
First, use a metal pipe brush with warm water to dislodge any food scraps, oils and other debris as deep as you can manage. Use your chosen chemical cleaners or chemical sprays according to the instructions. Be sure to follow these closely to ensure you use them safely.
5. Keep Your Drains Clean
Regular cleaning of your pipes and household sinks is an excellent way to keep drain flies away. This includes ensuring that food scraps, oils, fats, and other debris doesn’t wash down your sink because these attract male and female flies.
Whether you use vinegar and bicarb soda or other kitchen and bathroom cleaners, along with a wire brush to get all the hard-to-reach places, you must follow this practice regularly.
Prevent Drain Fly Infestations With Canberra Plumbing and Drains
Aside from taking the time to prevent drain flies by keeping them clean, you can rely on the expertise of the Canberra Plumbing and Drains team to help you get rid of these pests and keep them away.
While we aren’t pest control professionals, we are expert plumbers who know what to look for in your drains, and how to get rid of drain fly infestations. We use state-of-the-art tools and equipment to get to the source of the problem and keep your drains clear all year long, especially with our drain cleaning services in Canberra.
If you want us to help you get rid of drain flies in your Canberra property, contact our team and meet a professional, hard-working crew ready to solve your plumbing problem. We are available by phone at (02) 6288 9929 and prepared to get your plumbing back to its best shape.