An Unpleasant Sight
Your home is your haven, your shelter, and your refuge. You do your best to keep it in great shape. Seeing a swarm of dark, furry, moth-like flying insects swarming around a pipe or drain is upsetting and alarming. These unwelcome pests are known as drain flies, also known as sewer gnats, filter flies, sink flies, and true flies, which are drawn to water. Contrary to popular belief, drain flies do not enter your home through drains, sinks or toilets. Rather, they enter your home from outside and are drawn to plumbing leaks and damp areas. If you’ve seen drain flies in your home, undoubtedly, your goal is to get rid of the drain flies. What is the best approach - how do you get rid of drain flies in your house?
Harmless but Gross
In general, drain flies are harmless. The flies commonly inhabit bathrooms and are drawn to toilets, sink drains and leaky pipes. Many subspecies of the drain fly exist, and it is exceedingly rare that the flies bite humans, nor do they spread disease. Like gnats, drain flies are a nuisance, but not a threat. However, if the infestation is pervasive, the buildup of organic matter in the drains can cause damage to your plumbing.
The flies also like to lay their eggs in water. This can potentially contaminate food. In a business setting, this can result in the loss of revenue. Harmless or not, they are certainly not the cleanest creatures. Naturally, any homeowner would want to get rid of drain flies, as soon as possible.
A Sign of Trouble
It is important not to ignore the presence of drain flies. Aside from being annoying and unpleasant, drain flies in your home can indicate a larger problem. Drain flies tend to lay their eggs in standing water. If there is standing water somewhere in your home, there is a good chance that you have a leaking pipe or drain. In addition to possibly needing a pest control expert, as discussed in detail below, it may be necessary to have a plumber take a look at the site, if necessary.
How to Get Rid of Drain Flies
Determining how to get rid of drain flies in your house requires some planning. Getting rid of drain flies is tricky. Because the larvae are covered with water-repellent hairs, the larvae are extremely difficult to destroy. Unlike other bests, drain fly larvae are not killed off by boiling water, bleach, or submersion in water. Importantly, destroying the adult flies is not an effective way to get rid of drain flies, because the larvae will still be alive to continue the life cycle. A female fly can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, which is why a drain fly problem can be so pervasive and difficult to eradicate. Meanwhile, your bathroom and kitchen can become quickly overrun with these dark, furry invaders. Different tactics must be utilized to get rid of drain flies.
How do You Get Rid of Drain Flies?
What should you do first in order to get rid of drain flies? The following steps should be taken:
- Ensure that the insects are actually draining flies (short body, winged, almost moth-like appearance, dark color)
- Determine where the drain flies are congregating
- Thoroughly clean out the drain, including with the use of a drain brush
- Flush the drain with boiling water
- Use drain cleaner; follow the directions regarding flushing the drain out after several hours
If the steps above are unsuccessful and the problem persists, it may be time to hire a professional pest control expert.
How to Get Rid of Drain Flies in Your House: Professional Pest Control
If you’ve tried to get rid of drain flies in your house without success, don’t worry. Drain flies are stubborn and, as mentioned above, extremely difficult to eliminate due to the water-repellent exterior of the larvae. So, if you thoroughly cleaned and flushed out your drains and are still seeing flies, do not give up. There are pest control experts who can take a more aggressive approach to getting rid of drain flies.
Search and Destroy
Part of the problem with controlling a drain fly population is that it can be difficult to determine how the drain flies are entering the home. A pest control expert can help solve that basic problem - the entry point into the house. Then, it is critical that the breeding site, or location where the eggs are laid, is rooted out. Part of the reason why it is so difficult to get rid of drain flies in a house is because of the vast numbers in which they multiply.
Once the breeding site has been located, the pest control expert can begin to remove the larvae, eggs, and related biological material. Exterminators have special cleaners, such as foams and gels, that can quickly and effectively remove the scum that the drain flies can leave behind. At the same time, the adult flies can be eradicated. After clearing the area of larvae, eggs and so forth, the drain and surrounding areas will be thoroughly sanitized using specialized tools and chemicals.
It is important to note that a pest control expert may be able to decide how to get rid of drain flies in the house without using chemical insecticides at all. Determining the center of the infestation, followed by a meticulous, heavy-duty cleaning and the possible use of traps may be the extent of the pest control expert’s work. It is a judgment call based on the expert’s knowledge, expertise and overall evaluation of the infestation to determine the best way to get rid of drain flies.
The pest control expert may elect to utilize drain traps or apply chemical insecticides to prevent future infestations. The most important part, however, is locating the larvae and eggs and removing them before they can develop into adult flies and continue to lay more eggs.
Drain Flies: Out!
Drain flies are unwelcome. Controlling an infestation is difficult. Ordinary methods fail, making it so hard to get drain flies out of the home. The larvae and eggs are the biggest part of the problem because they are so difficult to kill. Bleach, boiling water, vinegar, and other traditional methods do not work. A more effective way to get rid of drain flies is to find the site where eggs are being laid, remove all biological material, and then thoroughly clean and sanitize the area. If the problem continues, it’s time to call in the experts to get rid of the drain flies. With specialized tools, chemicals, techniques, patience and know-how, a pest control expert will be able to get your home back to being clean, livable, pleasant and drain fly free.