Drain Flies (Psychodidae) also known as Moth flies are another type of fly which live in our homes but have no interest in our food or us. They don’t bite or spread disease and illness to humans but they can still be a problem if you let their numbers get out of control.
It is said that a small number of drain flies can be beneficial due to the fact that they help break down the decaying matter in our drains; this of course cuts down the chance of getting a blockage. It is still a good idea to get rid of drain flies because in large numbers they can become a problem.
What Drain Flies Look Like:
Drain flies are small flies they are normally around 1-5mm in length, and come in light shades of grey or tan. You will notice their wings are normally a lighter colour than the colour of their bodies. They are also covered in long hairs which gives them a furry appearance similar to a moth. This is why they are sometimes called Moth flies. The Adults have leaf shaped wings and long antennae, please read on to learn how to get rid of Drain flies.
What They Do And What Attracts Drain Flies:
Drain flies are mainly nocturnal flies and are found in moist environments where there is decaying organic matter. You are likely to find the adult Drain flies on your kitchen or bathroom walls or even around your drains outside, they are more active at night so you may not even see one during the day. They are attracted to any decaying organic matter e.g. clogs of hair, gelatinous organic slime and sewage.
Their life cycle is around 1 to 3 weeks but in the right conditions they can turn this around in under a week. This is when they can become a real nuisance for you in large numbers; normally outbreaks like this can happen in the summer months.
How Do You Know You Have A Drain Fly Infestation:
Due to the fact that Drain flies are more active at night you may not actually know you have an infestation, not until they are in very large numbers when it will be evident that you have a problem. In large numbers you will see drain flies everywhere in your kitchen and bathroom.
To find out if you have a Drain fly infestation you can simply take a strip of duct tape or cello tape and place it over the middle of your drain holes. Do not cover up the entire hole because will stop the Drain flies flying out. You will want to do this at night before you go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning you can check the strip of tape. If you find flies like the ones described above then, it’s fair to say that you have Drain flies breeding in your drains. Make sure you dry the drain covers completely and you may have to repeat this process a few times to get any results
How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies:
To get rid of Drain flies we need to start like we do with all types of fly, and that is by removing their breeding ground. Then it’s just a case of removing the adult flies and preventing a further infestation.
1 – Remove the Drain Flies breeding ground:
To destroy the Drain flies breeding ground you have to give your drains a complete cleaning. Simply pouring loads of bleach down the brains will not solve the long term problem.
- If the drain you are cleaning is not in constant use you will want to pour 4 to 8 litres of warm water down it first, this will loosen up all the debris we need to remove.
- Remove any visible hair clogs. You may have to remove your drains hair catcher if it has one.
- Now you need to get a metal pipe brush and work it as far as possible into your drain. You want to twist the pipe brush around whilst moving it up and down the drain pipe. This will remove all kinds of unwanted grime where drain flies eggs may be. You can pick up cheap metal pipe brushes from your local hardware store or even supermarkets.
- Using around 250ml of a gel based drain cleaner (a gel cleaner for removing organic slime) you want to cover every side of the pipe. Work your way around the top of drain making sure to get a decent amount of the gel drain cleaner on all sides. This will allow the drain cleaner to slowly work its way down and cover the entire pipe. You will want to repeat this process more than once. I recommend doing it once a day for a week, this should completely remove all organic matter and slime from your drain pipes.
- If you buy your drain cleaner from the internet you can find specialist gel drain cleaning products for all kinds of pests in your drain, I have not used any of these so I can’t say if they are much more effective than your normal gel drain cleaners but they may be worth a try.
- You can also make use of a plunger here. Using a plunger on the drain hole should help break some of the more stubborn slime and debris away from the pipe.
- Also please note do not flush your drains with insecticides.
2- Remove the remaining adult Drain flies:
Now all that is left to get rid of Drains flies is to repel or kill the remaining adult drain flies in your home.
- You can use some of the methods I have discussed here. Electric fly swatters such as the Executioner are a fantastic direct way to kill flies.
- Set up an apple cider vinegar trap with some dish washing soap added in. Simply get a shallow dish and fill it with an inch of apple cider vinegar and dish soap liquid then cover the top of the dish with kiln film or a thin plastic sheet with some small holes poked in the sheet. You can find more homemade fly traps here
- You can also create a spray bottle as another direct method to kill the drain flies. Take 2-3 cups of warm water and mix it in a spray bottle with some dish soap. You can also add some Citronella oil or eucalyptus oil to mix to further increase the sprays effectiveness.
How To Prevent Further Drain Fly Infestations:
The main measures you need to take to stop any further Drain fly infestations is to make sure your drains are clean. You will want to make sure you use drain cleaner in all your drains at least once a month. If possible on a 2 week basis, this will stop any build-up of organic material that attracts Drain flies. This is how to get rid of drain flies in the easiest way, by making sure they never get a chance to set up shop in your drains.
You could also get your hands on some IGR spray (Insect growth regulator spray). You can spray this directly down the drain and it will stop the drains fly’s larvae from growing into adults. This will cut down the numbers of any remaining and further drain fly infestations. This is how to get rid of drain flies in the easiest way.