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Drain flies are the bane of many homeowners in the United States and Canada.
This pest may seem small and harmless, but it can be annoying at best and a health hazard at worst.
Adult Drain Flies
The adult drain fly is about half an inch long, greyish-brown, and resembles a moth.
The female drain fly lays her eggs directly in the sink or tub rather than depositing them elsewhere before she dies.
The eggs hatch within three to seven days and transform into larvae after one week.
What Larvae Look Like
These larvae look like worms with two feathery-looking antennae and six legs at this stage.
Within eight weeks, they will transform into pupae, which resemble tiny shrimp in appearance.
They remain in this stage for several days before becoming adults, during which time they live off of organic matter that becomes trapped in your sink or tub.
Are They Difficult To Get Rid Of?
It’s not difficult to get rid of drain flies if you know what attracts them to your home in the first place.
However, if you don’t fix the source of their attraction and just focus on killing them, they will just return again and again until you solve the problem at its root cause.
You can get rid of drain flies by taking the right steps to eliminate the water sources that attract them to your home.
What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies are common pests found in bathrooms and kitchens.
Adults are about the same size as gnats and fruit flies.
These insects lay eggs in moist areas such as sinks, drains, and other damp parts of the house.
Drain fly larvae look like tiny worms that grow to be about 1/2-inch long before turning into adults.
Where do larvae live?
Drain fly larvae live in septic tanks and sewage lines, but they also can gather around sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and other areas inside the home.
They feed on microorganisms in organic matter such as feces and decaying plants.
Adults lay their eggs on or near potential breeding sites such as drains or garbage cans that might not be sealed properly.
Female Drain Flies
The female drain fly can lay up to 150 eggs at a time.
Once the larvae hatch from their eggs, they feed on organic waste matter
What Do Drain Flies Eat?
Adult drain flies feed on decaying vegetation and other organic material.
Larvae feed on the organic matter that builds up on surfaces that are exposed to water.
Are Drain Flies Harmful?
Drain flies are not known to spread disease; however, they can be an annoyance when they appear in large numbers in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas where food is prepared or served.
The actual insects themselves don’t cause any damage, but their presence is usually an indicator of a plumbing problem.
If drain flies come into your home from your drains, then that’s a sign that there’s some kind of blockage going on in your pipes, and it needs to be cleared out.
How Can You Tell If You Have Drain Flies?
Drain flies are often called “pigeon flies,” but they’re not really flying at all.
They’re a variety of flesh-eating maggots that live in drains, sink drains, and pipes.
The larvae, which look like tiny worms, can grow up to a one-half inch long.
If you see them scampering around your drain pipes or your sink drain, it’s a sure sign that you have drain flies in the house.
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Ways to Get Rid of Drain Flies
If you’re a DIY-er, it is possible to get rid of drain flies in your kitchen with common items found in your kitchen or under the sink.
Trouble is, you have to take care of the problem right away before you end up with an infestation.
Drain flies are attracted to their favorite foods — sugars and starches — and they will lay their eggs in any damp place they can find.
That’s why they’re often found near drains, garbage disposals, and sponges.
Once you’ve stirred up the maggots, there’s not much time to destroy them before they turn into adults.
And that means you’ll have more drain flies on your hands soon.
Here's how to get rid of drain flies:
1) Pour boiling water down your drain.*
2) Put dish soap or hot sauce into a cup and lower it into your drain. The bait will attract the adult flies so you can catch them and drop them into the boiling water below.
3) Clean out any standing water such as pet bowls or old cups of coffee where the adults may be laying their eggs.
And check to make sure drains aren’t leaking into places where they shouldn’t be going.*
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Chemicals are the most effective way to get rid of drain flies.
Naturally, you want to avoid them if possible.
Drain fly larvae are small and can go undetected if they’re not causing problems.
The eggs and larvae of drain flies can build up in drains, pipes, and other areas where waste collects.
The infestation might only be an annoyance at first, but the waste from these drain flies can cause pipes to become clogged or back up into sinks or tubs.
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Treating your home for drain flies in the early stages is less expensive than waiting until the infestation becomes a major problem.
However, many people try home remedies first before resorting to chemicals that might be more powerful or harmful to their surroundings
Caution While Using Chemicals
Pouring a drain cleaner down the drain will clear drains of hair, soap, and other obstructions, and get rid of those pesky flies.
However, remember to always use rubber gloves when handling corrosive chemicals.
How to Prevent Drain Flies
Preventing drain fly infestations requires clean pipes.
This is because flies lay their eggs in pipes that have food particles in them, so cleaning out the pipes gets rid of that food source.
Flushing out the pipes is also important because it keeps them from becoming clogged with debris that can harbor the eggs.
How To Clean Your Drains
To clean your sink drains, all you need is a plunger and some baking soda.
First, put a bucket under the drain to catch any water that comes out during this process.
Then sprinkle baking soda down the drain, followed by about a cup of vinegar or lemon juice for every gallon of water.
Cover your hand with rubber gloves and plunge the drain to push everything through the pipe.
Then flush it again with hot water from your faucet to rinse all of the chemicals
Will drain flies go away on their own?
Drain flies will never, ever go away on their own.
The only way to get rid of drain flies is to remove the breeding source.
Drain flies are usually found during the wet season and prefer to breed in drains, sewer lines, septic tanks, and trash dumps.
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