How To Get Rid of Drain Flies For Good: A Homeowner’s Guide

Posted by on August 18/2023 | 0 Comments

Getting Rid of Drain Flies

Drain flies are a real pain in the neck for anyone who spends a lot of time in their kitchen. It’s not that they’re dangerous, loud, or prevent you from using your sink—they’re just downright annoying, and they multiply fast. If you have fruit flies in your drains, it’s a sign you have rotting food stuck in your drain line.

The funny thing about drain flies is that one day they just seem to appear out of thin air. It’s not just one, but many that hover around the opening of your drain, venturing over to any food you have sitting out for casual consumption and laying their eggs to multiply further. In other words, these fast-spreading insects are tough to get rid of, not to mention disgusting.

Since you’re here reading about how to get rid of drain flies, you’ve probably tried a few DIY methods already. From the chemical to the natural, there are certain tried and true methods that work, but homeowners such as yourself may have to go through a long list to find out which they are. To help you save time, money, and frustration when trying to eliminate these pesky winged creatures from your home, we have put together this guide to stop them in their tracks.

Before we take a dive down the drain, let’s spend some time talking about the specificities of drain flies. After all, getting to know your enemy is the first step in eliminating them for good. Trust us, your experienced Ontario plumber at Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning knows all the details and is here to help you get rid of drain flies for good!

What Are Drain Flies?

Psychodidae, or drain flies, are also called by other common names, including fruit flies, moth flies, sewer flies, sewer gnats, filter flies, and sink flies. With a mothlike appearance, you’ll find them hovering around your sinks and any other openings to the drains around your home. Why? Because they like to multiply in warm, moist areas with an abundance of decaying organic matter. Your compost bin, garbage disposal, fruit basket, and drain lines are the perfect spots.

These tiny flies enter through open windows and doors, and often you won’t even know you’ve let one in until their first batch of eggs has hatched. Typically, the common drain fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. But wait, it gets worse. From drain fly larvae to adult drain flies, this invasive species reaches maturity in just one week, and then they’re off to lay their own set of drain fly eggs and the cycle continues. Who ever thought that something so tiny would be such a big nightmare?

Are Drain Flies Dangerous?

No, drain flies aren’t going to hurt you. But they do carry bacteria from rotting organic matter with them from place to place. That means that if they go from your sewer drain to lay eggs in the fruit sitting on your counter, it may be slightly contaminated with that bacteria.

What Causes Drain Flies to Appear in Your Home?

You know that drain flies love warm, moist environments filled with organic matter, and you can probably see why kitchen drains would be their perfect egg-laying spot. But you may not know how much decaying organic matter is just out of sight down your drain line if you haven’t had it professionally cleaned in quite some time.

Whatever you wash down the sink gets flushed into your sewer line, right? Not exactly. Certain foods, such as pasta, rice, and other expandable carbohydrates, can easily get stuck in your drain. Because of the way the P-trap underneath your kitchen sink is shaped, foods often get lodged into the bends where over time, they sit and build up. If you neglect drain cleaning completely, eventually, they will form a clog, and you’ll experience a backup.

Similarly, if you have a garbage disposal, certain foods can get wrapped around the blades or dull the blades, leading your system to be less effective. The less power it has to break up food, the more it will get stuck in your drain. But sink drains aren’t the only location in and around your home you’ll find these flies. Compost piles, septic tanks, storm drains, floor drains, wet garbage areas, and wet mops can also house these pests—essentially anywhere with stagnant water. In addition to rotting food, sewage also makes the perfect breeding ground for drain flies.

These flies don’t care whether they lay their eggs as long as it has the right conditions. Their mission in life is to eat and reproduce, and your dirty drains fill both of those needs.

How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies Effectively

Fruit flies in drain lines can be overwhelming. Finding a way to stop them from multiplying can be trying. As for eradicating them completely? Next to impossible…if you don’t know the right methods.

Here are 5 foolproof ways to get rid of drain flies using completely natural solutions—no special products needed!

  1. Single Ingredient Solution: Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water down your drain lines is as much about killing the drain flies as it is helping hardened grease and food get unstuck from the sides of your pipes. If you wash your dishes by hand or have ever poured oil down your drain, you can bet there is some accumulation of grease down there.

Fact about grease: it loves holding onto other foods. Think of it as a food magnet. Tiny pieces that would have otherwise flowed through to your sewer line stick to this putty-like substance and build over time. Cue, drain flies who have just found their new home.

To use this method, bring four quarts of water to a rolling boil. Make sure your sink is free of standing water, and carefully pour the hot water down your drain. Take care not to splash the water as you pour it. Repeat this process again every day for 7 days straight. Doing so will ensure the fly’s nest is gone and the organic material is thoroughly flushed through.

*Note: This method should only be done if you have metal pipes. It is not a viable method for PEX or PVC pipes as it can lead to damage.

  1. Fizzy Scrubber: Baking Soda, Salt & Vinegar

What sounds like one ingredient surplus of a delicious potato chip is actually one of the most natural drain cleaners you can make. The best part? You most likely have all of these ingredients in your cupboard. Mix 1/2 a cup of salt, 1/2 a cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of vinegar to start the chemical reaction. Pour it down your empty drain immediately. The mixture will fizz and expand, reaching into the nooks and crannies of your pipes and helping to loosen up stuck-on material. Let this mixture sit in your drains overnight. In the morning, flush your drain with hot water.

  1. Easy Trap: Apple Cider Vinegar

This solution isn’t one you’ll put down your drains. More so, it will eliminate the drain flies that are flying around your home. It won’t eliminate their nest, but if you’d like to catch the ones that are floating around your kitchen in between laying eggs, it’s a great option.

All you need is a shallow bowl, a piece of plastic wrap, and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap. Put the vinegar in the bowl and squirt a drop of dish soap in it before wrapping the bowl with plastic wrap. Next, prick a few holes in the top of the plastic. They’ll detect the vinegar, enter through the holes and will not be able to get back out.

  1. No Escape Route: Duct Taped Drain

This smart and simple trap requires very little effort on your part. Drain flies nest in the rotting food in your drain, and that’s where their eggs hatch. Once flies are ready to emerge, they come out of your drain. This method involves taping up the entrance of your drain with duct tape so that when they try to fly out, they will become stuck to the duct tape. While it may not eliminate all the flies in your drain, it will get the ones that are ready to fly at that moment.

  1. Sweet Poison: Soap, Sugar, Vinegar & Water

With this confusing solution, drain flies won’t know what hit them. It involves mixing together 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture and put it in an uncovered bowl near your drain. The sugar and vinegar will attract the flies, while the soap will trap them and kill them.

Maintenance Tips To Prevent Drain Flies

The best way to never have drain flies in your home is to prevent them from finding a place they can call theirs. Since wet, organic matter is their preferred space to nest, removing all sources is a surefire way to stop them from breeding indoors. How exactly can you do it?

  • Get professional drain cleaning services
  • Never put food or grease down your drain lines
  • Frequently flush your drains with boiling water*
  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home
  • Clean the outside of your drains with soap and water

Get Hy-Pro For Professional Drain Cleaning & Say Goodbye to Drain Flies For Good!

Want to prevent a drain fly infestation in your home? Get professional drain cleaning services from Hy-Pro. We can help rid your kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtub drains, showers, and all other drain lines of built-up organic matter and prevent clogs before they occur.

Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning is Ontario’s top choice for the treatment of clogged drains. We offer residential, commercial, and emergency plumbing services to take care of a range of your most pressing plumbing needs. Whether you’re facing a backup, leak, or would like to safeguard your home from drain flies, don’t hesitate to give our valued customer service team a call at 1(877)544-9776.

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