When you spot any insect inside your house, it's best to take action immediately before they get a chance to multiply. Just like pesky fruit flies, annoying gnats, and even fleas, drain flies are another common household insect that, well, bugs us. Measuring a teeny one-eighth of an inch, drain flies tend to congregate around standing water. Gray or taupe in color with small, rounded wings, they're also called moth flies, sewer flies, or filter flies. And contrary to what their name suggests, they don't actually "fly" as much as they hop from surface to surface. Drain flies surprisingly can live for up to three weeks, and new eggs can hatch every 48 hours or so. For these very reasons, you should act fast to eliminate drain flies for good using DIY home solutions or store-bought products.
How do you get rid of drain flies?
With regular cleaning and careful attention, most drain fly issues can be fixed within about a week. Here are five ways to get rid of drain flies:
Start with cleaning your sink and drain with your usual cleaning solution. Use a pipe brush to scrub around and inside the drain.
A super simple fix is to pour boiling water down the drain to eliminate drain flies. Boil a medium-size pot of water once or twice per week, and pour down and around the drain.
Another easy option uses baking soda: Combine 1/2 cup salt with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, and pour down the drain. Leave overnight, and finish by pouring boiling water down the drain in the morning.
If you need a heavier-duty way to get rid of drain flies, try a store-bought drain cleaner like Drano or Bio-Clean. These chemical unclogging solutions will clear out the drain and pipes and help eliminate any materials or debris that may be creating a breeding ground for drain flies, thus preventing new eggs from hatching.
If you're still seeing adult drain flies around, create an apple cider vinegar trap using a small dish covered in plastic wrap. Poking holes in the plastic wrap will lure flies in but prevents their escape.
What causes drain flies?
Drain flies love moisture—stagnant, shallow water—and organic debris, and are most likely to be found near sources of food or bacteria, like sinks and showers. They often favor areas that are not used frequently, like a basement or workshop sink, and are also spotted after a long time away from home, like a vacation. They can even pop up in a relatively clean area.
How do you know if you have drain flies?
If you spot one or two, try this overnight test: Place pieces of tape (sticky side down) over the drain in question. As they try to escape, they will become trapped on the tape, and you'll have a good indication of just how many flies you're dealing with.
Are drain flies harmful?
Nope! They don't bite humans or transmit human disease, but they are a sign that your kitchen could use a deep clean, especially if you want to prevent more insects like roaches from joining the party.
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