Ever noticed tiny greyish, moth-like flies around your bathroom and kitchen? If the number of these flies around your home increases, you could have an infestation of drain flies.
Female drain flies can lay up to 300 eggs a day. It doesn’t take long for a few female drain flies to cause a problem in your home. These pesky flies lay their eggs in sinks, tubs, and even pet bowls.
Prevention is better than cure, so we’ve put together some top tips to help you get rid of those annoying buzz bugs.
What are Drain Flies?
The scourge of the drain fly, also known as moth flies or sewer gnats, can turn your cozy home into a buzzing, frustrating nightmare. These pesky insects have an insatiable appetite for water and love to take up residence in bathrooms and kitchens with sinks, tubs, and even pet bowls serving as their preferred breeding grounds.
Why The Name Drain Flies?
The flies love drains because of the organic matter, which provides a natural food source for their larvae to develop and thrive.
Do Drain Flies Live for Long?
The good news is that these pesky insects only live up to two weeks as adults. However, during that brief lifespan, they can cause a lot of trouble — the tearaways of the fly underworld.
Here’s a quick rundown of the lifecycle of a drain fly:
First, the female lays eggs in moist areas. The eggs are less than 1mm and take a couple of days to hatch. The larvae stage lasts up to 15 days, during which the hungry brown-colored larvae gorge themselves on organic matter.
Next, it enters the pupae stage, lasting only 24-28 hours before the adult fly emerges. Males emerge first but only live for a few days. However, hardy females live up to seven days, laying eggs to continue their legacy.
So why do drain flies love homes and restaurants?
The bottom line is these beasties are attracted to areas with standing water, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor spaces. And since they survive by feeding on organic matter, warm environments with waste and water are the perfect breeding ground.
Does a Dirty Home Cause Drain Flies?
Drain flies are a bit like headlice. Dirty hair doesn’t cause headlice, and an infestation of drain flies doesn’t always mean you have a dirty home. These flying critters can enter your home through a clogged drain or leaky pipe. Both of which can go unnoticed until it’s too late.
If there’s standing water around your home (plumbed-in but unused toilets, refrigerator drain pans, and water left in sinks), you’re inviting drain flies into your home.
Your home doesn’t need to be dirty to attract drain flies. But if you don’t clean often or take preventative measures, chances are these debris-feasting flies will visit your home more often.
Why Drain Flies get Their Name From Drains
Think of a clogged drain, and what springs to mind? A glob of tangled hair entwined around a greasy ball of gloop? Or a fatty mass of food waste and grime?
To a drain fly, it’s paradise. The ideal place to settle down and breed, with plenty of food for their larvae to feed.
If You Spot These Signs, You Have a Drain Fly Infestation
If you see any moth-like creatures hanging out on the walls during the day or flying towards the light at night, that’s a pretty good indication you’ve got a drain fly issue.
Or if you see excessive flies around your sinks, bathtubs, or drains. If you suspect drain flies, try lifting your drain covers. That’s where the larvae are likely to be.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to give a plumbing expert a call.
How to Deal with Drain Flies Quickly
Drain flies multiply quickly. So as soon as you spot the signs, it’s time to act. The best course of action is to call in a plumbing expert. But, whatever you do, DON’T pour insecticide down your drains and pipes.
Mix a solution of baking soda and white wine vinegar. Pouring this frothing mixture down your drains helps clear away any minor clogs.
For larger blockages, try a metal pipe brush. However, if you don’t know how to use these properly, you’re best waiting for the professionals.
Coat a plastic cup with vegetable oil and place it near the site of the flies. The inquisitive beasties will head into the cup and get stuck in the oil. Your very own Venus Fly Trap!
Got Drain Flies? We Know Just Who You Should Call!
Don’t let drain flies drive you crazy. Call ASI today for any plumbing questions you have.