How to Get Rid of Drain Flies: 4 Simple Hacks

Drain fly on screen showing short hairy body and round wings
drain fly on a  drain grate showing short hairy body and round wings

Drain flies can be a nuisance to experience.

These tiny insects can inhabit all kinds of drains, including sink drains, floor drains, and shower drains.  Many have furry bodies, and round wings, leading to them also being called moth flies.

Though they are usually harmless, nobody wants flies in their home. However, they can be quite resilient, making them difficult to exterminate.

In this article, four simple hacks for how to get rid of drain flies are discussed. Towards the end, some final thoughts are offered on drain flies.

Related Read: How to Get Rid of Cluster Flies

4 Simple Hacks for Getting Rid of Drain Flies

In this section, four techniques for removing drain flies are considered in depth.

1. Pour Boiling Water on the Affected Area

One effective way of getting rid of drain flies is to pour boiling water on them. We suggest using a metal tea kettle or teapot, for precise pouring and safety.

While this likely won’t be enough on its own to completely solve your infestation, it will at least kill many eggs. Larvae will be harder to kill, though boiling water might get rid of some of them.

Many experts recommend doing this one to two times daily for several weeks in combination with other methods. This will shift the balance back in your favor, as eliminating eggs is crucial to solving your drain fly problem.

The adults and larvae have a reputation for being quite resilient due to all the hair on their body. Adults will survive boiling water, making other methods crucial to follow.

When pouring boiling water, do so slowly. If you pour too much at once into a drain, it could splash and burn you. Some people might forget this and simply throw boiling water at a drain.

Dumping boiling water quickly can result in injury and cause damage to other parts of the space.

Slowly pouring it allows you to be more accurate with your pouring. If you’ve investigated the drain ahead of time using a light source, you might notice that the eggs are in a particular location.

A slow pour could allow you to target these eggs precisely.

On the other hand, some people prefer quickly pouring lots of water, like from a pot with a side spout to guide it; that can be effective with larger drains or larger infestations. Take caution to avoid injury.

Related Read: Rid Your Home of Powder Post Beetles Today!

2. Clean the Affected Area

Most experts agree that drain flies are attracted to decaying organic matter, as they love to lay eggs in this material. This means if your drain is very dirty and has lots of old foodstuff in it, then drain flies will likely be attracted to it.

This can be fresh food or just general dirt.

For example, many drain flies are attracted to shower drains because dirt and filth accumulate there. Drain flies are also known to be attracted to damp areas, making showers, sinks, and floor drains popular sites for infestation.

If you are wondering how to get rid of drain flies, then perhaps you should start with thoroughly cleaning the affected drain.

There are many ways to do this. Simply taking a wet cloth and scraping all the exposed parts of the drain is a good start. Basically, you want to remove any decaying matter that the drain flies might be attracted to.

While this might be disgusting, your cleaning work will pay dividends in the future when your infestation has subsided.

Many people like to buy a special substance to clean their drain. Many of these contain a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients that are highly effective at cleaning a dirty area.

If the area you are targeting is used by many people, then you might consider using more natural cleaning products, as these will be safest. Some synthetic ingredients can cause reactions in sensitive individuals, leading to more problems than solutions.

Some people might experience a drain fly infestation all over their house. In this case, it might be beneficial to call professionals and have them methodically clean your space. While this might be costly, it will ensure that your house is no longer a popular zone for breeding drain flies.

Many people like to use the product Bio-Clean to clean the affected area. This product will eat away organic matter that might be attracting drain flies to your premises. This product is non-toxic and thus safe to use in places like kitchen sink drains and shower drains.

3. Change Your Lifestyle

In some cases, cleaning might not prevent drain flies from invading your premises. In some spaces, the mere presence of food is enough to attract drain flies, as some food can have a very pungent odor.

For example, ripening fruit is known to attract drain flies due to its strong aroma as it ripens and the presence of sugars. If you leave fruit in drains, then it could attract a number of creatures over time, not only drain flies.

In this sense, it might be best to compost any leftover foodstuff rather than washing it down a drain. This also ensures that the food returns to the earth.

Discovering a drain fly infestation could even be the impetus you need to make a major lifestyle change. You might suddenly realize that the infestation may be due to the way you keep food waste, as any food that has not been properly disposed of could attract these creatures.

Thus, you might have to make major changes in your life that includes creating a compost system. This might also attract drain flies to a new location, namely where the food is composting outside.

More than anything, these changes will keep your drains as clean as possible so that pesky insects don’t disturb your peace of mind.

4. Set a Trap or Use a Weapon

Setting a trap is one of the most effective ways of ridding your space of drain flies.

One of the most popular traps includes pouring vinegar in a cup and then covering it with some kind of paper or plastic. Then you should cut holes in this covering material.

Drain flies will be attracted to the smell of the vinegar. However, once they enter the container, they will have a difficult time leaving through the holes. Also, some drain flies will fall into the vinegar and drown.

You should leave this trap close the breeding site, as this will maximize how many drain flies you catch.

If you don’t have access to vinegar, then sugar can also be used in combination with water.

Another common trap is to place tape over the affected drain with the sticky side facing down. Experts recommend not covering the entire drain, as this could prevent the flies from flying upwards. If you leave a small hole, this will encourage the flies to fly out of the drain. However, the sticky surface of the tape will hopefully catch them, allowing you to kill some of drain fly population.

You should leave the tape on the drain for several days, as sometimes this trap takes a bit of time to start working.

Many of these traps are even more effective when used in combination with other methods. For example, some people might use vinegar to attract drain flies while using a fly swatter to actively kill them.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

If you are wondering how to get rid of drain flies, then you might have to adapt your approach to your environment.

For instance, some infestations might be a result of hair that has accumulated at the bottom of a shower drain. This hair can catch all kinds of filth and grime, creating an ideal space for a drain fly infestation.

In this case, it would be best to use a hair catcher to remove hair from the drain. These can be created from common objects in your home. Alternatively, they can be affordably purchased online on Amazon.

In some cases, removing a single factor like hair can tip the scale in your favor. In other cases, you might have to do many different things to get rid of drain flies.

At the end of the day, drain flies are only one element of your existence. If you ever feel overwhelmed by their presence, then you should reflect on all the positive aspects of your life. This will be a grounding experience that will foster appreciation and peace of mind.  

Featured Image: CC by 2.0, by Judy Gallagher , via Flickr