• Jon Stoddard

Why Am I Getting Drain Flies?


Have you ever waken up to use the restroom or take a shower and been greeted with small furry dark flies with "Dumbo" like wings that appear out of no were? It happened to me this morning!, and being in the pest industry, I figured I would share what these little flies are, what they do, why, and risk they can pose. Don't worry, there are not the worst pest that can live in your home, and they are pretty easy to get rid of.


What is a Drain Fly?

Well, the Drain Fly has multiple names that it has adapted over the years. Some may call them sewer gnats, moth flies and sink flies. The drain fly is indeed a true fly and belongs to the family Psychodidae which is in abundance and found throughout most tropical and humid locations.


What do Drain Flies do?

This is the part were it can get a little gross. But still "PG" rated! Drain Flies like every living insect, person, mammal etc. need to eat to survive. The meal source (get ready for the gross part!) decomposing organic matter, sewage, bacteria, microorganisms, and fungi! This explains why you most likely found them in your bathroom around the sinks or shower locations.


What Causes Drain Flies?

That is a great question, sometimes it can be as simple as outdoors! I'm sure that is not the answer you may have thought, however, it can be the case. Drain flies can smell organic matter in which provides the ultimate breeding grounds. Once attracted, they will utilize these breeding locations, and after doing so, turn up in your home from pipes or drains.

Drain Flies can also be a culprit of a something much bigger! A possible plumbing leak below the shower, sink, toilet, slab, crawl space, basement etc. This obviously is a much bigger problem and can become costly. There are ways to check if it is indeed the drains or something larger.


How to Determine if you Have Drain Flies.

It is important to have positive identification when tackling any pest. Identification is the only way to be sure they are handled accordingly. If you note drain flies or what you may think to be, use this simple trick / test. Wipe down around all drains and spouts thoroughly in the bathrooms sinks, tubs, showers etc. Then proceed to place tape that is large enough to cover over the drains, spouts etc. Be sure that the tape applied with the adhesive side down. Cover all drains in those rooms you may think be in question of having the drain fly activity. As the drain flies travel through those drains and access points they will become trapped on the tape. Did you catch any? Yes?, well at least knowing allows you the knowledge of how to handle the next step!


Are Drain Flies Dangerous?

Well, lets just say that not directly. They will not bite you, they are not aggressive, they do not even really stray to far from the breeding source. However, drain flies can indirectly affect your health and family. That decomposing organic matter, sewage, bacteria, microorganisms, and fungi, we spoke about earlier, can host some nasty organisms. These nasty organisms can be transferred to countertops, sinks, open tooth brushes, food etc. all from the cross contamination of the drain fly from breeding sources to landing locations. Yuck!, Right? Don't worry though, although the second is possible, it is not so likely that you are going to get sick from having drain flies.


How do I get rid of Drain Flies?

First place to start is with a good old fashion cleaning. Start with cleaning the bathroom sinks and drain openings with general household cleaning solution of your liking. Next scrub around and inside the drain, this is best achieved if you have a pipe brush. The next step s to flush the drains, the least expensive way is to boil water in a large sized pot and slowly poured down the drain (obviously use extreme caution if you choose this method). The extreme heat in the water will easily break down any of the bacteria, fungi and organic matter which will easily strip away the breeding sources of the drain flies.


Why Can't I get Rid of Drain Flies?


If the above mentioned methods do not work for you, you may need a professional pest control company. There are different types of insecticides, biological cleaners, and enzyme that pest control companies can use to treat drains. Although you should still practice the above mentioned cleaning practices, the use of certain insect growth regulators a pest control company can utilize, will insure the drain flies are eliminated once and for all. If you find your self in need of a pest control company for unsuccessful drain flies, call Imperial Pest Prevention at (386) 956-9506. We are a full service pest prevention service that offers pest control, lawn spraying, termite treatments, Tent Fumigation, WDO inspections and other pest related concern one may have.


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