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Everything You Wanted (or didn’t) about Drain Flies

Any time you see bugs in your house, you can’t help but feel a little bit grossed out.  This is particularly true if you find them in places where you eat–such as your kitchen, or in places that you try to clean yourself–such as the bathroom.  Unfortunately, drain flies can make themselves very comfortable in both of those places as well as in other areas of your home.

Drain flies, sometimes known as sink flies or moth flies, look like moths and have little round, fuzzy bodies.  They tend to congregate and breed in drains with stagnant water and a build-up of organic matter.  They can be found in kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks and drains, and especially in rarely used sinks and drains such as in the basement.

The bad news? These little guys can breed fast!  In fact, up to 300 eggs can hatch every 48 hours.

The good news? They are not actually a health concern and they are fairly easy to get rid of.

What to Do if you Spot Drain Flies in your Home

If you spot some winged creatures hovering around your drains, you might just have a drain fly problem on your hands.  It is recommended that you make sure that you are indeed dealing with drain flies before trying any elimination tactics–otherwise all of your work may be done in vain.  The check is simple:  simply cover the offending drain with tape overnight.  The next morning, check the tape to see if any flies became stuck to it while trying to exit the drain.  If the tape is clean, but you still see flies hanging out–try again for a few days.

If, come morning, your tape has some flies stuck to it, then you probably have drain flies.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

As mentioned above, it is pretty simple to rid your home of these pests.  You just need to unclog and clean out the drain using either home remedies or chemical cleaners.

Some home remedies as recommended by This Old House:

-Pouring a combination of baking soda, salt, and vinegar down the drain and let it sit overnight.  In the morning, flush it out.

-Setting a trap next to the drain with a bowl of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and dish soap.

**Please note–while pouring hot water down the drain can be an effective means of clearing gunk out of the pipes, we recommend never pouring boiling water as that can lead to pipe damage.

If you still seem to have a persistent problem with drain flies after a week or so of attempting these remedies, professional pest control can also help.

Prevent Drain Flies from Returning

Once you get rid of them, you definitely don’t want them back, right? The key to this is keeping pipes clean and clear.  If it looks like things are seriously clogged, don’t hesitate to schedule a professional drain cleaning.

Do you have more questions about your home’s plumbing needs?  Contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical!

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