drain fly on white background

At one point or another, we’ve all had insects intrude our home. Bugs like spiders and cockroaches can easily be taken care of as they appear. Flies, on the other hand, are a bit more annoying and difficult to deal with. One particular fly that is very commonly seen in households is the drain fly. As the name implies, drain flies are usually found hovering over the sinks within your home, attracted to the standing water and bacteria that manifests there. According to This Old House, drain flies are often mistaken as fruit flies or gnats due to their size and the consistent buzzing sound they make when they are around. If you take a closer look, however, you can clearly see the moth-like features that make them unique from other flies.

If you happen to have drain flies in your home, it is not difficult to get rid of them. You must, however, act fast when you are attempting to get rid of them. This Old House further explains that although drain flies only have a lifespan of eight to twenty-four days, they can lay around three hundred eggs within forty-eight hours. This means that if you don’t act quickly, your drain fly issue can multiply within a few short days. But as mentioned, getting rid of drain flies is not a difficult task, and can be easily done within a matter of minutes.

Baking soda and vinegar

cleaning sink with baking soda

One of the simplest ways you can quickly get rid of drain flies within your home is with baking soda and vinegar. Many homeowners already have these items available within their homes, making this a quick and easy option for getting rid of these pesky flies. Country Living recommends always starting a drain fly removal process with a proper sink cleaning. This should be done with a normal cleaning solution and a pipe brush, which allows you to thoroughly clean even the deepest parts of your drain.

When your sink is clean, mix the baking soda and vinegar together in a bowl or cup. The solution should consist of ½ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar, and ½ cup of salt. After mixing the solution together, pour it down the drain and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. The next morning, finish off the process by pouring some boiling water down the drain to flush out the solution, and the drain flies along with it.

Homemade trap

homemade fly traps

Alongside clearing away the flies within the drain, it is also a good idea to capture the ones that happen to escape. This Old House suggests three different types of homemade traps you can make that will effectively capture drain flies and keep them from reinfesting your drains.

The first type of trap consists of a simple piece of duct tape. To make the trap, take a piece of duct tape and seal off the drain with it. The duct tape will then catch the drain flies on its sticky surface as they attempt to escape the drain. Another homemade trap consists of soap, water, sugar, and vinegar. For this trap, start by mixing the ingredients together in a bowl, then add in a few drops of dish soap. Leave this solution out next to your sink, as the drain flies are attracted to the sweetness of the solution, they get trapped within its soapy contents.

The final way mentioned by This Old House is a simple trap made from apple cider vinegar and plastic wrap. Start by pouring some apple cider vinegar into a bowl and covering the top of the bowl with a layer of plastic wrap. When the plastic wrap is secured over the bowl, punch a few small holes into the plastic wrap with a toothpick to allow the flies to get in, which will trap them inside the bowl.

Store-bought products

pouring cleaner into drain

If you think your drain fly infestation is beyond these simple home solutions, there are also a variety of products you can purchase that promise to clear even the largest of drain fly issues. Solutions Pest and Lawn specifically recommends using Forid brand drain cleaner, Gentrol IGR, and Pyrid. Each of these products work together to take care of a different area of the extermination process and prevent the flies from appearing again.

First, start with the drain cleaner. Before, pouring the product into the drain, however, moisten the drain by letting the faucet run for about ten minutes. This process should be continued once a week until you don’t see any more drain flies. Next, spray the Gentrol IGR down along the edges of the drain to prevent the development of new drain flies. Finally, use the Pyrid to control the surrounding drain area by spraying any loose drain flies you detect.

Avoid bleach

bleach on top of drain

As you are finding the right solution to your drain fly issue, you should always resist using bleach to rectify the situation. Bleach is one of the most common types of household cleaners, known for killing a variety of tiny creatures that you may find around your home. Despite its common uses, however, bleach should never be poured down your drains to get rid of a drain fly infestation.

How Stuff Works further explains that bleach may help kill some of the drain flies that are infesting your drains but flows too quickly down your drain to penetrate and properly get rid of the problem. On top of its inefficient exterminating abilities, bleach has a negative impact on the environment and our health (per Sani Professional) and can also cause damage to your pipes, especially if you live in a somewhat older home. Instead of wasting your time trying to use bleach for your drain fly situation, it is highly recommended to try the other easy home remedies mentioned in this article or invest in proper drain fly extermination products.

Avoiding future drain flies

dirty dishes attracting drain flies

After getting rid of drain flies within your home, how do you ensure that they don’t come back? Luckily, The Shroom Company notes that there are a variety of easy ways you can prevent drain flies from reinfesting your home.

As mentioned before, drain flies are mainly attracted to stagnant water. This means that the less stagnant water you have present within your home, the fewer drain flies will be tempted to invade it. Stagnant water can be found and removed from leaky drains, pet water bowls, potted plants, fishbowls, and more.

Keeping your drains clean, is another simple way to prevent drain flies from coming into your home. The Shroom Company specifically recommends cleaning your drains at least once a week with a standard drain cleaner to keep your drains from attracting drain flies. Drain flies also thrive on wet leftover food; therefore, drain flies can also be prevented by proper storage or throwing away dinner scraps. Leaving unwashed dishes in the sink and letting your trash pile up within your home should also be avoided.