If tiny flies are swarming around in your kitchen or bathroom, there is a high chance that drain flies have made your drains and pipes their new home – lucky you!
Drain flies can be a real nuisance, particularly as getting rid of drain flies in your sink, drains, and plumbing can be tricky. However, there are ways to get rid of drain flies and prevent them from coming back for good.
Before we jump into how to get rid of drain flies, let’s look at what they are and why they are in your home:
What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies are also known as sink flies, filter flies, or sewer gnats. They earn their nickname from their breeding spots – moist areas around the house (particularly the moist film that accumulates in drains). As they feed on organic material and decaying vegetation, kitchen drains provide the ideal nourishment for their larvae until they are fully evolved.
These tiny insects grow around 0,4 centimetres, have a greyish-black or tan colour, long antennas, fuzzy appearance, and short bodies. They are often mistaken for fruit flies – the clear distinction is that they will be hanging around your drains and sinks.
Why do I have drain flies in my home?
Drain flies have two requirements that make reproducing and nurturing larvae possible: moisture and organic material. Both can be easily found in the average kitchen and bathroom sink – it’s just a fact.
Over time, drains end up becoming a warm and damp environment, coated with a moist film that is a perfect basis for the reproduction of drain flies. On top of the moisture, there is a steady build-up of organic material from your daily life, such as food waste, fats, oils, and grease. These decaying leftovers the most suitable environment for drain flies’ larvae to grow. Therefore, they choose to be your subtenant – and they certainly do not adhere to the cleaning schedule.
Drain flies are very common but also easily preventable.
How to get rid of drain flies in 6 steps
Step 1: Clean your kitchen and bathroom
So, we know that drain flies use the moisture in your pipes and drains to breed and nurture their larvae (Gross, we know). As such, the first step for how to get rid of drain flies is to get cleaning!
Cleaning up after these bugs have already nested and bred isn’t going to cure the problem, but it will help in preventing the bugs from coming back in the future. Make sure to give your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry sinks and drain areas a good scrub and clean out – the less moisture and left over organic material in these areas, the better.
Cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms will also help to identify all the areas in the house that are affected by drain flies.
Step 2: Use a wire brush & boiling water
While cleaning, use a wire brush to effectively scrub further than the sink area. A wire brush will help you to clean out the pipes, and remove the moisture build up and organic matter that has been infested.
Use boiling hot water to help remove the build-up in your pipes – particularly in the kitchen. You can also mix equal parts of water, sugar, and vinegar, pour it down the affected drain and let it sit for an hour or so before rinsing. This will help to break down any fats, oils, and grease that is providing the perfect breeding ground for drain flies.
Step 3: Use a stronger chemical cleaner
If your drain fly infestation is still present after a good clean with the above steps, it’s time to step up the game. There are stronger drain chemical cleaning products that you can use to help kill off the drain fly breeding areas – just be sure to avoid any products that will corrode and damage your plumbing.
Step 4: Call in the experts
If you cannot solve the drain fly infestation with the above steps, it’s time to call in the experts. At this point, reach out to your local plumber to remedy the situation and provide any replacements, repairs, and clean-outs of your older plumbing.
Step 5: Maintain your plumbing
After successfully applying these above four steps on how to stop drain flies, prevention is the last step in avoiding future infestations.
Cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms is the most crucial step in preventing drain flies from coming back. Make sure you’re regularly cleaning these problem areas – this will prevent the flies from finding anywhere to lay eggs and breed.
Other tips include not keeping fruits and other food close to your kitchen sink. Give your sinks a more extended rinse out after using them, and use the wire brush every few weeks to get rid of any moisture films and organic material.
Regular plumbing maintenance will also be one of the best things you can do to prevent drain flies. Regular plumbing maintenance is not only more effective than regular cleaning but also increases the lifespan of your water supply system, identifies potential causes for high energy water bills, and proactively identifies any corrosion or leaks.
Let’s face the facts – drain flies are gross and are a nuisance. However, they are preventable and where you follow the above steps, can be remedied.
At Waterline Plumbing, we take drain flies infestations seriously, as we understand how important a clean, hygienic, and effective plumbing system is. Whether it’s help with your current drain fly problem, scheduled maintenance, or a plumbing emergency, reach out to Waterline Plumbing today for all plumbing problems in Perth. Get in touch with our friendly team for a free quote on any and all plumbing problems. Call on 0450 334 373 today!