Drain Flies: A Plumbing Problem With A Solution

Drain flies aren't really a pest problem so much as they are a plumbing problem. If you suspect that you may be dealing with drain flies, the following information can help you eliminate them for good as well as improve the health of your plumbing system.

What Do Drain Flies Look Like?

Drain flies are small, typically no much larger than a gnat or fruit fly. They resemble small moths more than they do flies, though. Drain flies are either black or brown, and they have translucent wings and fuzzy bodies. They also usually have long antennae, which are also fuzzy. Of course, because they are so small it may not be easy to see these details when they are buzzing around a drain. You may need to catch one or wait for a fly to settle on a surface in order to get a positive ID.

Where Are The Pests Found?

Decaying organic matter in drains is the primary food source, so you usually only find drain flies around a drain. The pests feed on food, decaying hair, and bacteria-filled biofilm that grows in the standing water inside a drain or along the interior surfaces of a drain pipe. Floor drains are a common location because dirty water may stay in the drain for long periods of time before it is flushed out, but you can also find drain flies in sink or shower drains. Slow drains that don't empty quickly tend to be the biggest attractant for the pests.

How Can You Find the Problem Drain?

It's usually obvious which drain is the culprit because drain flies tend to stay near their home drain. In rooms with multiple drains, though, such as the bathroom, you may not be sure where the pests are coming from. In the evening, before bed, tape over the drain completely with packing tape or any very sticky tape. Cover the drain opening completely. Carefully peel off the tape in the morning. You can tell which drains are affected because the tape from those drains will have stuck flies on the surface.

What Is The Best Way to Eliminate Drain Flies?

The only surefire way to get rid of drain flies is to schedule a professional drain cleaning. Your plumber may opt to use an auger to clear out developing clogs, then follow it up with the application of an enzyme cleaner to remove any biofilm that is attracting the flies. Another option is hydro jetting, where your plumber uses high-pressure water jets to remove all clogs and remaining residue. Hydro jetting is especially effective for floor drains.

Contact a plumber in your area to schedule a professional drain cleaning today. They can provide further information regarding clogged drains.