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How to Get Rid of Drain Flies


Drain flies can quickly get out of hand. If you see drain flies in your home or restaurant, you need to take action to quickly eliminate them.

But what are drain flies, how do they get into your home, and what can you do about it?

What Are Drain Flies?

Drain flies are flying insects that are most often found near–you guessed it–drains and pipes where they congregate and breed in the organic material, or sludge, collected there.

What’s The Life Cycle Of Drain Flies?

A drain fly’s life cycle is 1 to 3 weeks:

  • A female lays a cluster of about 100 eggs in a drain, sewage system, or pipe.
  • In 2 to 4 days, the eggs hatch into larvae that feed on the organic matter in the drain.
  • In about two weeks, they pupate, or become a cocoon-like form called a pupae.
  • In about 5 to 7 days, the pupae matures into an adult fly.
  • For two weeks, they mate frequently, and the females lay more clusters of eggs.

drain fliesWhere are Drain Flies Most Often Found?

Drain flies show up in homes or restaurants anywhere there’s standing water and a food source.

Prime locations are kitchens, bathrooms, in floors, or utility areas, mop sinks, garbage disposals and toilets.

How Do Drain Flies Get Into Your Home?

Open pipes or drains, tiny cracks and gaps in your doors, windows, and walls are places where drain flies can enter your home. They can also come in open doors and windows, especially when there’s light attracting them.

You may have brought some in yourself without realizing it, in infested produce or plants.

They can also migrate from a nearby property where conditions are conducive to them.

Why They Live in Your Drains

A drain has the environment drain flies thrive in, especially where there’s moist food, grease, or human waste. They lay clusters of eggs where the sludge is food for their larvae.

Signs of a Drain Fly Infestation

You may see drain flies around drains, on walls during daylight hours, or flying around lights at night.

If you lift up your drain covers, you may see their larvae inside.

Why It’s Hard To Get Rid of Drain Flies

Ridding your home or restaurant of drain flies can be a challenge because:

drain fly infestation

  • Drain flies live and breed in hard-to-reach and hidden places such as pipes, sewage systems, and drains.
  • The pupae, larvae, and eggs of drain flies tend to be insecticide-resistant.
  • If you don’t get rid of all of them, they reproduce quickly and return in a short time.

It may be hard to get rid of drain flies, but it is possible.

Getting Rid of Drain Flies

There are several home remedies that can help you get rid of drain flies. Keep in mind, however, that home remedies help eliminate their food and larvae but may not completely eradicate them.



Home Remedy #1: Baking Soda, Salt, and Vinegar

First, pour boiling water down the drain to loosen the sludge. Pour a mixture of ½ c of baking soda and ¼ c of salt down the drain, followed by 1 c of vinegar. That will bubble and fizz, breaking down the sludge. Cover the drain to keep the mixture inside and working.

Let that sit overnight.  In the morning, pour hot water down the drain to rinse it.

Home Remedy #2: Homemade Fly Trap

A concoction of honey, vegetable oil, and vinegar can trap and kill drain flies by the dozens. Place ingredients in a bowl near where you see drain flies congregate.

Home Remedy #3: Metal Pipe Brush

A metal pipe brush can be used to thoroughly scrub the walls of drain pipes, removing the sludge that is the food and breeding environment. This DIY method is effective, however, you’re limited to where you can reach without equipment.

Home Remedy #4: Drain Cleaner

Organic and chemical drain cleaners can kill the larvae living in your pipes. Keep in mind that chemical drain solutions can negatively affect your plumbing system or the environment, so they must be used with caution.


drain flies eat organic matter in your drainsHow to Prevent Drain Flies Them From Coming Back

Once you’ve gotten rid of your drain flies, it’s important to take measures to ensure they don’t come back! Here’s what you can do:

  • Cover your drains and keep them clean.
  • Store all food in air-tight containers, and clean up spills and crumbs right away.
  • Use sealed garbage containers for waste. Store them away from your home.
  • Make sure areas where you’ve seen drain flies are well ventilated.


If you’ve used all of the above remedies and taken precautionary measures and are still seeing drain flies, you may have an infestation coming from standing water somewhere inside the walls or floor of your home.

If that’s the case, it’s time to call in a professional plumber who has the necessary tools and techniques to handle an infestation.

It’s Time to Call a Professional

If you just can’t seem to eliminate your drain flies, it’s time to call in the pros. A professional plumber like HELP can get rid of drain flies and repair any damage in your pipes or leaks that create standing water and excess moisture.

Call HELP and schedule an appointment for drain fly removal today.

Posted in: Plumbing

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