Those tiny flies circling your trashcan, drains, and faucets may seem like just a minor annoyance, but just a few drain flies can turn into a significant problem if not handled quickly.

Those tiny bugs turn into larger flies in a matter of days, and adult drain flies can lay up to 300 eggs per day. Just a few drain flies can turn into an infestation before you know it.

Looking for a way to get rid of and prevent these pesky pests? We’ve got you covered.

So, What Exactly Are Drain Flies?

Also referred to as sewer gnats or moth flies, drain flies are drawn to water sources and organic matter to lay their eggs. This is why you can find these drain flies congregating in your bathroom, kitchen, near trash cans, or even your dog’s water bowl.

How Long Does a Drain Fly Live?

Drain flies don’t live for very long–in fact, their lifespan is only up to a few weeks in total–but that means they breed quickly.

The lifespan of a drain fly follows four stages:
  • Egg: Drain fly eggs are minuscule–less than 1mm! These eggs are usually found where there is moisture and take only a couple of days to hatch.
  • Larvae: Lasting about 15 days, the small, brown larvae feed on organic matter before turning into pupae.
  • Pupae: The shortest stage of a drain fly’s life, it only takes 24-28 hours for the pupae to turn into an adult fly.
  • Adult: Males live only a few days, while females live for up to a week. During this stage, a female adult drain fly can lay up to 300 eggs per day.

Where Can You Find Drain Flies?

Drain flies are drawn to water and organic matter. Anywhere with moisture, like bathroom faucets, drains, or standing water in your yard are prime breeding grounds for the drain fly. Places with organic waste like food scraps, human or animal waste, or yard waste are even more attractive to these pests.

Why Do Drain Flies Like Drains?

That clogged drain you’ve been ignoring? It’s a drain fly’s dream home–hence why they’re called drain flies! Blocked drains with water buildup are the perfect place for an adult drain fly to lay eggs. The moisture and organic matter are exactly what a drain fly needs to thrive.

Signs of a Drain Fly Infestation

Bugs buzzing in your ear while you’re doing the dishes? It could be a sign of a pending drain fly infestation. Signs of a drain fly infestation include:

  • Moth-like bugs on walls or flying towards lights in your home.
  • Clouds of flies surround your bathtubs, drains, and garbage cans.
  • Larvae underneath your drain covers

If you’ve got drain flies, it’s unlikely that the problem will resolve itself. If you’ve got evidence of a drain fly problem, call in the professionals right away.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

Drain flies have adapted to survive in water – evolving to have the ability to forgo drowning – by having developed special hair to help keep them alive in the most unfavorable conditions. You might feel like there is no escape from these resilient little pests, but luckily, there are some pretty painless DIY solutions to defeat these pesky flying demons while you are awaiting the professional cavalry.

  • Invest in a metal pipe brush. Start at the source! A good metal pipe brush to give your pipes a solid scrubbing is a great place to begin. Make sure to clean both outside the pipes, and inside if you can get to them. Don’t forget to wash the sinks around them with soap and hot water.
  • Remove the food source. Like any flies, drain flies will look for a food source nearby. Double-check that all food remnants have been cleaned away from your sinks, and keep your trash in an outside bin if possible. Taking away their buffet will eliminate the possibility of the females laying even more eggs, for even more flies to be hatched!
  • Try the cooking oil hack. Once you have cleaned up around your sinks, leave a simple small cup with some cooking oil in it nearby. This will attract the drain flies, and they will become trapped in the oil.

Nothing Beats a Professional!

Keep in mind that DIY fixes are just a band-aid to the problem. Until you call in the experts, there’s no way to be certain that your drain fly problem is gone for good.

Calling your local professionals like the team at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air will give you the peace of mind of knowing that all the issues of drain flies are a thing of the past!

With our knowledgeable crew and all of the right equipment, you can rest easy knowing that your home will soon be drain-fly-free.

company icon