How to get rid of drain flies – practical tips that work

Dave Campbell

The moth flies, also known as the drain fly, sewer flies, or filter flies, can become a problem. While the drain flies are not harmful, they can transmit human diseases. You find the insect in different water ecosystems to your kitchen and bathroom, making you feel yucky. So how to get rid of drain flies, and how do you know you have flies from drain lurking into your home.

More about the Drain Fly

The drain flies develop with complete metamorphism and have a life cycle of up to 24 days. The fly has a small build of ⅛-inches with a brown or black color and has unique patterns on the wings. The body has hair, and when crushed, the moth flies leave a smudge of powder.

You find them around the drain, and you should not confuse the insect with the Phorid fly. The drain flies lay up to 100 eggs and hatches within 48-hours. The eggs you find in irregular masses in disposal units, garbage, plumbing fixtures, water traps, and sewage plant filters.

The pupae of the drain flies live in a thick film you find in septic tank field lines, drains, and filter stones and feed on the sediment or decaying vegetation. The larva life cycle is up to 15 days, and the pupating stage lasts up to 40-hours.

Once the life cycle completes, an adult fly emerges into a sexually mature fly and can copulate within hours. One thing that you will notice with the sewer flies is that they do not fly well and see them running or walking on walls.

When they do fly, it is in a jerky line for a few feet. Furthermore, if you do see this small fly around your kitchen checks for all probable reproduction cause:

  • Puddles
  • Organic material
  • Drains
  • Grease

By doing this, it helps to identify the fly and obliterate the reproduction area immediately. So how to get rid of drain fly?

Before you can get rid of adult flies, you need to understand the breeding source and also where to look for drain flies.

The Breeding Source of Drain Flies

The problem with these species of flies is that you can have drain flies, Sphaerocerid flies, or fruit flies and Phorid flies. Here is an example of the different breeding spots for these different types of flies:

Phorid flies – you find the insect in contaminated sewage soil, drains, rotting vegetables/fruit/meat, trash, and humid organic materials.

Drain flies – the moth flies live and breed in the drain, soil contaminated with sewage, sewers, and septic tanks.

Sphaerocerid flies – you can find in humid organic material, manure, garbage, drain, and rotting vegetables and fruit.

Fruit flies – the fly you spot around rotting to fresh fruits and vegetables, damp organic materials, and the drain

How Do You Control and Get Rid of Drain Flies

The important thing is to find the breeding site to rid the infestation if in the drain. You need to check all the potential areas mentioned to control the drain flies.

You need to inspect and clean the breeding sites of the moth flies out to obliterate them, and only using warm water and dish soap does not help to remove the eggs and drain flies.

You can do this by starting at the drains, as this is where drain flies breeds. If you notice a sticky residue on the pipe, side, and trap, take a knife and scrape the sides.

Also, examine the mud for the larvae as well. Another method is to use sticky tape at the top of the drain, leaving some holes for the air to flow. You will find the fly is stuck to the tape when exiting the pipe.

Regularly clean the floor drain by using a mixture of white vinegar, boiling water, baking soda, which helps to eat away organic matter in the drain.

However, if you identify you have drain fly breeding under the slab, make a hole to break through it to check if a pipe is broken and the flies are reproducing there. Here you may need to use more than white vinegar or dish soap to remove the problem.

You can break up the soil, and you may find the eggs or adults on the site. When it comes to drains and getting rid of drain flies, there are no rights reserved for them as the fly can spread disease carried from the drains onto your food.

picture of a drain

Other Examine and Control Methods

  • Is your sump pump pit in the basement? The likeliness is that you have a breeding site for moth flies. So check the pump pits for any activity if you see them flying around.
  • Inspect lower points of elevators in buildings, as there may be excess moisture or water present as well.
  • In the house, you will find the drain flies in shower drains, as it is a prime breeding source.
  • Make sure to eliminate all organic matter under kitchen equipment and seal cracks with lasting caulk.
  • Is the shower the breeding source, then you can make an opening into the pan or wall, as they are likely to breed in the spot? You will notice adult flies rising from the tunnel as the light attracts drain flies.
  • Inspect drainpipes for leaks, and you may notice dead filter flies in spider webs.
  • Another great way is to re-grout tiles to stop water leakage and helps to stop breeding sources for the fly.
  • Make sure to keep garbage containers clean using a solution of white vinegar and ensure that washing machines do not have standing water inside the drains.
  • Even water under plant pots is an excellent breeding spot for this fly.

These are some of the places the drain flies breed. If you are not able to inspect the sites, it helps to call in a pest control service to find the breeding source for you.

The Importance of Sanitation Treatments

Sanitation is of importance when it comes to how to get rid of drain flies. The moth fly has no rights reserved and needs eliminating.

You can make use of drain cleaner, or you can unclog the drain using a solution of baking soda and white vinegar. You can start by pouring some boiling water down the garbage disposal or drain. Pour a cup of water mixed with vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Also, cover the drain with a plug for 10-minutes.

Now follow it up with boiling water again. Alternatively, we recommend using a drain cleaner like Invade Bio product for the best remedy to eradicate drain flies or any other fly that loves to live in the organic matter found in the drain.

To remove organic debris and help improve sanitation uses the Invade Bio-Gel Treatment. While for hard-to-reach places, use Invade Hot Spot that is microbial foam with a citrus scent in a spray can with a valve for administration in any orientation.

Other products in the collection are the Invade Bio Cleaner and Mop Cleaner to help with sanitizing and removing organic matter in the home as well. However, if the adult drain flies are still present after a week of treatment, then it helps to inspect for other reproduction sources as well.

Other Sanitation Products

Pyrethrins contact aerosols – once you remove the breeding spot, you can spray the aerosol insecticide to kill more adults flies.

Fly lights – another handy device you can use is a light trap as it attracts drain flies efficiently. However, the use is imperfect, as it does not remove the breeding spot.

The Importance of Sanitation Treatments  

As you can see, when it comes to determining if you have drain flies or any other form of flies present in the home, it is a difficult task.

Try to find the breeding source first by following the techniques above and eliminating the breeding spot first before using a fly repellent. Here sanitation is of importance to prevent the moth flies from returning.

So keep the drains clean and remove organic matter that causes these insects to make your home their abode. If you are uncertain where to look, we recommend you get in the help of a pest control service to help.



Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.

Recent Posts

Dead Pestz