You are likely reading this because you either have drain flies, or had them already. Have no fear, we are here to help save you the headache and endless searching for how to prevent drain flies. First, you might want a quick refresher on these pests to make sure you are not mistaking them for another type of fly.
What is a Drain Fly
Just big enough to be noticed, a drain flies measures about 1/8th of an inch. They are dark gray and brownish, with rounded off wings (shaped like a heart).
They also have fuzz all over their backside and wings.
Now we know what they look like, so where are they from?
Drain flies like the slime in your drains and pipes. Well, their offspring (larvae) do, but we only see the adults as they clumsily fly out of our drains. It turns out, these little guys are pretty prolific when it comes to making babies.
Adults can mate and lay eggs every 48 hours and have a lifespan of 3 weeks. So an active population can create an invasion pretty quickly.
Here’s how you avoid having them take over your home.
How to Prevent Drain Flies
Drain flies like dark, damp areas with plenty of food for them and their offspring. The quickest and easiest way to get rid of a drain fly problem is to clean your drains regularly. Use regular cleaners mix with boiling water to run through the drains.
Also, scrubbing the sides of the drain pipe with a brush or a scraper can remove the scum. The key is to continually clean often, so the population does not stick around.
If the problem persists after avid cleaning, the issue might be much deeper in the pipes. You can try DIY options that might be cheaper, but they seldom work.
The usual is one cup of vinegar mixed with salt and baking soda poured down the drain and left to site overnight. (Do not be upset if this does not work!)
A better solution is to use a drain cleaner made for dissolving organic material buildup. The cleaner may not kill off the insects but should erode what makes up their habitat.
Floor drains and sump pits can benefit from a dose of Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator. This foam helps control insect life cycles by eliminating their ability to breed. Stopping the cycle is key to preventing ongoing infestations.
Additional Prevention Methods
If your home has accessible plumbing ventilation pipes, try placing a very fine mesh screen over the pipe. The screen should not cause any issues with the pipe’s function, but it could help prevent drain flies from entering.
Drano drain openers are not the only options for you to clear scum buildup. Alternatives include more natural solutions, such as Invade Bio-drain, Green Gobbler and Forid, which all have great reviews. These kinds of cleaners are shown to be just as, if not more effective in clearing drain fly habitats.
Additionally, they can be used as needed without any fear of pipe damage that can occur from lye-based gels.
Drain Flies are Gone, Now What?
Just because the problem was handled and you claimed ultimate victory does not mean you can stop being vigilant! Remember to keep your drain and surrounding areas clean; if possible, clean your drains regularly (once a week) with whatever cleaner worked for you.
No one wants drain flies around, especially your company, when they go to use your sink or bathroom. The best method of prevention is to keep drain lines clear, and used regularly if possible.