The appearance of heart shaped black or brown flies in your shower or bathroom most likely means you have a drain fly problem. Cleaning your bathroom sink and shower drains with a drain gel is the most effective method of removing them.
Sometimes you may be able to use the baking soda and vinegar solution you’ve been reading about elsewhere. Don’t pour hot water into your sink just because someone told you to on the internet. This can harm pipes, especially in older homes. The pipes may not be able to handle the sustained boiling high temperatures.
Identification of Drain Flies : What do They Look Like?
Drain flies, also known as moth or sewer flies, have a very distinct look.
- Adult flies measure about ⅕ to ⅙ inch long
- Dark, gray or brown in color
- Wings are covered in fuzzy hair
- Adult flies may have ovoid wings
- At rest, wings appear heart or “roof” shaped
- They do not fly well, and hop in short, sporadic lines
- The wing shape at rest looks like a heart
Note that fruit flies look very different from this species.
Why These Flies Love Drains
Majority of the time you see black flies in your bathroom, it is because they found a home in a nearby drain.
In bathrooms, this commonly occurs when drain flow is poor, unused or has stagnant water. To get rid of them, first remove their prime breeding ground. This is the organic matter that builds up in pipes over time.
How to Remove Them
In most cases, removal of drain fly living spaces is a simple DIY project. However, if your drain is stopped up or flowing very slowly, you might want to call a plumber first.
The basic steps to getting rid of them are:
- Locate the drain where they are breeding
- Use a pipe brush to scrub the inside of the drain
- Flush and standing water and remove remaining material
- Pour in an enzymatic or standard drain cleaning gel (4 weeks)
- Eliminate adult flies using an aerosol
- For harsh cases, an insect growth inhibitor to stop the breeding cycle
- Make sure drains are flowing well in the future
Drain flies do not tend to travel far from their breeding sites. To find which drain they are coming from, place a piece of tape over bathroom drains for 12-24 hours. If the drain has an infestation, you will usually find flies stuck to the underside of the tape.
At this point, if the drain in question runs slow, make sure to first remove any blockages before proceeding to the next step.
Use a drain brush to scrub away any buildup in the drain and p-trap area. Then, flush with warm water.
We don’t typically see as many drain fly infestations the kitchen sink, but this is also possible.
Drain gels are one of the best drain fly killers. They help remove all of the organic buildup where flies lay eggs. Follow the manufacturer recommendation for the number of treatment needed.
If you have a very difficult infestation, use an insect growth inhibitor. This will stop adult flies from breeding and laying new eggs.
Finally, if you can actually see drain fly larva then it’s easy to confirm where they are coming from.
Stop Them From Coming Back
Bathrooms will always be susceptible to drain fly problems. A good way to prevent the from recurring is to ensure drains remain clean by using non-harsh cleaners each month.
Make sure there are no underlying issues with your plumbing, which can lead to ongoing blockages. Finally, avoid letting water become stagnant by running the faucet and flushing unused toilets at least once per week.
If problems persist and you just can’t seem to get rid of them, they might be breeding in a different location, coming up from the plumbing stack. On rare occasions, they might sneak in between a poor toilet flange seal and the floor. The existence of them in the stack indicates other issues might be present.
A broken pipe or water flooding the foundation are cause for calling a plumber to investigate
Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API