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How to Get Rid of Drain Flies: Effective Drain Fly Treatment

Drain Flies are small insects that most often live in “wet” sewage areas in the bathroom and kitchen. Not recognized in time, these insects can become a real problem. They multiply quickly and bring discomfort to your everyday life. But I have plenty of experience in getting rid of bathroom flies.

This article will help you learn how to kill drain flies quickly and safely for pets.

What are Drain Flies

Flies coming out of drain have hair, which distinguishes them from ordinary domestic flies. Their body lengths are between 2 and 5 millimeters. Visually, they are easy to identify. Waste flies are grey and have large wings. Under the light, the hair cover can shimmer with silver.

Two more antennae at the front can also help to distinguish them (they are directed at the sides). Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re looking at a moth or a drain fly.

This insect species belong to the Psychodinae family. The larvae may stay in the water or muddy environment for a long time. This stage of insect development lasts up to 15 days, after which a so-called “doll” appears. And after 20 to 40 hours, the sutures are torn, and a fly appears. The lifespan of the insect is up to 20 days.

To eliminate drain flies is a necessity for any household-owner. These insects appear in sewage pipes that are out of use and stagnate for a long time. They are attracted by moisture, unpleasant smell, and contents of sewage pipes. It sounds terrible, but they really can’t live without it.

The Difference Between Drainage Flies and Fruit Flies

Difference Between Drainage Flies and Fruit Flies

Drainage and fruit flies can easily be confused with each other. They do not resemble each other on the outside but are always near sewage pipes and debris. Fruit insects also live near fruit trees, bushes, and garbage cans outside or inside the house. Appearance should, therefore, be the main determining factor.

Only sewage flies are hairy and silver-colored with large mustaches at the front of the body. These insects can’t fly high. Despite the large size of the wings, they do not fly high due to the anatomical features of the torso and the presence of hair cover. This is an essential factor that makes them easy to distinguish from fruit flies and other types of flies.

Note that drainage insects are more massive than fruit flies. But their methods of destruction are almost identical. You don’t know how to kill drain flies? You can get rid of fruit flies in a drain with gels, sprays, and other means described in this article.

There is one effective way to find out if these hated sewage insects live in your home. Put a sticky tape near the drain hole in the bathtub and sink (the sticky part should be at the top).

Wait for one or more days. If you see an insect sticking to the tape near the drain, this means they really live inside the sewer and crawl out periodically.

Potential Drain Fly Dangers

Potential Drain Fly Dangers

Drain fly removal is necessary due to the risk of mass reproduction of insects. They do not cause harm to pets or humans. Even when their lives are threatened, drain flies are unable to bite. Their most enormous damage is the unpleasant sensation of seeing many hairy insects in the house.

Children are usually afraid of them, as the insect’s body size reaches half a centimeter. Add to this the unpleasant noise when it tries to fly around the room and the nasty look. I’m sure I’d never want half a hundred flying hairy flies in my house.

Drain flies don’t harm the environment. They do not spoil furniture, carpets, and rarely even consume food in the house. These insects are not vectors of infection and disease. But at the same time, they can transmit dirt when they sit on a table or food (because before that, they must have crawled in sewage and sewers).

But if you crush this insect with something substantial, you leave a big stain. It’s best to use proven and safe means to remove sink flies.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

Drain fly treatment should only begin once the breeding ground has been determined. You could see adult sewage insects with your own eyes. But you have to learn precisely where they come from. It could be:

  • Drain sink in the kitchen or bathroom;
  • Drainage of a bath or a shower gangway;
  • The toilet;
  • The garbage chute;
  • Drainage of the dishwasher;
  • Food shredder (in some cases).

If you kill drain flies in one place, they may appear in another. It is, therefore, necessary to control drain flies and use insect killers in all possible drain areas.

Step 1: Identify Affected Drains

Identify Affected Drains

Still, wondering how to get rid of drain flies fast? First of all, it is necessary to visually inspect the potential areas of drainage flies infestation: sewage drains, wet mops, garbage chutes, shower traps, etc. Also, you can check plant pots, birdbaths, street water bodies without running water.

Drainage insects can appear everywhere where it’s damp, dark, cold, and where you may find all kinds of rot and garbage. They feed on it.

Most often drain flies multiply inside a shower tray, under a bathtub or concealed sink. If you have seen insects near the shower or bath, drill a small hole in the wall or shower tray near the wet areas. The flies will see the light and fly to it (this is relevant if you do not have a brick house).

Try to smell rot and damp before using the drain fly remedy. Smell the drains and drains in the sinks. If you feel a strong stink, take apart the siphon and clean it.

All sorts of sewage leaks also lure sewer flies. Inside the walls, there may have been a small breakthrough, near which the insects accumulate. It is always necessary to examine the places near the sewers.

Step 2: Destroy the Breeding Source

Breeding Source Drain Flies

Have you identified the source of the breeding of the awful insects? Now you have to use the best drain fly killer! But the biggest threat is not adults, but thousands of larvae on the walls of sewage pipes. Even one surviving fly will be enough to replicate an entire swarm of insects. So the first thing to do is get rid of the larvae.

Warning! Do not try to use folk methods. Boiling water, boric acid, vinegar, citric acid, and other substances are not very useful for cleaning the drain. Drain Fly larvae can withstand even high temperatures.

To destroy the larvae, follow the following sequence:

  • Pour warm water into the drain hole to moisten it (even boiling water will not damage the worms).
  • Remove the drain hole from the grating and push a metal or coarse plastic brush inside.
  • Pour the best drain fly gel inside, which will destroy the remaining larvae. Alternatively, you can use a pure drain gel to clean the worms, but then you will still have to treat the waste pipe with a particular substance.

Our task is to ensure that all the larvae from the walls of the sewage pipes enter the sewerage system or are destroyed. Only then we will be able to determine the best way to get rid of drain flies.

Step 3: Get Rid of Drain Flies

Many people are wondering what kills drain flies. I’ve already written above that these insect larvae are very resilient. But adults are not as resistant to aggressive substances and high temperatures. So it’s much easier to destroy them.

But you don’t have to go to the garage to get a fly swatter— it won’t help. These insects hide in sewage, under sinks, baths, and even in the walls near sewers. Several kinds of means are used against them:

  • Handy tools.
  • Special chemicals against these insects.

I’ll tell you right away, I’ve tried to destroy sewage flies in different ways. Special chemical gels, sprays, and other substances were always more effective and faster. Convenient means can only be useful with a small number of drainage insects.

If you see creeping drain flies, try to kill them with a solution of liquid soap and warm water. The soap contains components that are insecticides. Add up to 20% liquid soap to the spray bottle and fill the rest of the volume with water. This way will bleach & kill drain flies. Make sure the insects get wet!

If you notice this kind of house flies in the kitchen, leave a mixture of sugar, warm water, and white vinegar in a bowl overnight. It will attract them. If they try to land on the water, they’ll drown. The sweet aroma of white vinegar will be more reliable than their instincts. Getting rid of bathroom flies this way, you don’t spend a dime.

A mixture of soda, salt, and table vinegar can also help. All of them need to be mixed in any proportion and poured into the waste pipe.

But all the methods described above do not guarantee 100% results. It is more rational to use select chemicals:

  • Wastewater liquids;
  • Electric or mechanical flycatchers;
  • Sticky tapes;
  • Sprays.

One of the most popular means to combat sewage flies is liquid. The particular composition destroys insects and neutralizes unpleasant smells. If you are still not sure how to get rid of drain flies quickly, try using electric or mechanical flycatchers. But they cannot be the only remedy against insects. They can only complement the fight against waste flies.

Related Post: Best Bug Zappers That Work

The simplest option is to buy adhesive tapes, which are applied to the surface of a sweet composition of alluring insects. They fill up on the sticky surface and stay there forever.

Place such tapes near each drain hole as well as near the bathtub and sink. You will notice the result the next day.

Best Drain Fly Control Remedies

1. Scum-Eating Bye-Bye Drain Flies – The Best Drain Fly Killer

No products found.

Bye-Bye Drain Flies is a liquid gel that needs to be poured inside the drains (sink, bath, shower). Sweet taste and pleasant aroma attract sewage flies. They consume the gel and die from it. The product can be used even for plastic sanitary pipes. The gel cleans sewage, neutralizes unpleasant smell, and gets rid of larvae and adult insects.

  • safe for plastic pipes;
  • has a pleasant fragrance;
  • effective against larvae and adult drain flies;
  • usable.
  • need to be used at all times to clean the effluents.

2. Drain Fly & Fruit Fly Eliminator Green Gobbler – Natural Citronella-based Gel


  • Contains: Natural Citronella Oil
  • Item Form: Gel
  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Target Species: Fruit Fly

Green Gobbler natural gel is used against fruit and drainage flies. It has a comfortable dense shape, due to which it is economically consumed. Pour it into the drain hole every few days to get rid of insects and bad smells. This product is environmentally friendly. Contains Citronella.

  • eco-Friendly;
  • universal;
  • safe for the skin;
  • dense and economical.
  • not suitable for toilets.

3. Rockwell InVade Bio Drain Gel – Natural Drain Fly Treatment


  • Active Ingredients: Microbes Oil, Citrus Oil
  • Yield: Apply 4 oz to each drain once daily for one week
  • Item Volume: 128 fluid_ounces
  • Item Weight: 2.14 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 6 x 6 x 12 inches

Rockwell Gel

This cleaning gel is excellent for sewage pipes, pallets, and drains. All you need to do is pour it inside to destroy the larvae of drain flies and other insects on the pipe walls. For better efficiency, the gel should be used every day for one or more weeks. But it is more suitable as a prophylactic than for the destruction of millions of sewage fly larvae and adults.

  • environmentally safe;
  • suitable for sewerage;
  • safe for pets;
  • it’s a good odor remover and aromatizer.
  • less effective if you don’t keep the sewers clean.

4. Fruit Fly Trap – Best Drain Flies Sticky Trap


  • Material: Paper
  • Number of pieces: 20
  • Item Weight: 3.2 Ounces
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH:7.8 x 5.9 inches
  • Target Species: Fly, Thrip, Mosquito, White Fly, Gnat

Fruit Fly Trap Double-Sided Yellow Sticky Traps

Double-Sided Yellow Sticky Traps is the best sticky base for effluent fly destruction. All you have to do is put it by the shower gangway or sink and wait for a while. The surface has a sweetish flavor that lures flies. If they stick to it, they die. One sticky stick can be active for a long time and “collect” flies and other insects.

  • small price;
  • 20 pieces in one pack;
  • universality (can be used against different insects).
  • does not neutralize unpleasant odors;
  • does not destroy the larvae of drainage flies.

5. KATCHY Indoor Insect Trap – The Best Trap For Drain Flies


  • Style: Automatic
  • Material: Plastic
  • Item Weight: 1.41 pounds
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 5 x 5.5 x 9 inches
  • Target Species: Fly, Fruit Fly, Mosquito, Gnat

The Best Trap For Drain Flies Katchy

KATCHY Indoor Insect Trap is a modern device that lures and destroys sewage flies and other insects. All you have to do is plug it in and leave it for the night. Dimmed light attracts flying insects, and a powerful fan pulls them in, where they die.

  • effective against all flying insects;
  • requires to be plugged into the socket;
  • fully self-contained unit.
  • won’t get rid of the infestation source
  • won’t neutralize odors.

How to Prevent Drain Flies

How to Prevent Drain Flies

It’s not enough to know how to get rid of drain gnats. It is also essential that they do not appear in the house again.

Several recommendations are worth implementing for this purpose:

  • Clean sewage regularly with special liquids;
  • Periodically remove the siphon lids on the sink and in the bathtub to remove inorganic waste from there;
  • Make sure there is no water stagnating in your home (e.g., the sink or drain) and get rid of it;
  • Check the sewers to make sure there are no leaks anywhere.

For a long time, I’ve been thinking about telling you how I got rid of drain flies. It turned out that to prevent insects, you can put ½ glass of baking soda in the sewage every week, pouring all this 500 ml of warm water. It is also possible to use special liquids for drain flies, which clean the infested areas and destroy the larvae.

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Short and informative answers to popular questions will help you understand how to get rid of drainage insects.

What Causes Drain Flies?

The reproduction of these flies is caused by water stagnation, clogged drainage, and lack of regular cleaning. In some houses, sewage is not entirely discharged but remains in pipes. These are the right breeding conditions for insects. Therefore, you need to take care of the cleanliness of sewers, showers, traps, and sewage pipes.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies Naturally?

White vinegar

Different handy substances can be used to combat waste flies. For example, a mixture of warm water with food soda and white vinegar will help to fight larvae and bad smells. You can also bleach kill drain flies or use liquid soap dissolved in water (it contains insecticides).

You can try these natural methods, but professional anti drainage products are more effective.

What Are Drain Flies Attracted To?

Wastewater, as well as organic and inorganic garbage, lures these flies. They reproduce in conditions of darkness, dampness, and even decay. But most often, the larvae form in sewage pipes, shower taps, and sinks. Stagnant water is the habitat for these insects.

Should I Call a Plumber for Drain Flies Extermination?

The plumber is not a specialist in insect extermination. He will only help to get to the source of sewage flies. For example, a worker will remove the shower tray, check the sewers for leaks and take apart the siphon for cleaning.

Now You Know How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

I am confident that the recommendations and practical tools described above will help in the fight against waste flies. Hundreds of homemakers have tested many of the market offers. They are useful if you follow all the rules. Remember to check your sewage and drains regularly for debris and insects. If necessary, use liquids to clean sewers, stairs, and sinks’ drain.

Of course, drain flies are not a threat. But they are unpleasant and disgusting. Do not forget that they can get dirt right on your dining table or food. We don’t see them sitting on food. So don’t try to delay their destruction.

I’d like to know what method or means you used yourself. Write about it in your comments, please.


  • Moth flies or Drain flies (Michigan State University):
  • Drain Flies (Phillip E. Sloderbeck):


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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