How to get rid of drain flies Ultimate Guide to Eliminate

Drain flies, also known as sewer flies or moth flies, are tiny insects that can infest your home, typically around the drains in areas like your kitchen, bathroom, and basement. These pests are attracted to moisture and food residue, making drains the perfect breeding ground for them. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss how to eliminate drain flies from your home using both chemical products and natural solutions. We will also provide steps to prevent their return and tips for maintaining a clean drain system.

Step 1: Identify and Locate the Infestation

To effectively eliminate drain flies, you must first identify the area of your house where they are breeding. Pay close attention to areas with high moisture levels and food residue, such as:

– Kitchen sinks

– Bathroom sinks and bathtub drains

– Basement floor drains

Step 2: Clean and Unclog the Drains

Once you have located the infestation, thoroughly clean and unclog the drains to remove any food residue and organic matter. You can use a drain snake or a drain cleaner to do this. Here are two effective options:

Option 1: Chemical Drain Cleaner

A chemical drain cleaner, such as Drano or Liquid-Plumr, can help break down organic matter and unclog drains. Follow the instructions on the label for proper use and safety precautions.

Option 2: Natural Drain Cleaner

If you prefer a natural solution, use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water. Follow these steps:

1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain.

2. Pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain.

3. Wait 15 minutes for the mixture to work on breaking down the organic matter.

4. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to flush out the residue.

Step 3: Eliminate Adult Drain Flies

To eliminate adult drain flies, use an insect spray or a natural solution. Here are two effective options:

Option 1: Insect Spray

Use an insect spray, such as Raid or Ortho Home Defense, to kill adult drain flies. Spray the area around the infested drain and any visible flies. Follow the instructions on the label for proper use and safety precautions.

Option 2: Natural Solution

Create a DIY drain fly trap using apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Here’s how:

1. Fill a shallow dish with apple cider vinegar.

2. Add a few drops of dish soap and mix gently.

3. Place the dish near the infested drain. The flies will be attracted to the vinegar and get trapped in the soap.

Step 4: Prevent Future Infestations

To prevent drain flies from returning, practice good drain maintenance and eliminate their breeding grounds. Here are some tips:

– Regularly clean and unclog drains, using either a chemical or natural drain cleaner.

– Keep damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms, well-ventilated and dry.

– Dispose of food residue and organic matter properly to avoid creating a breeding ground for drain flies.

Here’s a summary:

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Drain Flies:

  1. Boiling Water: Pour boiling water down your drain 1-2 times a day for about a week. This can help remove both the drain fly larvae and any organic material that might attract them.
  2. Baking Soda + Salt + Vinegar: Combine these pantry items to create a natural cleaning solution and pour it down your drain overnight. The baking soda expands with the vinegar, reaching more areas than the boiling water. Flush out the pipe with boiling water in the morning.
  3. Soap + Water + Sugar + Vinegar: Add a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of water, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Leave the bowl out for a few days close to the drain to attract the drain flies to the sweet solution. The thickness of the added soap will trap the flies in the water.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar + Plastic Wrap: Cover a bowl, jar, or mug with plastic wrap and fill the bottom with an inch of apple cider vinegar. Punch small holes in the top of the plastic to allow the flies in but not allow them to get out.
  5. Drain + Duct Tape: Seal off your drain with duct tape overnight for several nights in a row to catch the flies that try to get to the surface.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies with Chemicals:

  1. Traditional Drain Cleaner: After flushing your drain with warm water and giving it a pass with a metal pipe brush, you can clean out the remaining residue with products like Drano and Bio-Clean.
  2. Chemical Sprays and Repellents: Many common pest control killers, typically for fruit flies or gnats, can also be used to kill drain flies when the pests are listed on their labels.
  3. Green Gobbler: This popular fly killer is safe to go down drains, septic systems, and even garbage disposals.
  4. Natural Armour: This gel-based drain cleaner is ideal for tricky pipes that require an expansive cleaner to catch any additional nests or flies.
  5. American BioSystems: Typically recommended for commercial drains, this is an extreme option for clearing bacteria out of drains, specifically when dealing with a drain fly infestation.

Remember, when using chemical cleaners, always read the instructions, and do not mix them with other chemical or natural cleaning products.

Let’s tackle a common household problem:

Drain flies, sometimes known as sewer flies or moth flies. These tiny pests are attracted to decaying organic material and standing water, which can often be found in various parts of your home. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to eliminate drain flies from your house.

Step 1: Identify the Problem Area

Drain flies are small, moth-like insects that breed and feed in the slime layer found in drains. They are most common in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, especially around sinks, tubs, and other places where water accumulates. If you see small, moth-like insects flying around these areas, you likely have a drain fly problem.

Step 2: Confirm the Infestation

Once you’ve identified a potential problem area, you need to confirm that drain flies are the culprit. One common method is the “tape test”. Before you go to bed, place a piece of clear tape over the drain with the sticky side down, leaving part of the drain exposed. If you see small flies stuck to the tape in the morning, you’ve confirmed a drain fly infestation.

Step 3: Clean the Affected Drain

Now that you’ve identified and confirmed the infestation, it’s time to clean the affected drain. There are several methods you can use, including both commercial products and natural solutions.

Commercial Drain Cleaner

Using a commercial drain cleaner is often the fastest and most effective method. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Purchase a commercial drain cleaner that’s safe for your type of pipes. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  2. Pour the recommended amount of cleaner down the affected drain.
  3. Wait the recommended amount of time. This usually ranges from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Rinse the drain thoroughly with water.

Natural Drain Cleaner

If you prefer a natural solution, you can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Here’s how:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain.
  2. Follow with 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  3. Wait 15-20 minutes for the mixture to work on dissolving the grime.
  4. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to rinse away the mixture and the dissolved material.

Step 4: Prevention and Maintenance

Once you’ve cleaned the affected drain, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent a future infestation. Here are some tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean your drains with the method described above, either using a commercial product or a natural solution. This should be done monthly.
  2. Reduce Moisture: Drain flies need moisture to breed. Try to minimize standing water in sinks, tubs, and floor drains.
  3. Seal Cracks and Crevices: Drain flies can enter your home through small cracks and crevices. Sealing these can help prevent an infestation.
  4. Inspect and Clean Outdoor Drains: If you have outdoor drains, inspect and clean them regularly. These can be a source of drain flies.
  5. Dispose of Organic Material: Since drain flies feed on decaying organic material, proper disposal of food waste can help prevent an infestation.

Remember, the key to preventing a drain fly infestation is regular maintenance and vigilance. If you notice a problem early and take action quickly, you can prevent a small issue from becoming a big problem.


By following this comprehensive guide, you can effectively eliminate drain flies from your home and prevent their return. With proper drain maintenance and a clean living environment, you can keep these pests at bay. Remember to consider both chemical products and natural solutions to cater to your personal preferences and ensure a safe, fly-free home.

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