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How to Get Rid of Drain Flies – Today!

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A Complete Guide on How To Get Rid of Drain Flies – For Homes and Businesses

“How to get rid of Drain Flies?” If you are currently not experiencing special love from hundreds of these bugs, then count yourself lucky because once these nasties infest a water drain in your home, they are a challenge to kill.

Why are they a challenge? Because drain flies reproduce quickly. A single female, mated or non-mated, can lay up to 100 eggs! With such a quick reproductive cycle, the number of drain flies becomes hard to control because, in less than 48 hours after their first appearance, more flies will begin to appear, a Great Deal More!

As Handymen who have dealt with infestations like this before, we recommend three steam cleaners to help banish drain flies today. First, view our recommendations. Then, below our suggestions, we discuss how-tos, starting with – Method #1: Use Steam to Neutralize Larva and Eggs in Drains.

3 Best Steamers to Neutralize Drain Flies in Drains

Note: When you make a purchase through our links, we may earn commissions from Amazon, ClickBank or other retailers at no extra cost to you. Our recommendations are based on our personal and professional experience using products we suggest, and we recommend them because we believe they are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions we may receive. Please only purchase a product if you believe they will help you achieve your goals.

  • COSTWAY Handheld Steam Cleaner Thumbnail
  • Cheap and Small

    COSTWAY Handheld Steam Cleaner – This handheld, low-cost steamer has additional accessories to cover all of your needs. With a 2-minute steam time before it must reheat for a few seconds, it’s enough to get small house jobs done, as well as neutralize bugs in your drains.

  • Goflame Steam Cleaner Thumbnail
  • Fast and Furious

    The GOFLAME Handheld Steam Cleaner features a 4-foot hose, 10-foot electrical cord, and a variety of accessories for different surfaces. With a pre-heat time of approximately 3 minutes, plus a 4-foot hose, this unit is ideal for quickly treating infested drains and cleaning the surrounding surfaces.

  • Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Thumbnail
  • Hot and Powerful

    The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner is a Powerful Multipurpose Portable Heavy Duty Steamer. It releases steam up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, enabling it to terminate bugs, larva, and even 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. We personally use this unit for a wide assortment of tasks.

Drain Flies Graphic Explanation Step 1

Method #1: Use Steam to Neutralize Larva and Eggs in Drains

To begin this step, you must locate the source of the infestation. You can find the source by placing a transparent cup over all your drains for a night. Then, in the morning, you will quickly see which drain holds the infestation.

Once you locate the source of the infestation, put on some oven mitts, insert your steam wand into the drain, cover the area with a towel, and apply short bursts of steam. Naturally, steam will escape, but the towel will help to keep the heat in the pipes. You can use the same method for any overflow drains.

Why steam? Steam is ideal because it fills the entire pipe and most of its fittings, unlike liquid. So if the infested area resides before the p-trap, the steam will sanitize it. And even if drain fly larva or eggs are beneath sewage slime, the steam will cook everything to a well-done finish.

Tip #1: Warning! Do not steam into or near electrical outlets or appliances. You don‘t want an electrical fire on top of a pest infestation.

Tip #2: Warning! If drain covers or pipe system is plastic or ABS/PVC, to avoid damage or warpage, you must be careful not to apply too much steam for an extended period. Best to start with short bursts and see how it holds up. Work your way up to longer shots if everything is ok.

Problem solved? If no, and more drain flies appear the following day, proceed next to Method #2: Surgery | Pipe Opening, Cleaning, and Sanitizing


Drain Flies Graphic Explanation Step 2
Drain Flies Graphic Explanation Step 3

Method #2: Surgery | Pipe Opening, Cleaning, and Sanitizing

If “Method #1: Use Steam to Neutralize Larva and Eggs in Drains” does not work and drain flies continue appearing the next day, you must perform surgery on your plumbing system. Pipes must be opened, cleaned with a brush, and then sanitized with steam.

For bristle brushes, drain snakes, and liquid pipe cleaners, view our suggested miscellaneous items below to help combat Drain Flies.

It’s best to open your plumbing system because there is most likely an area that steam cannot reach. For instance, dishwasher drains, cavities inside or under a food waste disposer, or long pipes with no immediate p-traps. The goal here is, you want to stop your pipes from turning into breeding grounds for drain flies by removing the slimy films along the walls.

Once open, scrub everything with a long, round-bristled brush. Next, Brush-clean all pipes you removed and any fixtures still on the wall or attached to the sink. When done, finish by sanitizing everything with steam. After you finish reinstalling your plumbing system, there should be no more drain flies the next day.

Tip #1: Warning! As in Method #1, if your drain covers or pipe system are plastic or ABS/PVC, be careful not to apply too much steam for an extended period. It’s best to start with short bursts, see how the heat is handled, and work your way up to longer shots if everything is ok.

Drain Fly Life Cycle Graphic

What is a Drain Fly and What You Need to Know About Them

Drain Flies are attracted to moist environments. They find their way into your home or business through pipes, drains, and cracks in the walls. Areas that can quickly become infested include kitchen sinks, bathtubs/showers, laundry rooms, and even toilets. Drain flies feed on organic materials such as decomposing food or dead insects.

If they are not dealt with immediately, they can quickly turn into a severe problem.

They have a short life span; however, mated and non-mated females can lay 30-100 eggs at a time, all of which hatch in less than 48 hours – says a study conducted by The Texas A&M University System. So if they are not dealt with immediately, they can quickly become a monumental problem.

Drain flies lay their eggs in drains or pipes that have standing water. These areas are ideal because they provide a rich food source for their larvae when they hatch.

Adult drain flies are tiny, fuzzy, dark-colored insects with the body and wings densely covered with hairs described in a paper by The NC State Extension Publications. Their wings appear large for their body and are held roof-like over their body when at rest, giving them a mothlike appearance. They’re weak fliers and can barely fly for more than a few feet.

Drain Flies Liquid Solutions Graphic

Why Are Liquid Solutions Generally Ineffective Against Drain Flies?

Drain flies are one of the most difficult insect pests to control. There are a lot of drain fly pesticides you can buy in stores, but drain flies always find a way around them. The common insecticide doesn’t work because it doesn’t reach the eggs or larvae that drain flies have laid on the sides of pipes and drains, where the insecticide would be needed. Additionally, drain fluids are not ideal because:

  • They are time-consuming. Some solutions take several doses over a few days; if it fails, you wasted a few days for nothing.
  • They are costly. Costs quickly add up if you need to try multiple solutions.
  • They are dangerous. You never know if a liquid can damage your plumbing system, or if accidentally mixed with another solution, it can release a toxic gas.
  • They add to your daily chores. Everyone has a busy life. It might be hard to deliver a liquid dose at prescribed times, especially if it’s a shower or kitchen sink and you and other family members need to use it during the day.

The most effective method of dealing with drain flies is to clean your pipes and drains regularly with steam and a bristle brush and to remove any stagnant water in and around your area.

Drain Flies Call A Professional Graphic

When To Call For a Professional

If you have a recurring issue with drain flies and your at-home remedies do not work, Method #1 did not work, and you do not feel comfortable opening up your plumbing system for Method #2: Surgery | Pipe system opening, cleaning, and sanitizing, then it’s time to call in a Professional Handyman.

Since you require no new plumbing fixtures for this job, a visit from your local Handyman might be your best bet.

Yes, you could also call a plumber or an exterminator; however, an exterminator won’t open your pipes. And as for a plumber, they are generally more expensive and may not be able to repair anything that must be opened, for instance, a wall. Since you require no new plumbing fixtures for this job, a visit from your local Handyman might be your best bet.

Contact us via email or phone if you are in the Montreal area. If outside Montreal, then check out our Ultimate Guide To Find The Best Handyman Near Me, an article about how to find a good and capable handyperson in your area.

Drain Flies Prevention Graphic

How Can I Prevent a Drain Fly Infestation From Happening All Over Again?

Drain flies are a serious problem. They can enter your home through any cracks in your wall and lay eggs in your sinks, drains, and toilets.

There are many ways to prevent a drain fly infestation from happening again. The most common way is to use a drain fly sticky trap to lure the flies into it and then kill them before they reach your plumbing system. Otherwise, other preventative methods include:

  • Clean toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, and floor drains
  • Remove rotting produce immediately
  • Move dumpsters as far away as possible from your home or any doors, windows, etc.
  • Keep all areas inside and around your home as dry as possible
  • Repair any broken or loose ceramic floor tiles
  • Fix leaks and remedy condensation
  • Keep your drains clean and free of hair and other debris
  • Eliminate standing water and mold
  • Seal off any cracks or holes that may lead into the drain system from outside sources
  • And remove all sources of moisture from your home by using a dehumidifier or air conditioner

Essentially, if you want to keep drain flies out of your home or business, you should start by taking care of the source – your drains. Clean them regularly and ensure they are always free from hair, soap scum, or debris. If you commit to this plan, there will be no food for the drain flies, and they will not have any reason to come into your homes or businesses.

Additional Items To Help Combat Drain Flies

Katchy UV Bugs trap Thumbnail

KATCHY – Flying Bugs Trap

This great invention is a bug zapper. The UV light attracts drain flies (and other bugs) at night and sucks them into the trap via a fan where they are affixed to sticky paper on the bottom of the unit. It’s not a cure for a drain fly infestation, but it certainly helps to lower your pesky fly population.

Yellow Sticky Bug Traps Thumbnail

20 Pkack Yellow Dual-Sided Bug Sticky Traps

An age-old method of capturing pesky flying bugs is with sticky fly traps. Not as effective as a Katchy unit, but it can help get rid of them “before” they become a problem. Simply hang a few up near food sources, windows, and other areas where flying bugs seem to be more likely to gather.

Plastic 5 set hair catcher Thumbnail

5 in 1 Drain Snake Hair Drain

This plastic set of snakes is great for grabbing hair and clearing debris from your pipes. They cannot push through a solid clog, but they’re a good set to use occasionally as maintenance to prevent a full blockage from occurring.

8 Pack Brush Cleaning Set Thumbnail

8 Pack Brush Cleaning Set

As handymen, we keep a set of these on hand for when we need to clean pipes and fixtures. They are sturdy and offer a variety of brushes to clean all sorts of pipe sizes and bends.

Instant Power 1907 Slow Drain Build Up Remover Thumbnail

Instant Power 1907 Slow Drain Build Up Remover

This liquid utilizes bacterial/enzyme formulation to dissolve organic matter such as grease, hair, food, and other materials. It also helps to eliminate the odors that attract drain flies to your home or business to begin with.

Raid Mosquito and Fly Insect Killer Thumbnail

Raid Max Flying Insect Killer

Another traditional method to combat flying insect is with a Bug Spray. We always have a bottle on hand, but we rarely use this method because it leaves an odor and it shouldn’t be used around food. Regardless, it’s useful to have for those special occasions when a bug spray is needed to quickly solve a problem.


Final Thoughts

There are many suggested ways to get rid of drain flies naturally and effectively. However, first and foremost, it is crucial to be mindful of how you can attract them into your residence. If you stay alert and keep up with your cleaning routines, you should be able to live in peace without the burden of an infestation on your mind. Good Luck and all the very best wishes from Handyman And Designs!

Graphic Fruit Fly Bug Thumbnail

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  • Written by:
    Handyman And Designs

    Last Updated: Jun 4, 2023 @ 6:12 pm

    Handyman And Designs is a creative team who enjoys creating fascinating designs and builds. Inspirational speeches and Ted talks are music to their ears.

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Handyman And Designs Author Avatar Written by:
Handyman And Designs

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2023 @ 6:12 pm

Handyman And Designs is a creative team who enjoys creating fascinating designs and builds. Inspirational speeches and Ted talks are music to their ears.

Let's Connect
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