Name Drain Fly
Latin Name Psychoda spp.
Nicknames/common names Moth Fly, Sink Fly, Sewer Gnat
How do you get rid of Drain Flies?
Physical controls are always the most effective approach to removing pest populations. If they are infesting the home, there is almost certainly a slow or clogged drain in the structure. Organic and chemical drain cleaners can be used. If drain cleaners are inadequate, the drain should be disassembled and physically cleaned, destroying all eggs and larvae. If the breeding material being used by your Drain Fly population is not located and removed, flies will continue to reproduce. Baits, traps and insecticides may also be required if physical control measures do not suffice. Pest control professionals can often use an enzyme to destroy the slime in pipes that is used as a breeding material for Drain Flies. Contact Addison Pest Control to schedule an inspection by a licensed Technician who will identify your pest species and tailor an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program specific to your pest population.
How to identify Drain Flies
Adults are 1.5-5 mm long, and larvae are up to 9 mm long. Adults are grey with spear shaped wings and are covered with long hairs which giving these flies a fuzzy, moth-like appearance. Larvae are cream coloured, do not have eyes and are legless. On one side of the maggot, there is a breathing tube that extends out of the slime and allows the larva to breathe.
Life cycle/stages & anatomy
Eggs and larvae live in decomposing film, pupate and then emerge as adults within 21 days (7 days under favourable conditions). Drain flies do not emerge from the slime until they pupate into adults. The pupal stage may only last 20-40 hours before Drain Flies burst out of their slime-encapsulated pupal linings. Adults are much broader, but only half the length of the larvae.
Adults usually live about two weeks, but their populations tend to replenish rapidly; they often breed within a few hours of reaching adulthood, quickly laying 30-100 eggs which may hatch within 48 hours.
Signs of a Drain Fly Infestation
Although drain fly eggs, larvae, and pupae are rarely seen given that they develop within the gelatinous slime inside your home’s drainage system, jerkily flying adult Drain Flies are most active at night often found near kitchen and bathroom walls, near drains, decomposing organic matter including faeces and human food.
Where did they come from / how did I get them?
Drain flies are an integral part of many water-based ecosystems but can become a nuisance for homeowners when populations rise too high. They will commonly breed in moist areas inside of a nutrient-laden organic material, often in the slime associated with poorly maintained water traps in bathrooms, drains and overflows of organic matter in open sewage tanks and garbage containers.
What do Drain Flies eat?
In smaller numbers the nearly translucent larvae are beneficial because they break down organic material that would otherwise cause pipes to clog; they have strong jaws and are capable of cutting through thick slime. Once matured, Drain Flies consume human and pet food, will scavenge garbage and ingest excrement and any other decomposing matter.
How Serious are Drain Flies?
Although they feed on organic matter and sewage, drain flies are annoying but relatively harmless. As with all domestic flies which breed and feed off of filth, there is a risk of mechanical transmission of potentially harmful pathogens to humans and pets. Drain Flies do not bite.
How Addison Can Help Eliminate Drain Flies
Finely water-repellent hairs make drain flies difficult to drown. They are unaffected by bleach and boiling water, eggs are often resistant to chemical and thermal assault and can even withstand prolonged periods of dehydration. A successful extermination of Drain Flies depends on the removal the harbourage material, often necessitating that drain pipes be disassembled and physically cleaned. Drain Fly extermination depends on maintaining a clean drain for at least three weeks so that adults don’t have access to a sufficient breeding material in which to lay eggs. Beyond removing and locating breeding material, cloves, lavender, basil, bay leaves, mint, marigold, wormwood, and rue all function as natural repellents and can be incorporated into DIY fly control systems. Cider and vinegar traps, glue traps and fly swatters may act as temporary solutions for killing adult flies. Since they are attracted to light, fan based baited traps with visible and ultraviolet light can also be used to kill adults. When home remedies fail to correct your domestic fly infestation, contact Addison Pest Control.
How Addison can help Prevent Drain Fly Infestations in the Future
To avoid pesky Drain Fly populations from developing in and around your home, appropriately dispose of all rotting organic matter, keep food covered and your kitchen and bathroom clean and dry. Dispose of pet faeces promptly and remove any carcasses or waste from your indoor and outdoor spaces. Keeping your property free of potential breeding sites is the most effective preventative measure against all domestic flies. Drains must remain clear of slime to prevent on-going and future infestations; you may consider scheduling a sewage system inspection by a local plumber.