Whether you call them drain flies, sewer gnats, or sink flies, these small flies can quickly become a huge pain. While they are harmless, they can get quite annoying when they buzz around your face. Unlike fungus gnats, which like to breed in the soggy soil in potted plants, drain gnats like to feed on the sewage and organic matter that is found in most drains. Here’s how to get rid of drain gnats with simple, everyday ingredients.
Fortunately, tiny flies and other gnats can be controlled and removed by incorporating several effective removal methods. Female drain gnats, or often called drain flies, can lay up to 100 eggs at once, and in just two days the eggs will hatch into drain worms.
Within a few days, the population can get out of control and leave you with a considerable gnat infestation. To effectively get rid of drain flies so you can start enjoying your kitchen and bathroom again, you first have to determine that you have drain flies.
How to Identify Drain Flies
Measuring at just around 1.5 to 5 millimeters in length, sewer and drain gnats are extremely small. They have gray or light brown bodies, and their wings are light-colored.
Both their bodies and their wings are covered in long hairs, which gives them the appearance of being fuzzy. This fuzziness is what has earned them the nickname moth flies.
Thankfully, other than being a nuisance for homeowners, drain flies don’t bite or sting and won’t transmit diseases like other gnats and flying insects. However, it’s still important to keep gnats away from your face, especially in the kitchen or bathroom.
Getting Rid of Drain Gnats
Since drain gnats are attracted to moist areas that are rich in nutrient-rich organic material, septic tanks, sewers, and the drains in your home make the perfect habitat and breeding grounds for these types of gnats, making it necessary to find ways to scare flies away by eliminating their food and breeding sources.
The most common sign that you have a drain gnat problem is by the presence of adult flies hanging out near your drains or other breeding sites.
One guaranteed way to determine whether you have a drain fly problem is to cover your sink drain with sticky tape. When the flies try to fly out of the pipe, they’ll get stuck to the tape. If you discover any flies on the tape, it’s a sure sign that you are dealing with drain flies.
In some ways, however, drain fly larvae can be beneficial because they eat the organic material that may be clogging your drain. Unfortunately, the population can get out of control quickly, which is why you will want to eliminate the drain flies as soon as possible.
Get Rid of the Organic Material
The reason you have a problem with sewer flies is that there is a build-up of organic material in your home’s pipes. This is a common problem for homes with older pipes. If you can get rid of the organic material, then you will take away the fly’s food source and effectively rid your home of these pests.
To get rid of the organic material build-up in your pipes, you’ll need to push a metal pipe brush through the pipes. Move the brush back and forth as far as you can go to ensure that you dislodge as much of the build-up as you can.
Then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to send the displaced material down the pipes to remove the root cause of your drain fly problem.
Kill them with Vinegar
Vinegar has a million uses around the home, and killing drain flies is one of them. The best kind to use for this method is apple cider vinegar, which will help rid your house of drain flies without using harsh chemicals. Here is an effective recipe for how to kill drain flies easily.
Pour vinegar into the glass and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke small holes in the plastic wrap and set the trap near the drain. The vinegar will attract the gnats to the vinegar.
The drain flies will then fly into the glass and dive down toward the vinegar, and drown. These kinds of fly traps will also work to eliminate fungus gnats and fruit flies in your home.
Add the apple cider vinegar to a spray bottle to get rid of pantry moths that may have made their home near your food or to eliminate spider mites in your houseplants. It’s a simple yet effective pest control solution.
Use Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Boiling Water
Not only will this method work as a great natural gnat repellent, but it will leave your drains and pipes squeaky clean.
Begin by pouring the baking soda into the drain, then slowly add the vinegar. The ingredients should start to bubble and fizz and may come up out of the pipe. Allow the solution to sit in the drain for about an hour. Then, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
The fizzing and bubbling of the vinegar and baking soda kills any flies, eggs, and larvae hiding inside the drain while loosening any organic material that may build-up in your drain and pipes. The boiling water works to wash all the stuff down the drain.
You can also combine these ingredients for a DIY gnat spray to use for attacking other insects in the house.
This solution will also kill moths, ants, roaches, and assorted other creepy crawlies so that you don’t have to worry about them anymore.
If you don’t have any vinegar in your pantry, or you want to use a stronger pest control method to get rid of the flies in your drains, you might consider using bleach for how to get rid of drain gnats. To utilize this method, mix one cup of bleach with ten cups of water and pour it down the drain.
Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of hours before flushing the pipes with cold water. The only drawback of this method is that it doesn’t scour the pipes like the baking soda and vinegar.
These three natural methods are not only great for getting rid of the drain flies that you already have but if you use them regularly, you can keep your pipes and drains clean and prevent any future infestations. The best part is that these methods are simple to do and don’t require you to purchase any expensive products or ingredients.
We hope you enjoyed learning about how to get rid of drain gnats with these simple natural methods. If you found the information in this article useful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends.