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Have you spotted small flies in your bathroom or kitchen? Are they flying straight out of the sink? That’s bad news, because these tiny drain bugs aren’t just hanging around your drains – they’ve set up shop down there. In this piece, we’re going to dive into how to get rid of drain flies once they’ve decided your place is as good as any to call home.

But first things first: What are drain flies, anyway?

Often referred to as sewer flies, drain moths or even a bathroom fly, this annoying critter is actually a moth-like winged gnat. Is that what you have on your hands?:

  • Does it have six legs, a pair of wings and antennae?
  • Is it about 1-5mm long?
  • Is it grey or tan-coloured, with lighter wings?
  • Is the body covered in fuzzy hairs?
  • When not flying, do the wings fold over the body?
  • When crushed, are you left with a powdery, white mark?

The most characteristic feature of drain flies Australia wide is, of course, why they love your drains so much. The answer is as gross as it is simple: they have to feast on and lay their eggs in the decomposing organic matter that dwells in our sewers and drains. That’s right: Ew.

So while not dangerous themselves, the bacteria, microorganisms and other nasties they carry around can be seriously harmful to your family. Besides this, ignoring them may mean you’ll need to call on blocked drain cleaning services in the future. Why? Remember what they eat? You could have a build up of gunk about to choke your drain pipes. So knowing how to get rid of drain flies as quickly and thoroughly as possible is therefore crucial.

Here’s how to go about getting rid of drain flies:

1. Resume activities

Drain flies can so often be spotted in and around your sinks, showers and other drains and plumbing outlets after you’ve been away on holiday. The reason? They prefer stagnant water and drains much more than active ones. So in some cases, the drain flies are moved on once you start using those drains again. This applies to guest rooms or rarely used ensuites as well.

2. Identify the source

If the drain flies aren’t going away, though, it’s time to investigate deeper. That’s because they may actually be attracted by something else – like rotting fruit elsewhere around your property, so clean up any food sources. If the source is definitely a drain (often the case with a slow draining or blocked sink), consider covering it up to temporarily confirm the incursion. If you place a small cup or plastic lid lightly coated in oil over the drain, the drain flies will stick to it confirming it as their home.

3. Mix up a brew

For those drain flies that are already living it up inside your home, grab a bowl and concoct a brew of:

  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • A few drops of detergent.

4. Boil the kettle

Drowning the sewer flies in a torrent of boiling hot water is also an effective way of reminding them that they’re not welcome at your place. If you pour a kettle or two down there one day and then come back the next, repeat the process and eventually the critters will get the message. This will also flush and help to clean smelly drains of oil and muck.

5. Do you have a leak?

Often, the thing that is attracting drain flies is a small, hidden pipe leak, allowing them to follow the route up to your drains. In this case, a professional water leak detection and burst pipe inspection will be a good idea.

Brisbane’s drain experts can fix your drain fly problem

Sometimes, a phenomenon like the presence of drain flies is actually the result of a plumbing problem that has otherwise escaped your attention. So if you’re struggling with a drain flies infestation and suspect an underlying issue could be the case, it’s time to get some experienced, trained and fully-licensed Brisbane plumbers on the case. Here at Brisbane Plumbing & Drainage, we’re the masters of all issues relating to your drains, pipes and every other plumbing issue – backed by the very best people and the latest in technology and gear. Give your drain fly problem the flick by getting in touch today!