Drain Flies

Discover everything you need to know about drain flies in our guide below.

Drain fly on a green wall

What are Drain Flies?

Drain flies are often called moth flies or sink flies. They’re members of the psychodidae family, and are known to congregate in drains, food disposals, and other moist areas that contain ample organic matter. 

Today, “drain fly” is an umbrella term that refers to the moth fly, the phorid fly, and the fruit fly. Drain flies breed rapidly, and infestations can be difficult to control. 

If you’ve noticed swarms of flies in your drains, mop buckets, or garbage cans, you must act quickly to resolve the infestation and reclaim your property. 

What do Drain Flies Look Like?

The most common type of drain fly is the moth fly. These flies have grey or brown bodies with tiny hairs covering their wings, which make them look fuzzy, like tiny moths. 

When they’re not flying, moth flies hold their wings back against their bodies. These flies are ⅙”-⅕” in length, and larvae are tiny, worm-like, and cream-colored.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Drain flies rely on composting organic matter and standing water. They love to live in slow or clogged drains where water accumulates. They often feed on sewage or the rotting food scraps in a garbage disposal or kitchen drains.

Due to their small size and weak wings, drain flies cannot fly long distances, so they tend to live, breed, and feed in the same general area. 

Female drain flies lay between 30-100 eggs at a time. The eggs are laid on moist surfaces, where they develop, hatch, and ultimately become larvae. 

Drain fly eggs mature into adults in 7-28 days, and the entire lifespan of an adult drain fly is about two weeks. 

Drain fly on a wall

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

Getting rid of drain flies is relatively simple. The primary task is cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing your household’s affected drains, which you can do with boiling water, or a paste made of vinegar and baking soda. 

Once you’ve cleaned your drains, it’s essential to remove all organic matter that the drain flies may be feeding on, including fruit and vegetables kept in fruit bowls on the counter. 

Finally, we recommend using fruit fly removal products designed to work in your drains to kill drain flies and their eggs.

To learn more about how to get rid of drain flies, check out our comprehensive guide. 

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While drain flies don’t bite, spread disease, or sting, their decaying bodies can cause allergic reactions. Additionally, they can spread bacteria from the trash, sewage, and decaying material they live and breed in. 

Drain flies usually enter buildings through gaps and cracks in foundations or gaps in windows and doors. They may also enter the home via infested fruits from the grocery store or market.

Drain flies and fruit flies are very similar, although they differ in appearance. Drain flies look like tiny moths, while fruit flies have red eyes and yellow or brown bodies. They’re also different species: drain flies are members of the psychodidae species, while fruit flies are the drosophila melanogaster species. 

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