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Drain flies

It happens a lot more than most people think. Have you entered a kitchen to find the sink has a number of very small flying insects in it? What are these winged creatures? Are they flies? Are they gnats? Where do they come from? At Ehrlich Pest Control, we get a lot of calls about drain flies. Drain flies are a common household pest, but also common in restrooms and kitchens in offices. 

People worry that drain flies are dangerous. They know very little about them, and assume drain flies mean they are unclean or unsanitary.

At Ehrlich, we know how to deal with drain flies and are the experts in fly removal and prevention. We have answers to your drain fly infestation and if you need help, contact your local Ehrlich office today.

What are drain flies?

Drain flies are considered "true flies", which are insects of the order Diptera and who have a single pair of wings. They are actually known by several names, including sink flies, sewer gnats, filter flies and even moth flies. They are very small and the wings do not fold neatly over their back when they are not flying, but they stick out to the sides a bit, like a moth's wings.

Drain flies are called "moth flies" because when you look at them closely you can see a number of dense hairs near and around the head and area where their eyes are located. This, combined with they grayish color and the shape of their wings, make them look like tiny moths.

There are a large number of varieties of drain flies within the scientific family known as Psychodidae.

Drain flies prefer to live in and around very wet areas and lay their eggs in water. Their larvae are nearly transparent, save for a head that is black and can sometimes be seen moving along the wet edges of shower stalls or other wet areas within bathrooms.

Drain flies tend to be nocturnal, so you are most likely to see them at night, although they are also attracted to light sources, so they have been known to appear during the days. Drain flies are not great fliers and do not fly in direct straight lines most of the time and often spend more time moving along surfaces.

Drain flies do like the organic matter which can collect in drains beneath sinks and become more common when there is a developing clog in a drain. For example, a bathtub or shower drain clogged with hair can be a perfect nesting ground for drain flies.

Are drain flies harmful?

For the most part, drain flies are not dangerous and not harmful. Having drain flies around your home does not mean your drains are dirty or your kitchen, bathroom or other areas are unclean. They are opportunistic insects and can get inside and find any moist area to lay their eggs and breed.

There is a sub-family of drain fly known as Phlebotominae which are blood feeders. This sub-genre of drain fly is more commonly known as sand flies and are not very common in North America. However, because they do feed on blood, like mosquitoes, they run the risk of transmitting some blood-related disease.

How to get rid of drain flies

Because drain flies can be common in kitchens and areas where food is prepared, using any kind of over-the-counter chemical treatment for drain flies can be risky. Food can become contaminated, as well as food preparation services.

The best way to get rid of drain flies is to prevent them from finding organic matter in drains in which to nest. This means actually finding where food or hair has started to gather and to physically remove any potential clogs or material. Drain cleaners have not proven to be effective in getting rid of drain flies.

One you remove the clog or organic matter, this will get rid of any eggs or larvae. The adults which are already flying around will still be there, but their life span as an adult is only about 20 days and without a place to breed or lay eggs, they will not continue their infestation.

Ehrlich provides expert drain fly control

Of course, if you really want effective assistance with drain flies, your best bet is to call in the professionals. At Ehrlich Pest Control our specialists are ready to help. We are close by and have been studying and finding ways to get rid of drain flies and prevent drain flies in homes and businesses for years.

Ehrlich Pest Control also offers a highly effective Bioremediation drain line service that keeps drains clean and free of build up. We work with businesses throughout the country utilizing our drain line service to prevent drain flies and unsanitary conditions from forming.

If you have been finding drain flies around your home and property and want to get rid of them, contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office today.