Emergency 24/7 Plumbing Services

We 're Open

1300 734 677

April 29, 2024

Read Time


The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Drain Flies: Prevention and Elimination Tips

Are you noticing tiny flies buzzing around your drain? If so, you may have a drain fly problem. Drain Flies can be more than just a nuisance; they can make your home dirty and unsanitary.

If left unchecked, they can breed in large numbers and cause serious plumbing issues and health concerns..

However, don't panic — we're here to help!

Dealing with drain flies can be a frustrating and unsightly problem in any home. These small, flying insects are commonly found around drains and are often mistaken for fruit flies. While they may seem harmless, drain flies can quickly become a problem as they multiply and infest various areas of your property.

In this ultimate guide to dealing with drain flies, we have all the information you need about prevention and elimination tips.

So, read on and learn how to get rid of these pesky pests once and for all!

What are Drain Flies?

Drain flies, sink flies, or sewer gnats are small flying insects commonly found in and around drains. They are often mistaken for fruit flies due to their similar size and appearance.

However, there are distinct differences between the two.

Drain flies have a more moth-like appearance, with furry or feathered wings. They are typically small, measuring only a few millimetres in length. Their bodies are round and fuzzy, with a tan or greyish colour.

These pests are attracted to areas with stagnant water and organic material. They lay their eggs in the organic buildup in drains, such as food particles, grease, and hair. In just 48 hours, a drain fly can lay and hatch up to 300 eggs, leading to a rapid infestation if left unchecked.

Unlike moths and fruit flies, drain flies are not attracted to ripe fruits or pantry items. Instead, they are directly linked to stagnant water and organic debris. This makes them a common issue in bathrooms, kitchens, and other spaces with drain systems.

Understanding drain flies' physical appearance, behaviour, and breeding habits is important to effectively dealing with these pests.

Focus on identifying the signs of a drain fly infestation and implementing the appropriate prevention and elimination strategies to tackle this problem head-on and restore a pest-free environment in your home.

Causes of Drain Flies

Drain flies are mostly present in floor drains, shower drain systems, or kitchen sinks. Several factors contribute to their infestation, including stagnant water, organic material buildup, and poor maintenance of drain pipes.

One of the primary causes of drain flies is stagnant water. These pests are attracted to areas where water is stagnant or not flowing properly. This can occur in clogged drains or slow drainage, allowing water to accumulate.

Another factor contributing to drain fly infestations is the buildup of organic material in drains. Drain fly eggs are present in organic debris, such as food particles, grease, and hair, that accumulate in drains. This provides a rich food source for their larvae to feed on and thrive, leading to rapid infestation if not addressed.

Poor maintenance of drain pipes also plays a significant role in the infestation of drain flies. Neglecting regular cleaning and maintenance of drains allows for accumulating organic debris and stagnant water, creating an ideal breeding ground for drain flies.

You must address these underlying causes to prevent and eliminate drain flies. Regular cleaning of drains, ensuring proper drainage, and minimising the buildup of organic material will help prevent drain fly infestations.

If the issue persists, seeking the assistance of a pest control professional may be necessary to eliminate drain flies and their breeding sites effectively.

Health Risks Associated with Drain Flies

While drain flies may not pose significant health risks to humans, their presence in households can be irritating and even unhygienic. These tiny flies are attracted to moist, decaying organic matter, often abundant in drains that have not been appropriately maintained.

Drain flies multiply very quickly and infest living spaces. They can quickly become a problem as they fly around, often in large numbers, causing frustration and discomfort.

Although drain flies do not bite or sting, their presence could indicate a moist, decaying organic matter buildup in the drains. This can create an unpleasant odour and potentially attract other pests, such as cockroaches or rodents, posing health risks.

While direct harm from drain flies is minimal, addressing the underlying issue of organic material buildup in drains is essential to prevent the emergence of other more significant pest infestations. Regular cleaning and maintenance of drains can help eliminate the breeding grounds for drain flies and reduce the risk of attracting other pests.

While the health risks associated with drain flies are relatively low, their presence can be quite bothersome. Take proactive measures to keep drains clean and organic debris-free. 

Prevention Techniques

Regularly cleaning drains is one of the simplest and most effective methods to prevent these annoying pests. Use a drain cleaner formulated explicitly for kitchen or bathroom drains to break down any organic buildup that may attract drain flies. Boiling water can also effectively clean drains, as hot water can help dislodge and remove organic material.

In addition to cleaning drains, cleaning up standing water in and around the home is essential.

Drain flies are attracted to areas with stagnant water. Stagnant water and food waste are considered ideal breeding environments for adult flies. Therefore, it is necessary to control these potential breeding spots.

This includes:

  • Regularly checking and maintaining sump pumps.
  • Ensuring garbage disposals are clean and free of organic debris.
  • Emptying and cleaning condensation pans.

Incorporate these prevention techniques into regular home maintenance routines to significantly reduce the risk of drain fly infestations.

Elimination Techniques

Dealing with drain flies effectively requires more than just prevention. If you already have an infestation, take immediate action..

Here are some effective elimination techniques to help you get rid of drain flies:

1. Clean Drains Regularly: Use a drain cleaner formulated explicitly for kitchen or bathroom drains to break down any organic buildup that may attract drain flies. For an eco-friendly option, mix drops of dish soap with warm water and pour it down the drains.

2. Remove Standing Water: Drain flies are attracted to stagnant water, so be diligent in eliminating any sources of standing water. Regularly check and maintain sump pumps, ensure garbage disposals are clean and free of organic debris, and empty and clean condensation pans.

3. Inspect Breeding Sites: Inspect all areas where drain flies might breed. Look for organic material stuck in the floor, shower, and bathroom drains. Use a metal pipe brush to remove buildup and rinse with hot water.

4. Utilise Traps: Trap adult drain flies to reduce their numbers. Fill a cup with apple cider vinegar or a mixture of dish soap and warm water and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke a few small holes in the wrap and place it near the infested drains. The flies will be attracted to the vinegar or soapy water and get trapped.

With these elimination techniques and regular prevention, you can effectively combat drain fly infestations. Remember, if the infestation persists, it may be wise to seek assistance from a professional pest control service to ensure complete eradication.

Are Drain Flies Harmful?

Drain flies may pose minimal health risks to humans. They do not bite or sting, but they can carry harmful bacteria on their bodies, which can potentially transmit diseases to humans.

One common bacteria associated with drain flies is Escherichia coli (E. coli), which can cause gastrointestinal issues and urinary tract infections. Another bacterium often found is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can lead to respiratory infections and skin irritation.

Transmission of these bacteria usually occurs when individuals come into direct contact with drain flies or the surfaces they have been in contact with, such as sinks, drains, or kitchen countertops.

Always take precautions to minimise the risk of contact and potential transmission and maintain good hygiene practices, such as washing hands frequently with soap and hot water. When cleaning affected areas, wear gloves and ensure proper ventilation. Avoid touching your face or consuming food near infested areas.

Regularly cleaning and disinfecting drains and sinks with natural cleaning products such as white vinegar or chemical cleaners can help reduce the presence of drain flies and harmful bacteria. Following these precautions can effectively avoid any health risks associated with drain flies.


Dealing with drain flies requires a multifaceted approach, including prevention and elimination techniques.

drain flies presence can lead to potential health risks due to the bacteria they can carry, so they are a serious issue. Proper hygiene practices, regular cleaning and disinfection of drains and sinks, and avoiding contact with infested areas are essential to minimise these risks.

While DIY methods can be adequate for small infestations, long-term prevention and thorough elimination, professional services such as Sewer Surgeon offer several benefits. Our expert technicians have the knowledge and experience to identify the root cause of the problem, use safe and effective treatment methods, and provide long-term prevention solutions.

Our professional team offers safe treatment, long-term prevention solutions, and quality service. Contact us today Get the Drain Man Help in Sydney to eliminate drain flies and maintain a clean, healthy home. Prevention is key, so trust Sewer Surgeon for all your drain-related plumbing needs.