You may have had an infestation if you’ve seen small, dark flies buzzing in your bathroom. Drain flies usually get attracted to damp places and can lay eggs in the gunk that builds up in drains.
You obviously can’t stand the sight of small insects anywhere near your living space, let alone in your bathroom. Not to worry, though. You can do a few things to eradicate drain flies coming from the toilet for good.
Read on to understand drain flies and how to deal with them.
In A Nutshell
If you have multiple drain flies, it’s a sign you have a plumbing issue. It could be a cracked toilet bowl, or your toilet is clogged or leaking.
What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies are small insects, about 1/5-inch-long, with dark bodies and fuzzy wings. They are also sometimes called sewer gnats or sink flies. As their name suggests, you’ll often find these creatures near drains, in sewers, and other places where there is standing water or moisture.
Drain flies can be a nuisance because they breed quickly and can lay up to 200 eggs simultaneously. In addition, the larvae of drain flies feed on organic matter in moist environments, which is why you often find them near drains and other wet areas.
How Do I Know If I Have a Drain Fly Problem?
You may have a drain fly problem if you see small, dark flies near your drains or in other moist areas of your home. You may also see larvae in these wet areas, which look like tiny worms. Other signs that you have drain flies include:
- A musty smell near drains or other wet areas
- Tiny black specks on surfaces near drains or other damp areas
- Drain flies flying around your bathroom or kitchen
If you see any of these signs, it’s time to take action to chase drain flies away. Also, you can test if these indeed are drain flies by:
The Tape Test
Take a piece of clear tape and press it against a surface near where you’ve seen drain flies. If they are drain flies, you will see small black specks on the tape when you peel it away.
The Bowl Test
Fill a bowl with water and dish soap and place it near where you’ve seen drain flies. If they are drain flies, they will be attracted to the bowl and drown.
What Are the Effects of Drain Flies?
Besides being unsightly, drain fly infestations can cause health problems. Indeed, the drain flies themselves aren’t a health hazard. But I strongly feel that if you have a mass of drain flies in your home, you are at risk of diseases due to bacteria.
Furthermore, the insects are probably feeding on sewage, making you sick. In addition, the mere presence of insects in food preparation areas can cause anxiety and stress.
What Do Drain Flies From the Toilet Mean?
Drain flies from your toilet should raise concern because this is a clear sign of a plumbing problem. But, if it’s only one or two drain flies in your bathroom, it’s probably not a cause for alarm.
However, if you see multiple drain flies regularly, it’s time to call a plumber. Some issues that may be causing drain flies in your toilet include:
A Cracked Or Damaged Toilet Bowl
A cracked or damaged toilet bowl is one of the most common causes of drain flies. If there’s a crack in your toilet bowl, the issue will cause water to seep out, which provides the perfect environment for drain flies to breed.
In addition, if your toilet bowl is damaged, it may allow feces and other matter to escape, which can also attract drain flies.
Perhaps the cause of cracks in the toilet bowl is an old and outdated design. If your home was built over a few decades ago, the toilets might not be up to modern standards. In this case, you’ll need to replace your toilet bowls.
Another possibility is that the porcelain in your toilet bowl is chipping away, which can also cause cracks. If this is the case, you may be able to repair the damage with putty or epoxy. However, you’ll need to replace the toilet bowl if the damage is extensive.
A Clogged Toilet
A clogged toilet is another common cause of drain flies. When a toilet is clogged, water won’t flow freely through it. Instead, it will build up in the toilet bowl, which provides the perfect environment for drain flies to breed.
In addition, a clogged toilet can cause sewage to back into your bathroom, which can also attract drain flies.
If your toilet is clogged, you’ll need to unclog it as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to call a plumber. A plumber can quickly and efficiently unclog your toilet without causing any damage.
A Leaking Toilet
Water can escape from the tank or bowl if your toilet leaks, providing the perfect environment for drain flies to breed. Plus, a leaking toilet can cause water damage to your bathroom, which can also attract drain flies.
If your toilet is leaking, you’ll need to fix the leak as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to call a plumber. A plumber will have the right tools and be able to find and fix the leak faster than you.
How Do You Eliminate Drain Flies?
Now that you know what causes drain flies, it’s time to take action to eradicate them. The good news is that there are several things you can do to eliminate drain flies.
The first step is identifying the source of the problem. If you have a cracked or damaged toilet bowl, you’ll need to replace it. And if you have a leaking toilet, fix the leak.
Drain flies feed on organic matter, so the next step is to remove any that may be present in your bathroom. This matter includes feces, urine, vomit, blood, and food.
Removing all this organic matter is essential as it will otherwise be food for the drain flies and allow them to breed.
Also, to completely eradicate the flies, you may follow these tips:
Use a Drain Cleaner
A drain cleaner will help to remove any organic matter that’s present in your drains. It will also make it more difficult for the drain flies to breed.
Pour Boiling Water Down Your Drains
Boiling water will kill any drain flies that are present in your drains. Boiling water is a great way to cleanse and disinfect your drains.
Use a Fly Swatter
A fly swatter kills any drain flies that are present in your bathroom. This will take time and not be as effective as other solutions. It will be like slapping a bandaid on a broken arm. The underlying problem (a broken toilet) will still be there.
Use a Fly Trap
You can find fly traps at most hardware stores. But ensure that you choose one specifically designed to catch drain flies.
Install Screens Over Your Drains
Screens will help to keep drain flies from entering your drains. But ensure that you choose ones specifically designed to keep drain flies out.
The insecticide will kill any drain flies that are present in your bathroom. However, this is my last resort as it can harm you and your family.
How Do You Prevent Drain Flies?
An effective way to deal with drain flies is by preventing breeding in the first place. Here are some tips on how to do this.
Clean Your Bathroom
The first step is to keep your bathroom clean, including the toilet, sink, bathtub, and shower. Be sure to remove any organic matter present, as this will provide food for the drain flies. Also, clean under the toilet, as this is a common breeding ground for drain flies.
Fix Any Leaks
If you have any leaks in your bathroom, fix them as soon as possible. A leaking toilet can provide the perfect environment for drain flies to breed.
Depending on the extent of the leaks, you may be able to fix them yourself. However, you’ll need to call a plumber if the leaks are severe. This way, you’ll get the problem thoroughly and quickly fixed.
Keep Your Bathroom Ventilated
Another way to prevent drain flies is by improving your bathroom ventilation. Ventilation keeps the humidity level down, making it more difficult for the flies to breed. You can ventilate your bathroom by opening a window or using a fan.
Hire a Drain File Control Service
If you’re having trouble getting rid of drain flies, you may consider hiring a drain fly control service. These services are typically very affordable and can eliminate flies quickly and easily.
Most drain fly control services use a combination of the methods described above. They’ll clean your bathroom, fix any leaks, and ventilate your bathroom. In addition, they may also use insecticide to kill any remaining flies.
While drain flies can be a nuisance, they’re relatively easy to eliminate. By taking some preventative measures and taking action as soon as you see them, you can remove them quickly and easily. And with a little bit of effort, you can keep them from coming back. I hope this article has helped you learn how to eliminate them.