Drain flies are one of the common pests that appear in homes throughout the spring and summer months. If you're seeing tiny flies around the sink drains in your kitchen and bathroom or near the shower, they may be drain flies. Here's a look at what you need to know about identifying them and cleaning out your pipes and drains to get rid of them.
What do Drain Flies Look Like?
Drain flies are typically a fraction of an inch long, even in their adult stage. They resemble a fruit fly, but their wings often look too large for the size of their body. They don't fly very far when they do fly, and you'll often see them crawling around on the counters and in the sink near the drain.
Identifying Which Drains Need Attention
The only way to get rid of drain flies and truly keep them away is to be attentive to your drain cleaning and plumbing maintenance. The most common household locations to spot these flies include your kitchen drain, bathroom sinks, bathtub drains and any other open pipes or water drains.
Luckily, there are a few easy methods for isolating which drains are affected. If you have masking tape, make an "X" with tape over the top of the drain. Leave it there at least overnight or longer if possible. Then, check the sticky side of the tape. If there are any drain flies in that drain, you'll see a few stuck to the tape.
If you don't have masking tape, you can achieve the same results with a small plastic container coated with vegetable shortening or petroleum jelly. Place the container upside down over the drain. Any flies that come out of the drain will stick to the coating inside the container.
Cleaning Your Drains
Now that you know which drains the flies are in, it's time to clean them out. Drain flies feed on the residues left behind from food, grease and other proteins. These residues build up on the inside of your drain when you don't clean them regularly, providing a seemingly endless food source for the pests.
Baking Soda Flush
Start by flushing the drain with scalding hot water. This will help dissolve some of the accumulated residue lining the drain pipes. You can even bring the water to a boil on your stove before you pour it down the drain – just be careful that you don't burn yourself.
Now that the drain is hot, dump a tablespoon or two of baking soda into it. Then, follow it with another flush of scalding water. This will not only kill any odors in the drain, but it should help clear away minor residue.
Remove the drain plug from the drain so that you expose the entire open space. Then, scrub the pipes and traps with a long-handled brush. If possible, use a plumber's snake to get into the drains and clear them out. In some cases, it's easier to consult a professional plumber who can handle the thorough cleaning for you.
Preventing Repeated Infestations
Talk with your plumber about the best routine cleaning steps for your drains. It may be in your best interest to have them professionally cleaned a few times a year. Between cleanings, the goal is to avoid stagnant water and debris buildup. Run your garbage disposal at least a couple of times each day with hot water flowing through it while it runs. Flush the rest of your drains with hot, soapy water every day.
With the information here and the support of a reliable plumber, you can keep your drains clean and keep drain flies at bay. The cleaner your drains are, the better they will flow as well, which reduces our risk of backups and clogs.
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30 March 2015
My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.