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How to Banish Drain Flies From Your Sink: A Minnesota Plumber Explains

tips and definitions

Ever notice small, fuzzy flies that are about one-third the size of house flies buzzing around your drains?

These drain flies, also called “moth flies”, are most likely thriving in your home because they’re feeding on decomposing materials stuck in the sides of your drain. 

And the worst part is that they’re laying their eggs in that same drain.

So it doesn’t matter how many flies you swat away. If you don’t get rid of their breeding ground they’re there for good.

To get rid of drain flies you have to:

  • Get rid of the organic slime they’re laying eggs in
  • Ensure that the drain stays clean

Here’s how to do that.

Step 1: Gather the needed materials

Step 2: Ensure you’ve found the drains the flies are coming from

You saw the drain flies fluttering about the nearest sink, so you assume their eggs are there. While that’s probably the case, it never hurts to make sure they’re not living elsewhere.

So, grab your tape, tear off a piece and lay the sticky side down covering about ¾ of the drains. 

Check the drains for the next few days and see if any flies get stuck. If you find the buggers stuck to the tape, you’ll know that that drain needs a good cleaning.

Step 3: Use the pipe brush and drain snake

Now you need to remove as much of the organic slime from your drain as you can. 

Insert the the pipe brush and gently scrub the sides of the pipe, removing any built-up gunk. 

Then use the drain snake to pull out any clumps of hair or other gunk farther down the drain.

Step 4: Pour in the enzyme or bacteria drain cleaner 

Pour in an enzyme or bacteria-based drain cleaner to eat away the remaining residue that your brush or drain snake could not reach or dispose of.  

Follow the drain cleaner’s directions closely. Usually you’ll have to let the cleaner sit for a fair amount of time as it eats away the gunk. So don’t try to take on this project at a time when you need to use the sink soon.

Finally, flush down the drain cleaner with warm water.

To keep your pipes clean, periodically pour down more of this enzyme or bacteria-based drain cleaner.

Why use enzyme or bacteria drain cleaners?

Now, you might wondering, what’s so special about an enzyme or bacteria-based drain cleaners?

We use them for 2 reasons:

They’re safe for your pipes
Enzymes or bacteria in these cleaners only eat away organic material (leftover food, mold, hair etc.). Compare that to some cleaners that contain caustic or oxidizing chemicals, which create heat that can soften plastic pipes and may damage old, corroded pipes. 

They’re safer for you
Chemical-based drain cleaners often leave behind fumes that are unhealthy to inhale, and can sting and irritate your nose and eyes. Enzyme and bacteria-based cleaners don’t do this.

A cleaning method to avoid: Boiling hot water

If you have plastic piping, such as PVC or ABS, welcome to the surest way to damage it: pouring in a large amount of boiling hot water.

According to the Uniform Plumbing Code, temperatures for plastic piping shouldn’t exceed 180 F, otherwise the piping can warp.  

So, just stick to the above drain cleaning method instead.

Need a Minnesota plumber’s help?

Maybe you don’t want to buy all that equipment or you just don’t have time to clean the drain. In that case, you’ll want to call a professional plumber for help.

If you live in the Twin Cities area, we can help.

Contact MSP Plumbing to clean your drains.   

Categories: Plumbing