Springtime brings about new life and plenty of bugs too. Gnats are one of those small flying insects that can be annoying, but their presence can be an indication of trouble. You will often find them in the kitchen and bathrooms as they’re the most humid places in the house. They thrive on organic matter and heat, and your home provides ample opportunity for both. Are drain flies harmful? While they’re super annoying, drain and fruit flies are not harmful; they neither bite or sting.
If you have standing water or anything decaying on your property, then you will find an intense concentration of these bugs. Drain flies live—appropriately to their name— in drains, sewers, septic tanks, and soil contaminated with sewage. They can thrive in your home indefinitely unless you step in and stop the drain flies infestation. They choose the kitchen and bathroom because there is always plenty of water.
Your sink drains provide them a safe place to nest where there is both humidity, water, and even rotting materials. Though, you may also see them around your trash or swarming & rotting fruit too.
Many people brush off their presence as a spring nuisance that will go away. However, they will multiply quickly and can make life in your home unbearable. They love light, so scanning your cellphone in bed at night can bring the masses to you. They can fly in your nose, ears, mouth, and drive you crazy.
You must identify that you are dealing with the drain fly and not another pest that loves plumbing as there are many. The hot spring and summer months in Atlanta increase the drain flies in the area.
How to Identifying Drain Gnats
The term gnat is used to describe several little flies, but they’re not all the same. Fruit flies, fungus gnats, moth flies, or phorid flies are also problematic in the spring. The most common sign that you have a drain gnat problem is by the presence of adult flies hanging out near your drains or other breeding grounds. To identify drain flies, the first thing you need to check is their color. Drain flies are usually gray, black, or brown. They have six legs and a small antenna. Due to their ability to reproduce very quickly, time is of the essence.
To check your drains for these insects, place some packing tape, duct tape, or other adhesive face down over the kitchen sink drain hole at night. If there are gnats in your drain, they will come up to the tape and stick to it.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t catch anything on the first night, as it may take a couple of nights to catch a gnat. You can examine any bugs found carefully to ensure they are drain flies and not another pest. Once you have identified the bug you’re dealing with, you can get rid of them.
How to Get Rid of Drain Flies & Prevent Further Gnat Infestations?
To get rid of drain flies, you must remove the matter that they’re feeding on in your drain pipes. You can loosen the organic materials with hot water. Don’t use boiling water because there is a possibility that it can damage your PVC pipes. Give the water a few minutes to loosen the sludge, then take a drain brush and clean it.
By cleaning the drain, you’re removing any drain fly larvae that exists in this region. Also, you can remove the food that they feed on and any nests that have been built. Now, you need to protect the drains from further occurrences by using an enzymatic cleaner.
Though you will see all sorts of do-it-yourself drain cleaning hacks with bleach, dish soap, apple cider vinegar, plastic wrap trap, or other chemical cleaners, the enzymatic work best. Vinegar and baking soda work well too if you can’t find one of these foaming cleaners. Place the mixture into your drain, but don’t run any water through your plumbing until it’s had a chance to sit for hours to properly remove the root cause of your drain fly problem.
If you still see sink flies after you’ve completed this treatment, you may need to do another cleaning round. Since rotting fruit can also attract gnats, ensure that you’re thoroughly cleaning your kitchen and garbage disposal. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see success right away. The size of your drain fly infestation dictates how many times you will need to treat the drains.
When Should You Call for Professional Help?
It’s not uncommon to see gnat infestation around garbage the disposal. Food and other matter sticks to the inside of the chamber and can cause decay that gnats feed on. If you’ve tried the do-it-yourself method and have been unsuccessful, you need to call a professional plumber.
The presence of constant drain flies, even though you treated, could indicate a plumbing issue. There could be a drain leak that is causing damage that you cannot see. There could be a more significant problem lurking below, and you want to take care of it before it becomes a costly issue.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of drain & sewer flies effectively, you need to call in professional help. If you use the wrong kind of brush or water that is too hot, you may cause irreversible damage to your plumbing system. Since this is such a delicate system, it’s best to call in the professionals.
There are many things that you can do to avoid an infestation of gnats in your home. If a plumbing problem doesn’t cause your issue, then your kitchen and bathroom habits can help prevent a future occurrence. Here are some tips:
- Don’t leave food sitting in your sinks for long periods
- Always wash any juice or other matters down the drain with adequate warm water
- Clean garbage disposals with ice and lemon at least once a week
- Be careful what you put down your drains and garbage disposal
- Periodically use a long-handled drain brush to clean your pipes
- Invest in gnat traps to use in peak season
- Have your plumbing inspected if you suspect there’s an issue
The heat and humidity of Atlanta bring about many pests and finding efficient ways to deal with these bugs have become part of life. Thankfully, drain & sewer gnats aren’t always a significant problem, and you can easily eradicate the issue. However, there are instances when the issue is due to something underlying, and a professional plumber needs to step in and help. Though drain flies aren’t dirty like a cockroach, they certainly are a hassle.
Still Struggling to Get Rid of Them?
If your gnat situation is a lot more than you had thought, it may be best to reach out to a professional such as a pest control specialist or a team of plumbers like us to help clean your drain. Not only will will your your house drains clean but also leave you with plenty of maintenance tips on how you can avoid the flies infesting your drains next time. Call our team of qualified plumbers today for a free estimate!