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Are Drain Flies Harmful?

Are Drain Flies Harmful?

Not only can they be annoying, but flies in your home can be unhygienic. Common in bathrooms, drain flies can be alarming if you’ve never encountered them before.

Despite a short life span (they only live for about three weeks), drain flies can prove to be a real problem due to how quickly they breed with new eggs hatching every 48 hours.  

Hopping from surface to surface rather than ‘flying’, as well as their unpleasant nature, drain flies can also be a sign that your drains need some attention. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at whether drain flies are harmful, and how to deal with an infestation if one does affect your home.          

drain fly

What are the signs of drain flies?

If you begin to spot small, black or brown flies hovering around your home, particularly in the bathroom, this is a fair indication that you may be sharing your home with drain flies. Drain flies also come hand in hand with an unpleasant odour, so if you notice a bad smell (they can smell like vomit if in large groups) this may indicate their presence.   

Due to their small size, it may be difficult to distinguish drain flies from other common flies. There is a handy test you can perform to make certain whether they are coming from your drain. 

Simply place a piece of tape over the drain or plughole, and leave it there for a few hours. As they try to fly out of your drain they’ll become stuck on the tape. Not only will this help confirm the presence of drain flies, but this test will also give you a good indication of how big the problem is. If the tape is covered in a large number of flies then you may have a significant infestation.     


What causes drain flies?

Drain flies love stagnant, shallow water and thrive in sewers, septic tanks and similar moist environments. Attracted to most sources of bacteria, they often end up in sinks, shower drains and might even make their way to your indoor bin once in the home. 

If your bathroom sink hasn’t been cleaned for a while, or you’ve been away from home for some time, your drain may have turned into the ideal breeding ground for drain flies.  


Are drain flies harmful?

You’ll be glad to know that drain flies do not bite or sting, and although unpleasant are relatively harmless. It’s highly unlikely that drain flies will cause you any harm, however, you should still be wary when they’re around.

They do carry bacteria and other nastiness that, if ingested, could make you feel sick. For instance, do not consume any food that you know a drain fly has come into contact with. This is unlikely to be an issue for adults but if you have small children who might be known to put all sorts of miscellaneous objects in their mouths, it might make them poorly if they eat a drain fly or something it has been on. 

Just imagine anything they land on is dirty; you wouldn’t want your child eating it. The same goes for pets, although dogs are more likely to eat a drain fly than cats who are much fussier with their food.

Drain flies eggs can also be quite unhygienic. Usually, if they’ve settled on your drains as their home they may lay eggs, so be sure to keep an eye out for this.  


How do I get rid of drain flies?

The best way to get rid of drain flies is to prevent them from inhabiting your drains in the first place. Regular drain cleaning is a good way to achieve this as well as ensuring that drain water does not remain sitting stagnant for a long period of time. 

Running your taps for about a minute each week is an easy way to clear out your drain – you can even add salt, baking powder and white vinegar to give it a deeper clean.  

The problem with drain flies is that even if you’re able to remove all of the visible flies, you don’t know just how many are lurking below in your drainage system. This is why we’d always encourage you to bring on board the professionals who can get deep into your drain with their cleaning solutions. 


At Express Clear, we offer a wide range of drainage services that can help with the removal of drain flies. These include drain jetting, rodding, CCTV drain surveys and more. If you need assistance with the removal of drain flies or simply require professional drainage services, contact Express Clear today.          


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