At Whywait Plumbing we have had a number of calls from clients who are concerned they are about to be overrun by small drain flies in their bathroom. Generally the concern is that they are in large numbers and no matter what is done to kill them there is always more the next day.
Cleaning Your Drains Doesn’t Get Rid Of Drain Flies!
Many Whywait Plumbing clients had cleaned the bathroom until it could be cleaned no more. So by a process of elimination, they had decided that they were coming out of one of the drains in the bathroom. Frustratingly no matter how often some clients sat and observed the drains they never saw any of the drain flies emerging from the drain in the shower or basin or the floor waste.
What most people observed was the drain flies flying were mainly sitting on the walls or ceiling in the bathroom. Whywait Plumbing can confirm that what everyone had was what is commonly known as drain flies or bathroom flies.
What Do Drain Flies Look Like
Drain flies are dark grey flies and are 2mm – 4mm in length with hairy moth-like wings. They have a jerky flight as they are poor fliers and usually are found close to the floor waste drain or area of origin. This is why they seldom stray outside the bathroom. In most cases, they are breeding in the bathroom floor waste trap.
Drain flies do not bite and are not known to transmit disease of any sort nor do they damage clothes or linen and are considered to more of a nuisance value in a home.
The adult drain flies and larvae can be controlled by eliminating or reducing breeding sites. If the infestation is minor the pouring of bleach into the floor trap will usually work in killing them. However, if that does not solve the problem then you will need to kill them by thoroughly cleaning the drain lines and or sealing of the floor trap.
The reason that they continually seem to be in large numbers despite constantly killing them is that eggs hatch in 32 to 48 hours when the temperature is above 20 degrees. The larvae mature in 9 -12 days and feed on the decaying organic matter that accumulates in the floor waste trap. The life cycle of drain flies is 1-3 weeks. Adults drain flies live about 2 weeks, with old ones dying and new ones emerging. They feed on the wastewater in the floor waste trap. During the day the adults rest in shaded areas such as under the basin or on walls near plumbing fixtures and on the sides of showers and baths. Most activity occurs during the evening when the flies are seen hovering about.
Septic Tanks Breeders
If you are on acreage and have septic tanks they may breed in large numbers and they may be carried by prevailing wind to nearby homes up to 3 kilometres away. Adult drain flies are small enough to pass through ordinary window mesh screens.
Thorough Cleaning of Drain and Traps
It is the experience of Whywait Plumbing that cleaning of the drains from the basin, shower and bath that discharge into the floor trap is only part of the answer. It is also beneficial to clean the floor trap thoroughly and pour bleach down the drain although this is washed away with each use of any of the fixtures.
DrainPro – The Drain Fly Solution
Gary Mays from Whywait Plumbing has gone through this entire experience at his own home in the ensuite bathroom. Gary Mays also installed a DrainPro unit into the floor waste which prevents not only drain flies but also bacteria, odours and insects from exiting through the drain into the bathroom.
It is 3 years since he installed DrainPro units in all of all bathroom floor traps and they have completely eliminated the annoying tiny flies.