Contrary to what their name suggests, they actually don't "fly" very well, but rather travel with little hops and jumps from surface to surface. Drain flies can live for up to three weeks, and new eggs can hatch every 48 hours, so as with all potential insect problems, you should act fast. Drain flies thrive on stagnant, shallow water, especially near sources of food or bacteria, like sinks and showers.
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They often favor areas that have been left untouched for a period of time, or are generally not used frequently. Many people spot them in a seldom-used basement or workshop sink, or after returning from a significant vacation or time away from home. They thrive on moisture and organic debris notably different from fruit flies , which thrive on fruits and vegetables and can even pop up in a relatively clean area.
If you spot one or two, try this overnight test: Place pieces of tape sticky side down over the drain in question.
As they try to escape, they will become trapped on the tape, and you'll have a good indication of just how many flies you're dealing with. They don't bite humans or transmit human disease, but they are a sign that your kitchen could use a deep clean, especially if you want to prevent more insects from joining the party. With regular cleaning and careful attention, most drain fly problems can be fixed within a week.
How to Get Rid of Flies in Your Home
Start with the basics: Clean the sink with your usual cleaning solution, and use a pipe brush to scrub around and inside the drain. The simplest fix could be as easy as boiling water—boil a medium-size pot once or twice per week, and pour down the drain. Leave overnight, and pour boiling water in the morning. If you need a heavier-duty alternative, use a drain cleaner like Drano or Bio-Clean to clear out the drain and pipes. These are not necessarily insecticides, but these chemical unclogging solutions can help eliminate any materials or debris that may be creating the breeding ground for the flies.
Keeping the drain as clean as possible will prevent breeding and new eggs from hatching. If you're still seeing adult flies around, create an apple cider vinegar trap using a small dish covered in plastic wrap.
Clean your drain and garbage disposal. You can pour boiling water into them or tape a clear plastic food storage bag over the top and leave in place overnight. Adult fruit flies will try to leave the drain, and you'll find them in the bag in the morning. Make a trap. Cut a dime-sized hole into the lid, then place a funnel into it. You can also fashion a funnel from a rolled-up piece of paper. Make sure there's some room between the bottom of your funnel and the vinegar. Place the finished trap anywhere you've seen fruit flies. Once the sweet smell lures them into the container, they'll get stuck in the vinegar.
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Use bug spray with caution. If you do want to try an insect spray or fog, remember that they contain poisonous chemicals. Carefully read the label and follow the safety guidelines. Keep away from children and animals. Buy only what you're sure you'll eat.
Sanitation & Fly Control
One spoiled potato or forgotten box of berries can lead to thousands of fruit flies. Once produce gets ripe, put it in your refrigerator until you eat it.
Compost the leftovers or throw them away promptly. Empty your kitchen trash can every day. When you do, clean up any spills, since these can attract fruit flies, too. Rinse your recycling.
House & Fruit Fly Facts for Kids - What Do Flies Eat?
Make sure all jars, bottles, and cans are free of food scraps. Put screens on your windows and doors. Look for tight-fitting, mesh models that can keep adult fruit flies from coming inside your home. Turn off lights over your doors and windows.
Get Rid Of Flies
Light attracts newly adult fruit flies. Seal all containers. If you preserve your own fruits and veggies or brew your own cider or beer, check that your lids are well sealed.