Drain Flies: How You Get Them And How To Get Rid Of Them
One of the most common pest problems in homes, restaurants, hospitals, schools and offices are flies that breed in or infest drains. In some cases, correct identification of fly species involved can help to locate all fly breeding sources and to choose correct methods of controlling the flying pests. The flies or gnats (as they are sometimes called) are in a group we call small flies.
Most people assume that the gnats seen in their home or business are Fruit Flies but this is not always the case. Sphaerocerid Fly, Fruit Fly, Phorid Fly and Moth Fly are the main culprits that infest and breed in drains.
Sphaerocerid flies can be found in manure, damp organic material, drains, rotting fruits and vegetables and garbage. Moth flies (also known as the Drain Fly) breed in drains, sewers, septic tanks and soil that has been contaminated with sewage. Phorid flies (often mistaken for fruit flies) are found in sewage contaminated soil, garbage, drains, human cadavers, rotting vegetables and fruit, garbage as well as damp organic materials. Fruit flies like fresh fruits, rotting fruits and vegetables, drains, garbage and damp organic materials. Another name for the Phorid fly is Humpback Fly. Its hump-backed appearance is a key characteristic that helps to differentiate the fly from the fruit fly. Phorids also have brown eyes, instead of the obvious red color of the fruit fly’s eyes.
To help identify your fly pest and/ or locate possible breeding grounds for the pest, use the Fly Breeding Sites page.
As you can see, the most common breeding and feeding materials are drains and damp, organic materials of some sort. One of the most popular products to use for any type of fly that has invaded your drain lines is Drain Gel. This liquid product is great for elimination and prevention of these pests but a close inspection of the area should be made before purchasing or using the product. Most people see small flies or gnats in their kitchens and bathrooms and quickly assume that the flying pests are emerging from their drains. This is not always the case! Drain Gel is a great product but will be a waste of your time and money if the flies are not breeding in the drains.
To find out if drains are actually your problem area or source of feeding and breeding of small flies, use this simple test for your initial inspection:
Just before bedtime (or just prior to closing your restaurant or kitchen) you should thoroughly dry off all bathtubs, sinks or areas around floor drains. Your next step is to place a single strip of tape across the center of each drain, sticky side of tape facing downwards. Do not completely cover the drain opening! There must be open space to allow for an updraft which allows the flies to emerge. Leave the strips of tape in place overnight or (if possible) over a weekend.
If you find flies stuck to the tape, you now know for certain that that particular drain does have flies. You can now proceed to elimination of flies in your drain. If you do not find flies stuck to the tape, repeat the tape test for at least 3 or 4 nights so that your test will coincide with any possible breeding cycle.If This tape test is not complicated or expensive but it will help in determining a possible breeding ground for your targeted pest. If you do not find flies stuck to your tape (even after trying the test for several consecutive nights) then you know that there are other possible breeding sources that must be located and treated (or eliminated) in order to rid your home or business of nuisance flies and gnats.
Locating materials that allow these pests to breed is one of the toughest jobs in pest control. It would be simple if the fly infestations were caused by an easily seen pile of garbage or rotting fruit but rarely is this the case. The source is usually something small that has been over looked. Repeated inspections over many days will eventually show you where your problem lies. Many people get frustrated and purchase fly sprays to knock down the flying pests but the flies always return – because the source has not been located. A fly spray will give you temporary relief but the pests will return. (Most of the flies killed by a space spray have laid hundreds of eggs before you spray them!)
If none of those methods seem to work well for you, log onto Enviro-Master and read more information on our Drain Fly service!
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