Drain Flies, ew!
October 13, 2004 4:29 PM   Subscribe

OK, I have Drain Flies. Dirty, disgusting, ewww, gross!!!! How can I get rid of them quickly without poisoning myself in the process? I hate flies more than spiders, snakes, mice, more than anything; so THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!!!
posted by lilboo to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My house had what I think were drain flies. According to various websites on the problem, pouring ammonia down the drain is either extremely effective or completely useless. I figured it couldn't hurt, and I noticed a sharp dropoff in the number of flies over the next couple days. They did make a brief resurgence, though.
posted by transona5 at 4:44 PM on October 13, 2004

I've had drain flies before. The best solution I found was using drano or other drain cleaners to try and clean out whatever the flies were being drawn too.
posted by Stynxno at 4:52 PM on October 13, 2004

Remove their source of food and the flies will go away. This requires you to be fastideously clean -- wipe all countertops after each and every use, scrub all sinks whenever food comes in contact, and if you have a garbage disposal, you must run it a few seconds every day. It helps to dump boiling water down the sink and turn the tap on full-blast just before running the disposal, then let it keep running until the water's all the way down the drain.

Oh, and keep your doors and windows closed. Flies don't spontaneously generate. When entering/leaving, keep the door open only as long as necessary to enter/egress. Basically, put your house in "lock-down mode" until winter sets in.

Hope this helps.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:53 PM on October 13, 2004

Try boiling water before you resort to other chemicals. It worked like magic for us.
posted by sudama at 6:11 PM on October 13, 2004 [1 favorite]

Various drain build-up remover products should also help, but not quickly (it takes a while for the bacteria in these products to seriously break down the gunk). If you use them regularly, though (capful once a month, left to sit overnight), you'll prevent future outbreaks.

You may also want to stick a wire brush or other instrument down the drain in question, to scrape off the organic gunk. Kitchen sinks are especially prone to this, of course.
posted by dhartung at 11:57 PM on October 13, 2004

If they're coming out of your disposal, clean it furiously.

Make sure to get the underside of the rubber bits, too.

One method that I enjoy (though it might not work that great) is dumping baking soda in, starting the motor and dumping vinegar in. It's like a science fair volcano, in my sink!

This of course really only works for disposals.
posted by codger at 11:06 AM on October 14, 2004

Response by poster: Update: Well after cleaning furiously, and pouring boiling water down every drain, I sealed up all of the drains, with the exception of the kitchen sink (no disposal, but it can't be sealed.) I'm really worried that this isn't coming from my apartment. I live in a really old building; a lot of people are doing gut-renovations, at various levels of expertise, and we also had two floods in the basement this year, so who knows where the little guys are coming from.

BTW, a friend recommended using the dust buster to sweep up the flies, instead of using a fly swatter, and this works pretty great, since cleaning up bug guts is a sure ticket to vomit-central for yours truly. Just remember to keep the vaccum on until you can release the bugs outside, or else they will just fly back out.
posted by lilboo at 1:47 PM on October 14, 2004

Two weeks and counting... Is anybody planning to participate in nanowrimo this year?
posted by codger at 7:44 AM on October 18, 2004

Um, ignore my last comment there... I must've hit something wrong altogether.

Stupid mondays.
posted by codger at 7:45 AM on October 18, 2004

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