Numerous tiny flying pests may invade your home in Florida. Many of these quickly multiply due to the warm, moist conditions Florida weather offers. One of these pests is a small, fuzzy insect often found in your bathrooms or laundry room. If you see this, you may have an infestation of drain flies. What are drain flies? Do they pose a danger, and how do you eliminate them? Read on for more information.
What Are Drain Flies?
Drain flies, also called sink, sewer, or moth flies, come from the family Psychodidae. As their name indicates, they often breed in drains but can be found anywhere there is stagnant water. Some locations include the following:
- Indoor and outdoor showers and drains
- Indoor and outdoor sinks
- Compost piles
- Storm drains
- Septic tanks
- Wet mop buckets
- Untreated kiddie pools
Because they tend to breed in drains and have poor flight ability, you often find them in and around sinks and bathtubs. You may also find them in areas of your home, such as damp basements or barns. You may also find them in swampy outdoor areas with decaying organic matter and still water.
Drain flies multiply quickly, laying and hatching up to 300 eggs in 48 hours on the film that forms when water pools and collects sewage. Once hatched, they have a life span of eight to 24 days, with males having a shorter life span than females. During this time, they go through a cycle of egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages.
Drain flies are only 2 to 5mm in length. They are black or pale gray and are often confused with large gnats or fruit flies. Looking closely, you can often discern the difference between drain and fruit flies.
You can see the difference due to the tiny hairs on the drain fly’s body and wings versus the hairless bodies and wings of fruit flies. Fruit flies are also often seen around ripening fruits and vegetables during the day, while drain flies prefer moving around in the dark.
Do Drain Flies Pose a Danger?
Drain flies are not inherently harmful to humans, as they do not bite or sting. However, large infestations can cause some people to have respiratory problems due to drain flies leaving behind fine hair-like scales that fall off their wings and bodies.
Drain flies consume organic matter, including sewage and contaminated water found in the stagnant water where they breed. Because of their consumption habits and where they live, they can carry various bacteria.
How Do You Get Rid of Drain Flies?
Depending on how bad your drain fly infestation is, you may not know which drain the flies are breeding in. Fortunately, because these flies multiply so quickly, it is easy to test your drain. You perform the testing by placing tape over the drain for 24 hours. If that is where they are breeding, drain flies should be attached to the adhesive when you remove the tape.
If left unchecked, they can quickly spread their nests throughout your pipes due to their frequent reproduction. Unfortunately, home remedies often do not work or reach nesting sites deep in your pipes, storm drains, or septic systems where the drain flies may lay their eggs. In these cases, you need to contact a professional pest management service such as Highland Pest Control.
We are a family-owned company with more than 40 years of knowledge, skills, and abilities to eliminate your drain flies and any other pests you may have in the Palm Beach, Martin & St. Lucie County areas. Give us a call today and schedule an appointment to become pest free.