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Drain flies are pretty unpleasant to have around but are a fairly common problem. There are a number of ways to get rid of drain flies.

Often refereed to as sink flies or sewer gnats these small moth like flies belong to the Psychodidae family. They hatch their eggs in the dark drainage system which is full of a gelatinous and dense mucus their maggots grow in. They are also commonly seen in septic tanks, gutters, composting bins, ice-makers, ceramic tiled flooring and trash cans. They can be found in homes and commercial properties and most often come in large numbers.

Whether they are a problem in your house, apartment or at work, you’re no doubt wondering how to get rid of drain flies. There are several options, so let’s take a look at them.

Work out where they are coming from

Before you can get rid of them you need to identify where they are coming from! If you think they are coming from one of your drains you can put tape over them. When they fly out you will catch some on the tape and then you know where to start your extermination attempts. If you are dealing with a commercial property or even a home where there are floor drains you can use glue boards to detect of that is where the problem is. You just place a few over the drains, not directly on to them but lifted just a little. Over the next few days check them to see if flies are sticking to them.

Also make sure you are doing some simple things like taking out the garbage and cleaning the garbage can, and taking out compostables daily. When you are concerned about drain flies, if you eliminate the source, you have more chance of very quickly getting rid of the flies themselves.

How to get rid of drain flies

  1. Get those drains clean – The first step to take is to unblock your drains properly. This is the best way to clear out all eggs and maggots from the drains so no more flies can hatch. Use a sanitation snake type of brush and a duct brush to really get in there and scrub as much as you can.
  2. Clean the bathroom tiles – If you have drain flies in your bathroom then you should also spend some time cleaning other areas the flies will like, such as other drains and the bathroom tiles. It helps take away another damp environment they might try to move to.
  3. Buy a product to pour down the drain for cleaning – When you clean the drain with those brushes it is possible you are not going to get rid of everything. A drain cleaning product can help things along but take care with anything too caustic as that is not good for you and it can damage your pipes.
  4. Try pouring hot water down the drains – Simply pouring hot water down will also help a lot. It will destroy eggs still down there and help get rid of drain flies as well as get rid of the mucus they are attracted to.
  5. Try using pheromone traps if the above has not worked – In some cases the use of pheromone traps can help when dealing with drain flies. Places that often use these include dining areas and restaurants. Avoid using pesticides. It is not the most effective option and does not deal with the source of the problem.


If you are worried and asking “are drain flies harmful?” then you can relax, they are not dangerous. But they are a big nuisance and they multiply quickly. They will lay their eggs in moist places, anywhere there is old food particles, sludge, greasiness and so on. While they only measure 1/6 to 1/5 an inch in length they are very unpleasant to live with and are an indication that something needs a good clean somewhere!

If you are having problems getting rid of drain flies after the above few efforts try calling a local plumbing expert. It is possible the cleaning needed is in a place where you are not able to reach with the brushes you are using, or the solution you are pouring down is not quite shifting all of that gunk.  If you’re in Burleigh Waters, WorongaryTugun, Mudgeeraba, Parkwood or anywhere in the Gold Coast, you can call on us!