How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

Learn how to get rid of drain flies and easy tricks on how to keep drain flies out of the house in the first place.


Also known a sewer flies, filter flies and moth flies, drain flies are only about 1/8-inch in size and are usually black but can also be brown in color. Their wings and bodies are covered with hairs and when crushed, they leave a powdery smudge.

While not harmful, having drain flies or their eggs in your home can certainly be a nuisance. Drain flies breed in drains, septic tanks, sewers and soil that has been contaminated with sewage. Wherever they find water, they’ll breed. Any areas of your home where it’s wet and shouldn’t be are potential breeding grounds, so this is another reason to take care of all leaks and moisture problems asap.

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If you have a problem with these pests, here are some DIY ways to get rid of drain flies (without chemicals):

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies

1. If you spot drain flies in and around your drain, you can use a small knife to scrape the sides of your kitchen or bathroom drain to see if you can spot larvae in the sludge. If you find larvae, scrap it out and dispose of it in the trash. Take the trash out immediately.

This is the best way to get rid of flies.

2. Make up a solution of equal parts white vinegar, water and sugar and place 5-10 drops of liquid dish soap into the mixture. Place it next to the sink and flies will be drawn to the liquid and drown.

3. Place 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar into a small glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the top with a fork or toothpick and the flies will be attracted to the vinegar and won’t be able to get back out.

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4. Dump a pot of boiling water down the drawn twice a day for a week.

5. To keep drain flies away, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain and flush it with warm water. Do this once a week. Here’s the list of the most common types of flies.

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Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.