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Flies That Infest Drains

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.

Inspecting Drains Eliminating Drain Flies Fly Control

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.
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!)

Eliminating Drain Flies

Once you have confirmed that drain lines are the source of your problems, you can begin the process of removing the organic materials that cling to the sides of drain lines.  These materials can accumulate in any drain pipe and rarely can they be removed with boiling water, standard drain cleaners, bleach, etc..
Invade Bio Drain Gel is a product that was formulated specifically for the job at hand: eliminating the material that is the source for flies, cockroaches and ants and which also cause odors as the materials rot in your drain or sewage lines.  Invade Bio Drain Gel will not harm plumbing and is safe for both sewer and septic systems.
The action of Drain Gel can be enhanced by using a foaming agent.
Invade Bio Foam is the same as drain gel but highly concentrated and developed for use in  foamer.  (Invade Bio Foam must be applied with a foamer.)

Fly Control in Kitchens, Restaurants

Many commercial food handling businesses such as restaurants, wine makers, breweries and school cafeterias find themselves fighting fly problems long after eliminating organic materials in drains.  The reasons for continuous problems can vary from type of business is being invaded to situations where location of all possible sources is impossible.  Any business that deals with the manufacturing, packaging, storing or serving of wine, beer, sweets and pastries or other such materials are likely to have continuous fly problems.  Unless a pre-planned pest management program is implemented the problems are bound to get worse over time.
  • Locate and eliminate all possible breeding and feeding sources for flies and other pests.
  • Instruct employees on all sanitation measures needed for your type of business.  The sanitation train begins with products delivered and continues through food storage, preparation and disposal of waste materials - all the way to the dumpster.
  • Use certain products such as Drain Gel, Gentrol and Stimukil or Maxforce Fly Bait on a regular, preventative basis.
  • Make good use of Ultraviolet Traps to draw flying insects away from your customers and away from foods.


When faced with such an on-going problems, other pest control tools and methods must be used to keep unwanted populations in check.  Certain product can be used in drains as a preventative measure.  

  • Drain Gel can be used once each week to help keep organic deposits to a minimum.  This will also help eliminated many odors at their source.
  • Gentrol products can also be used in a kitchen.  Gentrol Concentrate and Gentrol Aerosol can now be used in drains.  The active ingredient in Gentrol products (Hydroprene) is an IGR that helps prevent fly larvae (maggots) from developing into mature adult flies.
    Another IGR suitable for commercial food handling areas and inhibits the growth and reproduction of flies, roaches and many other pests: NyGuard IGR.
    The use of an IGR keeps flies from reaching adulthood so that they will never reproduce.  IGR also works on German Cockroaches that can easily infest a kitchen or restaurant.
  • By using fly traps that use ultraviolet rays to attract flies to their doom, you will greatly decrease the number of flies in food preparation areas as well as in dining areas.  The most powerful of these traps are best used in kitchens or food prep areas.
    Matrix II Fly Trap and Visu Fly Trap are the most popular unit used in restaurant kitchens.  Smaller traps can be used in hallways, restrooms and even dining areas because they have a low profile.  A low profile fly trap is rarely noticed by your customers.  Even if your customers do see the trap, they usually do not know what purpose it serves.

Other resources: 

Fly Index    Fly Breeding Materials    Fruit Flies    Moth Flies    House Flies

Pest Control for Restaurants    Fly Traps    Pest Control Supplies    Pests

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