How to get rid of drain flies with vinegar, Mrs Hinch top tips and more

Desperate to know how to get rid of drain flies? Read on for Mrs Hinch cleaning tips, apple cider vinegar and homemade traps to tackle them with.

How to get rid of drain flies - Fenix contemporary kitchen worktop
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Desperate to find out how to get rid of drain flies? Well, you've come to the right place. 

Also known as moth flies, sewer gnats, sink flies, filter flies or sewer flies, drain flies linger around your kitchen or bathroom mostly attracted by well, your drains...

These small gnat-like flies thrive near stagnant, standing water, especially near food sources and like mosquitoes, they hatch in water, living to the ripe old age of 3 weeks. 

Not the type of fly you're dealing with? We recommend checking out our how to get rid of flying insects guide to identify your insect invader. 

Paul Blackhurst, Head of Technical Academy at Rentokil Pest Control explains more: 'Drain flies are attracted to stagnant water that collects organic debris such as food waste and sewage so are commonly found near kitchen and outdoor sinks, shower and bath drains, basement sinks, sewers, wet mop and buckets, and compost piles.'

Always keep an eye out for early signs of an infestation, even if you just spot a few drain flies. Taking precautionary steps to check and treat a possible problem is essential. Homemade fly traps, natural home remedies and DIY fly control products can help to alleviate minor annoyances with flies. If these flies become a constant and persistent nuisance, you’ll need the expertise and knowledge of professional pest controllers to effectively eradicate the fly infestation.'

Thankfully this pest is not a hard one to rid yourself of. Read on for our guide to bidding farewell to the pesky drain fly.

how to get rid of drain flies - kitchen sink - Kitchen Makers Haddon In Charcoal And Burnished Bronze

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Deep clean your sink

Your first port of call is to tackle the source of the issue: your sinks. With regular scrubbing most drain fly problems clear up in a week.  That sounds promising.

As ever, we look to Mrs Hinch to show us the righteous way. Here's how to clean your sink the #HinchArmy way:

  • Pour a generous amount of soda crystals down the plughole and follow it with a slosh of white vinegar.
  • Once the mixture is fizzing Mrs Hinch pours a capful of her favorite Zoflora and leaves for five minutes.
  • Then pour a kettle full of boiling water down the sink to get rid of the soda crystals and dislodge any fat, oil or grime in your pipes.
  • Next use a Mrs Hinch favorite, Pink Stuff, wiping it all over the sink and rinsing well.
  • To finish, use a little more disinfectant around the sink itself and then wipe the whole basin with a #HinchArmy-approved microfibre cloth.

how to get rid of ants - spray bottle with vinegar and baking soda - GettyImages-1218750111

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Make a homemade trap using apple cider vinegar

If you're still spotting flies around, create a simple yet effective homemade trap with apple cider vinegar and some plastic wrap or cling film. 

Here's how to make it.

  • Fill a jar, mug or dish with an inch of apple cider vinegar
  • Poke small holes in the plastic wrap or cling film to lure flies in but prevent them from escaping.
  • Leave out near where you're seeing them most and watch them flock to their demise.

rinsing off a stainless steel sink

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Flush your pipes with boiling water

If you're already an avid sink cleaner, you might just need to concentrate your efforts on clearing those drains to combat the issue. This will prevent breeding and stop eggs from hatching.

The simplest method is to pour boiling water carefully down your drain 1-2 times a day for about a week to ensure that the flies don't return overnight if the water didn't clear all of the built up grime.

clean stainless steel sink with garden views

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Use a drain cleaner

If you've tried Mrs Hinch's go-to method to no avail and boiling water didn't combat your drain fly issue, it's time to bring out the big guns in the form of a heavy duty drain cleaner, like Mr Muscle Drain Foamer to really clear out those pipes.

Usually used for unblocking a sink, a professional cleaner will clean out any extra residue build up attracting the flies. Just make sure to check if the product you choose is safe to use more than once if needed and whether it can be used in drains outside of the bathroom.

How to prevent drain flies 

So you've done the hard bit and got rid of the drain flies but that's not the end of the story. Now you have to prevent them from coming back...

Paul says, 'The key to preventing drain flies is to avoid pools of still water collecting containing sewage or other organic material. To ensure infestations don’t occur it’s important to keep drains as clean and dry as possible.'

'Flushing your drains out with either water, or in more extreme cases, cleaning solutions on a regular basis will help deter filter flies from breeding. Aside from your drains, keep an eye out for standing water around your home. Never leave dirty mops in buckets of water and be sure you have a healthy septic system.'