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Are They Drain Flies or Fruit Flies?


If you are finding fruit flies in your kitchen, especially around your sink or fridge, they may not be fruit flies at all. You could have an infestation of drain flies. A drain fly differs in appearance from a fruit fly in that a drain fly, also known as moth flies or sewer gnats, is fuzzy with a smaller body and larger wings than a fruit fly.

Drain flies, as you may guess by the name, congregate around kitchen drains, laying their eggs in the organic matter that collects in the bottom of your garbage disposal or pipes. One drain fly will lay 10-200 eggs in the build-up of hair, grease, food, etc.  In about two days, the eggs hatch and the drain fly larvae thrive on that same waste in the drain. They emerge as adults in nine to 15 days.

You may see drain flies on walls and flat surfaces during the day. At night they feed and fly in and around the drains. A drain fly lives for about two weeks. You may be able to kill a good number of the flies during the day, but the drain fly larvae can live in the drain and reproduce endlessly. You must get rid of their breeding ground to be rid of them.

It’s not difficult to kill a drain fly. They are rather clumsy and slower than the average house fly. Your best defense is to track the flies back to their source – usually a drain – either in a sink, washroom or basement floor. Cover about ¾ of a drain opening with a piece of tape, sticky side down.  Check it for the next day or two and if that drain is the source of the problem, you will have flies stuck to the tape.

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