Will Bleach Kill Drain Flies?

Will Bleach Kill Drain Flies

Will Bleach Kill Drain Flies?

Drain flies can make for quite a terrible sight, especially when there’s a swarm of them in your home.

Yet no matter how desperate you are to get rid of drain flies, you shouldn’t use bleach to do it.

And it’s more than just the harmful fumes.

We’ll explain why bleach shouldn’t be used in your toilet or shower drain and what safe alternative methods you can use instead.

💧 What are Drain Flies?

drain fly close up

Psychodidae, known commonly as drain flies, sewer gnats, sewer flies, or even drain gnats, are a family of flies commonly found in kitchen sink and shower drains.

Though microscopic, these teeny tiny flying insects can quickly infest an area as female drain flies lay 30 to 100 eggs at a time.

Drain flies tend to mate quickly, and in just 48 hours, these eggs will hatch, leaving you with a horde of larvae in your drain.

Fortunately, drain flies present no health risks to humans.

Still, they can be quite a nuisance to be around, so you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Drain Flies vs Fruit Flies

fruit fly close up

Many confuse drain flies and fruit flies because they both congregate in spaces and feed off decaying organic matter.

But there’s a critical difference between them that lies in their names.

A drain fly feeds off material like sewage and grease, whereas a fruit fly instead eats fruits, vegetables, and plants.

Resultingly, a drain fly would be found in drains and septic tanks, while a fruit fly wouldn’t.

They also have different appearances.

Drain flies have an appearance that is quite similar to moths, as both species have small bodies and a single pair of wings covered with tiny hairs.

Fruit flies instead have bright-colored bodies with distinctive red eyes, which sharply differentiates them.

💧 What Will Attract Drain Flies?

standing water

The central cause for drain fly infestations is standing water.

This is because the water provides opportunities for the flies to eat and mate and lay drain fly eggs.

Standing water is typically associated with a clogged drain.

As water cannot pass through, it stagnates in the drain, creating a perfect environment for a drain fly problem.

Decaying organic matter also gets stuck in clogged drain pipes, further encouraging them.

You could also run into problems with standing water if you have a toilet that is rarely used or cleaned.

Cracks in your pipes can also create leaks which lead to stagnant water forming.

💧 Why Shouldn’t You Use Bleach To Kill Drain Flies?

bathroom chemicals

In the introduction, we told you that you shouldn’t try pouring bleach into your drain to kill drain flies.

But why shouldn’t you use the bleach method?

There are several reasons. The most major one is your drain pipes.

While bleach is unlikely to damage your pipes, it can easily get caught in your pipes’ p-traps.

If you pour any other chemicals or substances into the pipe, they could chemically react with the bleach leading to toxic fumes or pipe damage.

By itself, bleach can also damage materials like porcelain and plastic, as well as septic systems.

As for the question, “will bleach kill drain flies?” While the answer remains yes, it’s not a very effective method.

Bleach moves quickly down the drain and won’t kill as many drain flies as other methods.

🧰 What About Enzyme-based Drain Cleaners?

drain cleaner

Unlike bleach which isn’t safe for all drains, enzyme-based drain cleaners are a safe and effective chemical to kill drain flies.

Some non-enzyme-based cleaners, like “Bye-Bye Drain Flies” by Pest Peeve, “Drain Fly Treatment” by Green Gobbler, and even S.C. Johnson’s “Drano,” kill drain flies and can be found in your local hardware store.

💧 Alternatives to Bleach

Even without household bleach, there are still many ways to go about killing drain flies.

Here are some of the best ways that you can carry out all by yourself.

🧰 Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution

If you’re looking to get rid of drain flies naturally, there’s no better option than a baking soda solution.

It kills drain flies and unclogs drains all in one go.

All you’ll need for this method is one cup of white vinegar, half a cup of baking soda, and a large pot of near-boiling water.

Start by pouring the soda into the drain, then follow it up immediately but gradually with the vinegar.

Now all you have to do is wait: at least an hour, or even let it sit overnight if possible.

Then, you must pour the near-boiling water into the drain to clear everything out.

You shouldn’t pour boiling water because this could potentially damage your drains.

baking soda and vinegar

🧰 Apple Cider Vinegar

Another effective drain fly treatment is to use apple cider vinegar.

For this approach, you’ll need to use a very different method than with the baking soda.

Instead of trying to clear the flies out of your drain, you will try to draw them out and catch them.

Take a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and put it into a glass or a container.

Then cover the entrance to the container with plastic wrap and poke some small holes in it.

The adult flies will be attracted to the smell of the apple cider vinegar and will make their way into the container.

As long as the plastic wrap is securely in place, the drain flies won’t be able to escape, and you’ll be able to dispose of them.

💧 Final Thoughts

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

Drain flies can be intensely bothersome, and without the right approach, they can quickly multiply.

Want to get rid of drain flies quickly and definitely? Consider Phyxter Home Services.

We offer plumbing services throughout North America and pride ourselves on being affordable and reliable.

Having other problems with your plumbing system? Make sure to check out some of our other plumbing articles.

Related Reading: DIY Guide to 15 Common Plumbing Problems & Solutions

Russell Jones

Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.

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Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

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