Home PestsFlies

What Do Drain Flies Hate?

Drain Fly On A White Floor

Drain flies are moth-like creatures with a distinct grayish-brown hue and hairy heart-shaped wings.

They typically hover around soggy, filthy places like drains, sinks, sewers, broken pipes, or anywhere with stagnant water.

These insects can easily trigger allergic reactions and spread bacteria, making your family sick.

This guide will quickly go through some things that drain flies hate. Read and apply them to repel these pests from your home.


Drain flies are insects you don’t want to share your home with. Although small, these insects can spread several bacteria and trigger allergic reactions.

As with other household pests, you can keep drain flies at bay by using the things they hate. These include:

  • Hot water
  • Duct tape
  • Essential oils (eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint)
  • Herbs and plants (basil, marigold, and mint)
  • Vinegar

These are five things drain flies hate. Keep reading the guide to learn how to use them to deter these filthy insects from your home.

In the following sections, we will identify five things drain flies hate and discuss how to use these things to keep drain flies away. Afterward, we will answer some frequently asked questions about the infestation of these unwanted insects.

5 Things Drain Flies Hate

Drain flies love to hang around bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and damp basements.

They are unpleasant to look at, and you sure don’t want these filthy flies in your house.

Below, we consider some of the things they hate:

1. Essential Oils

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Many people love essential oils because they smell great and have stress-relieving properties. But these liquified plant extracts can double as insect repellents.

Some powerful scents to try are eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint. You can sprinkle a few drops around your house to keep drain flies at bay and keep your home smelling nice.

2. Herbs and Plants

Basil Plant

Some plants and herbs have strong scents that repel insects like drain flies. These flies hate the pungent odor of plants like basil, marigold, and mint.

Growing these plants all year round can help to keep these insects far from your home in the long term.

You can plant some in pots and place them on windows or anywhere they can get adequate sunlight.

3. Hot Water

Woman Holding A Kettle

Hot water is a cost-effective way to rid your house of drain flies. Although not the most effective, you can combine this with other strategies in this guide for better results.

For starters, get a kettle of water and set it to a boil. Next, pour the boiling water into the affected drain at least once or twice daily.

Repeat for a few weeks or until you stop seeing any drain flies. Hot boiling water helps to kill these flies and destroy their eggs.

It further clears all bacteria stuck in the drain. However, since hot water is scalding, exercise caution to prevent getting burnt.

4. Duct Tape

Woman Using A Duct Tape

Duct tape is another thing that drains flies dislike. You can use a simple DIY trap made from duct tape to trace the entryways of these drain flies.

Simply roll out some duct tape, cut some strips, and place them over your drains. Leave the tape stuck to the drain for some days and wait for a reaction.

If there are drain flies in your house, they will get stuck on the tape while trying to escape. You can replace the tape at intervals after catching enough drain flies.

But note that this is not an effective long-term strategy, as duct tape can clog the drain. With no way for water to pass, that area might become flooded.

5. Vinegar

Woman Holding A Bottle Of Vinegar

Drain flies hate any form of vinegar, whether white or apple cider vinegar.

So, you can add vinegar to your homemade pest control strategy to keep flies away.

Pour some apple cider vinegar into a bowl, measure two spoons of dish soap and add to the bowl.

You can sprinkle some spoons of sugar for an extra effect and mix thoroughly.

Wrap the bowl containing the mixture with plastic wrap and seal the edges with a rubber band.

Get a toothpick or a sharp knife and nick some holes in the plastic wrap. Ensure the holes are wide enough for the drain flies to get inside.

The sweet-smelling mixture will draw these flies and other flying pests like gnats and fruit flies. Once they fall into the mix, they become trapped and unable to fly out again.

You can then dispose of the bowl at your convenience.

Alternatively, you can create a cleaning solution using white vinegar, baking soda, and salt. With this mixture, you can clean your drains to prevent drain flies from coming out of them.

Mix equal measurements of salt and baking soda with some white vinegar. Then, pour the mixture into your drains and leave it overnight.

After 24 hours, boil some water and pour it down the drain. Then, follow up with some scrubbing to remove any dirt residue that attracts the drain flies to your home.

How To Stop Drain Flies From Returning

Plumber Using Plunger

It is not enough to remove drain flies from your house. You must ensure that they do not return and cause another infestation.

Start with keeping your drains clean and use a drain stopper to cover the ones out of use. Then, routinely apply drain gel in your drains to prevent dirt buildup.

Another way to prevent drain flies from returning is by removing stagnant water. Eliminating the primary source of the problem denies these flies access to a perfect breeding ground.

Stagnant water is often caused by a clogged drain, making it difficult for water to pass and attract flies.

You can use a plunger to attempt draining the sink or call a plumber for help.


The best way to eliminate drain flies is to kill or trap them using the things they hate. While pouring bleach into the drain may sound like an easy way out, it is not a safe option.

Bleach is a harsh chemical that can destroy your pipes and release toxic fumes when mixed with other cleaning agents.

Instead of using bleach, we recommend natural/DIY alternatives using some of the things drain flies hate.

These include essential oils, hot water, vinegar, duct tape, and plants/herbs.

Go over the options and follow the instructions in the guide to keep drain flies at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does a Drain Fly Infestation Last?

A drain fly infestation can last from a week to about 20 days, completing its lifespan. These flies reproduce fast and lay over 50 eggs at once.

If you notice any signs, deal with them quickly before things get too messy.

What Attracts Drain Flies?

Drain flies hang around moisture and wet debris in the shower or sink drains. They love abandoned places like basements or old bathrooms. You are likely to find them wherever there is bacteria or rotting food.

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