Home PestsFlies

What Smells Do Drain Flies Hate

A Tiny Drain Fly

When you thought you’d had enough of regular flies buzzing around, you see something even smaller hopping here and there near your drains and sinks.

Drain flies! As their name suggests, these teeny tiny midges love hanging around wet and dirty sewage spots.

So, is there any natural way to make them go away? Well, being attracted to sewage, they must love strong filthy smells. So what smells do drain flies hate?


It’s better to avoid using harsh chemicals to wash off the drains and clear out the sewer gnats. Better to go for natural ways and use these 5 smells that drain flies hate. They are as follows:

  • Peppermint
  • Cloves
  • Basil
  • Citrus lemon
  • Citronella

All these essential oil scents smell natural, fresh, and strong. Something the drain flies are going to despise!

Are drain flies harmful? Let’s find out and learn more about their hatred for the five smells mentioned above!

5 Smells That Drain Flies Hate

Moth Flies In A Drain Pipe

Drain flies are among the most common pests in and around sanitary facilities, gutters, sewers, and wet areas.

Usually, these spots are rampant with bits and pieces of decomposing organic matter, perfect for bacterial growth. This makes it ideal for the sewer midges to lay their eggs and feast on the organic growth.

However, five smells can make this area less than ideal for the drain gnats. They are as follows:

1. Peppermint

A Bottle Of Peppermint Essential Oil With Fresh Peppermint Leaves

Peppermint is one of the strongest and most pungent odors and a well-known insect repellent. Spraying this where the drain flies have set up camp will drive them crazy as they can’t stand the minty fresh smell.

2. Cloves

Dried Cloves In The Wooden Spoon

Clove has been studied to have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties while also loaded with antioxidants. It’s also one of the most aromatic spices used in dishes, making its odor one of the most hated among sink flies!

3. Basil

Basil Leaves On Wooden Table

Basil has been used for centuries as a natural health remedy and insect repellant. Even though basil doesn’t have a strong odor, its unique minty fragrance is despised by most insects, especially drain flies who can’t stand it and run away at the first whiff!

4. Citrus Lemon

Limes Isolated On The White Background

All citrus fruits have unique, strong smells, but lemon is among the most powerful. This makes it intolerable for the drain flies as lemon already has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

5. Citronella

Citronella Essential Oil And Fresh Leaves On Wooden Background

Citronella is an essential oil extracted from lemongrass, giving it its unique fragrance. So if you’re looking to make life miserable for the sewer gnats, this is another one of the most potent smells they hate.

Are Drain Flies a Health Concern?

Macro Photography Of Drain Fly On White Floor

Drain flies are one of the most common pests found in and around sewers, kitchen sinks, bathroom drains, and anywhere there is standing water.

They’re clever little buggers who can multiply fast, but thankfully, they are not a health concern. This is because drain flies do not carry any dangerous viruses or parasites.

They like to stick to their small corner of the drainage system.

However, getting rid of them as soon as possible is better to be safe. This is because if left unchecked inside your kitchen or bathroom, they can spread to other parts of your home.

Because they feed on bacterial growth in the drainage system, they can spread these germs around, especially in the kitchen!

Tips on Keeping Drain Flies Away

Clogmia Albipunctata Posed On A Wall

If you wish to keep drain flies from becoming your permanent neighbors, here are some tips to help you out:

  • Keep your sinks and your drains clean to prevent organic debris accumulation.
  • Use a drain-cleaning liquid to wash away any bacterial growth.
  • Cover your sinks and drains when not using them.
  • Ensure there’s no standing water inside your bathroom and kitchen, especially near the drainage system.
  • Keep your drains running and ensure that there’re no blockages.


Drain flies are among the most persistent house guests. They love to visit to have some meals in the sink and lay many eggs in the drain.

Well, if they love it here, you can give them something they despise!

Here are 5 smells drain flies hate:

  1. Peppermint
  2. Cloves
  3. Basil
  4. Citrus lemon
  5. Citronella

Drain flies may be pesky, but they’re easy to deal with, so don’t get too worked up if you see some flying around.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of Drain Flies?

Drain flies can be dealt with quickly by pouring the following down the drain:

  • Pour down a baking soda and vinegar mixture, followed by boiling water.
  • Use 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water to clean the drainage system.
  • Clear up the sink with a store-bought drain cleaner.

Why Do I Have Drain Flies?

Drain flies thrive in stagnant water filled with organic debris and bacteria.

This usually happens when you don’t regularly clean your drains and sinks or have standing water in your kitchen or bathroom.

How Long Do Drain Flies Live?

Adult drain flies have a lifespan of 2 weeks, after which they die.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *