How to Get Rid Of Drain Flies In the Basement

How to Get Rid Of Drain Flies in Basement

If you’re tired of the nuisance brought by the tiny nuzzling insects (drain flies also known as sewer flies) in your basement drains in your residence, it’s time we go rid of them!

The basement has many attractants (moist areas and organic material like sewage) to these bugs including clogged drains, leaky pipes, and standing water where they’ll lay eggs and multiply quickly.

Below, I’ve explored some safe and effective methods on how you can remove drain flies in the basement -including ways to prevent any possible infestations.

Why Are The Drain Flies in My Basement?

First, how and why did the drain flies get into your basement? Well, as noted earlier, drains flies are attracted to organic material and damp or moist environments. Therefore, your basement may have these conditions and thus promoting the development of these bugs.

A key reason for this is leakage of water in the basement – this may be from some leaking pipes. Also, clogged drains and standing water – will offer moisture and organic material for the drain flies and gnats to thrive – lay eggs, and reproduce.

However, drain flies can also arise from materials that came from outside the basement. Some of these conditions may include the bugs hiking onto pets, or clothing. So, it’s important to fix the source of the drain flies and their nutritional source.

7 Method of Removing Drain Flies from The Basement

1. Clean The Basement Drains

First, cleaning the basement drains will help remove the organic matter that builds up – and which acts as a good ground for bugs laying eggs. You may employ DIY or commercial methods and products to clean these drains.

a. DIY Drain Cleaning

The DIY technique I recommend to clean the basement drains is using vinegar plus baking soda – luckily these products are effective but also safe to use around pets and humans.

  • Simply, pour the ingredients into the drains in equal measures – 1 cup of each – vinegar & baking soda.
  • The chemical will produce bubbles and fizzle as it eats away the organic matter in the drains – so allow it to work its magic for about 30 minutes.
  • Finally, once the vinegar and baking soda works its magic, flush it down using hot water.

However, you must repeat the drain-cleaning process regularly – this will hinder the build-up of organic matter. I also recommend the use of drain covers as they’ll help hinder the build-up of debris.

b. Commercial Drain Cleaning

You can also use commercial drain cleaners to clean the basement drains and this will ultimately assist you to remove the drain flies. The chemicals in the cleaners will dissolve the debris and gunk (breaking it into small particles) that’s clogged inside pipes.

  • But it’s important to get a drain cleaner that won’t harm your pipes – for example, check if the chemical is appropriate for pipes made of clay, metal, or PVC.
  • Notably, using a damaging drain cleaner (depending on the pipe type) will harm the pipes and lead to leakages.

Further, ensure to adhere to the manufacturer’s cleaner usage instructions for safety and effectiveness in cleaning the basement drains. For example, ensure to put on protective equipment such as eyewear and gloves.

Enzymatic drain cleaners would be excellent such as Bio-clean Drain Septic will be safe and not hard on the pipes – besides being eco-friendly.

2. Remove Standing Water

Having standing water in the basement will work to attract and breed drain flies. So, I recommend that you drain all the water including the small water puddles that may have collected in a corner after a cleaning exercise.

  • First, you should remove water and clean the faucets and fix any pipe leakages in the house basement. To achieve this, you can use a dry or wet vacuum, mop the floor, or dehumidifier.

Also, examine the basement for any water seepage signs and this will require that you also seal any gaps or cracks. For example, you may also install a French drain system or a sump pump as this will assist you in removing the accumulation of water.

Besides, you can also eliminate the basement dampness and water by removing humidity and enhancing air circulation. Simply install some ventilation system, use fans, and open any available windows for better air circulation.

3. Use Sticky Drain Fly Traps

Next, you can use drain fly traps in the basement to remove those bugs. You can use light traps or sticky traps. Light traps will use UV light to attract the bugs while the sticky substance in sticky traps will get hold and kill the bugs.

  • Fly traps will operate to deuce the drain fly population by catching them. Simple, you’ll require to place the drain fly traps near those debasement drains or areas that have moisture.

Fly traps will effectively trap the fly larvae and the adults – however, using this technique is a short-term remedy for the bugs.

You should use this method in combination with other techniques such use of drain cleaners and regular removal of standing water.

4. Use Fly Insecticides

Another option would be using insecticides to remove drain flies from the basement. The market has a number of effective insecticides that you can use on these bugs. However, their effectiveness will depend on correct usage and following the product label instructions.

Below are the guidelines and instructions you must follow while using the drain fly insecticides inside the basement area.

  • Put on some eye protection, a mask and gloves – and any other recommended protective clothing.
  • Ensure that the insecticide had ingredients that target drain flies specifically.

Also, considering that the insecticides are chemical based – you’ll need to consider critical safety precautions when fighting the drain fly infestation.

  • So that you or your pet don’t intake harmful pesticide fumes, you’ll need to properly ventilate the basement.
  • Check the product instruction for the time to allow before going back to the basement after treating the area using the pesticides.
  • You’ll require to apply the insecticide directly on the moist areas including the drains.

To fully eliminate the drain flies, you’ll require to repeat the bu-treatment process regularly or as necessary.


So, drain flies have proven a nuisance especially when they invade your basement or bathroom, mainly because these areas have moisture, dampness, and organic matter – conditions that promote the fast breeding of these bugs.

I hope the above DIY and commercially acquired products will help your get rid of the drain flies in your residential or commercial building basement.



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