Fruit flies — or drain flies are very common in some homes and many commercial businesses. Many consumers and restaurant owners don’t completely understand why they get these flies.
They think it has to do with a pest control issue, but drain flies normally appear due to sanitation issues in the floor drains and other areas. They do not just show up anywhere.
They usually show up in large numbers, so they can cause a state of panic in a business when hundreds of flies appear in a short period of time.
Drain flies become a problem when they lay their eggs in old food particles, slimy grease, sludge, and other items that build up in a drain. After several days, the eggs hatch, and they start hanging out in the drain or other puddles of water. They are pretty small, as they only measure 1/6 to 1/5 inch long.
They are often confused with fruit flies, but they are a lot different than fruit flies.
The first step to correcting an issue with drain flies is to figure out how they got there in the first place.
They always have a source, and if you can eliminate the source, you will quickly get rid of them. There are five main places where you will find them most of the time.
Check around the toilets. Check loose ceramic floor tiles, as water may puddle in these areas. Floor drains are extremely common areas where you can get them in a commercial building. They also come up from the bathroom and shower drains too.
Lastly, they can come straight from the condensate lines for ice makers.
Floor drains are the most common areas where they can invade a building. Take a few glue boards and cover the floor drains with the glue boards.
You don’t want the glue boards to stick to the drain, but you want to slightly elevate the glue boards just off the floor. If you find lots of flies stuck to the glue boards over the next few days, then you know the flies are coming from the floor drain.
If they are not coming from the drain, you need to look for them in the toilet bowl. It is possible that they are coming from there if it is not used regularly.
One of the biggest misconceptions about drain flies is that you should use pesticides to kill them. This is not the most effective way to eliminate flies. You must eliminate the source of the problem, and this will eliminate the problem.
You should get a brush with a long handle that you can use to get all of the grunge and build up out of the drain.
Many times you cannot get to all of the areas that need to be cleaned. Drain flies are more of a sanitation issue than a pest control issue, but professional pest exterminators can help you find what you need to get rid of the annoying flies in your business or home.
Flies are typically a nuisance, with several different species finding their way into Arizona homes. You may have even spotted swarms of them in the sky numbering in the thousands (if not millions) as they prepare to migrate, making it hard for people to go outdoors.
Houseflies are one of the most common flies you’ll find in Arizona (and inside homes), and since they feed on rotting or spoiled food, garbage, feces or other animal waste (and dead animals), they may carry hundreds of harmful bacteria and play a role in spreading diseases.
What do they look like?
They’re small, at 4mm to 7.5mm, or 0.15 to 0.29 inches. They are typically gray in color, and have four dark stripes on their upper body or pro thorax. Their whole body is covered with short hairs.
Are they dangerous?
They are filth-breeding flies, and have the potential to transmit a number of diseases from the bacteria, fungi, and viruses they contaminate our food and water with. You may get food poisoning, dysentery, tuberculosis, typhoid, cholera, or other diseases if you have these flies inside your home.
So how long do they live for?
Houseflies generally live for about 2 to 3 weeks depending on the temperature and living conditions, while out in the wild they can live for about 30 days.
What can you do if you have these flies inside your home?
You can eliminate adult houseflies with fly traps, baits, or an insecticide application. It’s also important to get rid of their eggs so you won’t have a new batch of houseflies in the near future.
Houseflies typically lay their eggs in moist, decaying organic material. These may be trash, pet food left unattended, or feces. These eggs look like tiny grains of rice and you can get rid of them using an insecticide application.
Note that it only takes these eggs about 8 to 20 hours before they hatch and become larvae.
How can you prevent houseflies from making a comeback?
One of the best things you can do to keep houseflies away is by putting lids on your trash cans and bins, for all indoor and outdoor trash receptacles. This eliminates trash as a possible food source and nesting ground.
Make sure there are no other obvious food sources or nesting sites around, like pet and animal feces – clean those up right away. This also includes pet food left out in the open and unattended.
Houseflies thrive in unclean environments, so regularly cleaning your house not only keeps houseflies at bay, but a lot of other unwanted pests too.
Caulk and seal cracks and crevices on walls, and install mesh on outdoor vents, screens on windows, and keep doors closed. You may also want to invest in weatherstripping to eliminate structural gaps in windows and doors. These go a long way to keep flies and a number of other pests away from your home.
If you have a housefly or any other pest infestation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a pest control company for assistance. Professionals are trained not only to eliminate pests, but to look for their nesting sites or hiding places as well. Watchdog Pest Control only uses EPA approved products, so you and your pets stay safe.
For more information on flies, check out our Pest Encyclopedia.