Asked on Jul 04, 2016

How do you get rid of sink/drain flies?

I would like to know how to get rid those pesty little sink/drain flies. I've tried baking soda and vinegar, drain cleaners and put plastic over the drains.
Pesty sink/drain flies
  58 answers
  • Gail Gail on Jul 05, 2016
    Our pest control guys that comes out for ants, mentioned just using a cup of bleach every night and covering it with a wash cloth or something to keep them trapped. It has worked for us!
  • Kat Kat on Jul 05, 2016
    we had a ton of them last year and they're already beginning now. I've done the trap thingy with soap/vinegar/sugar - worked for a bit for some but didnt take them away! tried putting bleach down the drain, nope. they are aggravating - they get in your face, your food/drink - I keep petfoods, regular food, everything spotlessly clean, wash cans, meat styrofoam, any food goes directly to the outside can and then way out in the woods. havent found anything to work!!! even the pest control cant get rid of!!! sad.....
    • See 1 previous
    • Martin Martin on Mar 12, 2022

      Working on a house i found water was leaking under the floorboards creating damp areas. When i opened up floorboards they came out in hoards. So first cleared out damp rubbish then i diluted bleach 1 part bleach 4 parts water and sprayed the whole area walls under floorboards and flooring under floorboards have done this three time and seen a significant drop in numbers. Place smells of bleach for a day but its doing it job. I have also been told that flies and insects dont like incense burning not tried it so dont know if that works.

  • Deisenhart2010 Deisenhart2010 on Jul 05, 2016
    I keep a mixture of dish soap and vinegar in a shot glass size container anywhere I have a problem. The vinegar attracts them and the soap catches them
  • Kim Kim on Jul 05, 2016
    Same problem here! Thanks all for the suggestions!
  • Fred Fred on Jul 05, 2016
    Pour vinegar down the drain and cover the opening. After a few minutes uncover the drain and run hot tap water down until steam is coming out of the drain. If the problem comes back it's okay to repeat.
  • Jorja Love Jorja Love on Jul 05, 2016
    I have had this problem every spring for years and have tried all the above homemade and store bought suggestions and nothing seemed to work for me. I've especially noticed that these flies are really, really attracted to my coffee after I sweeten it (I drink a lot of coffee and I now keep my cups covered), so I started keeping a little warm sweet-smelling soapy dish water in the wash tub - I use one of those cheap, fruit scented, bubbly detergents and the flies get attracted to the scent, go to it, get stuck in the bubbles or water and drown. In the evening, I empty and rinse the tub, then cover the drain.
  • Susan Walsh Harrington Susan Walsh Harrington on Jul 05, 2016
    This one works for me! Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of cider vinegar in an open container. Put in 1-2 drops dishwashing liquid and leave it on the countertop. It attracts the fruit flies and they drown.
    • Larkatchi Larkatchi on Jul 05, 2016
      The same thing I do. It works. I put it in a clear juice glass and in one day the fruit flies are gone.
  • Ginger Trigg Ginger Trigg on Jul 05, 2016
    I've used Clorox in mine, let it set covered for 30 mins then flush with hot water.
  • MadameRã MadameRã on Jul 05, 2016
    •As a Believer in plants for medicines, & many other positive 'things', this problem is common all over the world, however i keep an average size spray botle, using distilled water fill to the line indicated on most good bottles, now the expence is initially high but over a long period of time it actually is cheaper...collect some good aroma therapy oils, being clove & orange, place 8-10 drops of each, additionally black pepper oil adding 5-6 drops, then shake really well then use everywhere needed, you can even wipe frequently with a sponge to clean the bathroom(do remember to always shake before use, this activates the ingredients)... All critters hate it..& yes i always keep my bottle & cloths in my bathroom.. Oh, the smell is quite lovely as its different & feels earthy. Use frequently & you will discover how less the problem becomes,& Mother Earth will thank you to. Happy creating smartness:)) Madame Ra
  • Shells Shells on Jul 05, 2016
    Those are not fruit flies....they are sewer flies. That normally mean you have a breach in your sewer lines that are allowing the flies to come into your home. See when the last time you had your septic tank checked or cleaned out. If it's city hook may want to give them a call. Beware the breach could be on your side of the line if it's city sewer. Peace!
    • See 2 previous
    • Brenda Dixon Brenda Dixon on Aug 04, 2018

      These can seem to live in drains that aren't used frequently. I get them in the bathtub drain (I have another shower elsewhere, due to high iron content in the water), and once they're spotted, taking a bath usually rids the problem for a few months. I haven't found anything that will kill them though.

  • Jpe6277611 Jpe6277611 on Jul 05, 2016
    I poor boiling down the drain.
  • Job7956378 Job7956378 on Jul 05, 2016
    For the drain flies (sewer flies) we poured vegetable oil down the drains in the public restrooms in commercial buildings that we used to manage. Where I work now management pours linseed oil down the drains. Either works.
    • Martin Martin on Mar 12, 2022

      Oils down drains help cause blockages you are helping to cause blockages. The oils cause things to stick to them and gradually build up causing partial blockage causing more debris to get trapped and then block pipes. Oil down pipes is banned anyway. Boiling water every evening with bleach before lockup will cure the problem in a week or two. Block plughole after piuring down. First thing in morning boiling water again.

      If toilets get blocked a bucket of hot water pour in leave for 10 to 15 mins and repeat. This will clear it. Most have had to use is 3 buckets of hot water. Wear a mask when you do it. This is eco friendly with no chemicals used and cheaper and it is quicker.

  • Kay Forbes-Smith Kay Forbes-Smith on Jul 05, 2016
    Boiling water worked for us. Just for good measure we let the hot water from the faucet run for about 10 mins after that.
  • Melody Melody on Jul 05, 2016
    You have to get rid of the food source, hair, soap or food scraps. Try using a wire coat hanger to grab on to glob. Once removed, use baking soda and vinegar to foam-scour pipes.
  • Mary Beth Carrier Mary Beth Carrier on Jul 05, 2016
    We had this problem several years ago and a friend who owns a restaurant told her exactly what to do and it was great. In the plumbing department of most big box stores you can find main line drain cleaners. You follow the directions on the bottle which include covering every drain in your home with a damp rag before bedtime. We woke up the next morning and flushed the drains with hot water and never saw another pesky drain fly again! It was like a $8 bottle of magic!
    • Natasha Natasha on Jun 07, 2018

      Yes! I agree! That MainLine product really doesvwork!! And the greatest part about it is that they have a money back guarantee. Thats one of the best companies I have ever heard of!

  • GBear GBear on Jul 05, 2016
    It's best if you can remove the p trap and clean it out. If not, use a foaming drain cleanser or vinegar & baking soda. Rinse for several minutes with hot water. Let dry a little bit and treat with linseed oil. Do this once a month (Linseed oil) until problem is gone.
  • Kat6587025 Kat6587025 on Jul 05, 2016
    A exterminater told us to pour 1/2 cup bleach down each drain for 7 nights in a row. Pour the bleach at night so it remains in the drain while you sleep. Pour down every drain, kitchen and bathroom sinks, tubs, showers, washer drain.
  • Spr4270109 Spr4270109 on Jul 05, 2016
    Take one half cup of baking soda pour down drain than take a cup of white vinegar , pour the vinegar down the drain... Let sizzle for about ten minutes ... Take boiling hot water about 6 cups n pour down drain... How do this to all your drains at the turn of each season..
  • 861650 861650 on Jul 05, 2016
    I researched this last year and I finally found the best option. For each drain in your home, buy one gallon of bleach. Slowly pour the entire gallon in the first drain. Let set overnight. In the morning, run hot water down drain for a couple of minutes. Remember, only do one drain each night till you have treated them all. I did place a post-it-note at each drain to remind me not to run any water. It is helpful to do this at bedtime...
  • Kathy Bitzan Kathy Bitzan on Jul 05, 2016
    On a garbage disposal pull out the rubber ring and give it a good washing and soak in vinegar or bleach.
  • Carolyn Jean Ross Carolyn Jean Ross on Jul 05, 2016
    I agree with both the bleach and bicarb/vinegar remedies (unless you have a septic tank, in which case the bleach would be a very bad idea) - and to keep them from coming back, make a point of flushing the drain every time you use it. These flies thrive on decomposing organic material stuck in your drain - keeping the drain as clean as possible will help combat them. (The bleach will kill flies and bacteria but not necessarily the eggs - when they hatch, if there's anything in the drain for them to eat you'll have to start over.
  • Pat Bradfield Pat Bradfield on Jul 05, 2016
    Pour boiling water down drains once weekly. This will clear the slime out of the drain and therefore get rid of those nasty drain flies
  • Janie Janie on Jul 05, 2016
    I use a small pickle jar and put a mixture of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup in it. I poke a few holes in the lid with an ice pick. I put this on the side of my sink and catch both drain flies and the tiny fruit flies. Hope this helps.
  • Susie Rufener Susie Rufener on Jul 05, 2016
    I use apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a small jar with holes in it. Or even a small disposable plastic container with holes in lid. Keep on counter and it will attract fruit flies and gnats.
  • Rosel Kynast Rosel Kynast on Jul 05, 2016
    I agree with Kathy, clean the rubber insert. Cut a lemon in 4th and put it down the disposal, I do that ones a month. It will clean and freshen the disposal.
  • Chanwoo KIM Chanwoo KIM on Jul 05, 2016
    Pour hot water into your sink drain...
  • Charly Charly on Jul 05, 2016
    First of all, take all food off the counters. Fruit flies reproduce in the drain so you should pour Apple cider vinegar down the drain, wait about fifteen minutes and then pour boiling water down the drain to flush out the drain. You may have to do this again but it's relatively simple and inexpensive with no harsh chemicals to worry about.
  • Melody Stern Melody Stern on Jul 05, 2016
    Those are sludge knats! The sludge is created because there is a deteriation of the drain pipe below your house where water is seeping through the pipe creating a pool of sludge! The knats are coming up through the opening in the pipe! You should have this fixed right away! If the problem is not too bad, you may find a plumber to fix it, however, if it has grown to a large area, over a long period,most plumbers will insist you call a specialist to remove or cover the sludge! Sludge can become dangerous as eventually, it will begin to emit gasses! Check w/your local hardware store to obtain bags of the proper cover and spread over the area to soak up the sludge,once you have the broken pipe fixed, you will no longer have those pesky knats!!!
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Jul 05, 2016
    The Fruit Flies are coming from the drain because they live and breed where it is dark and damp.Never heard of sludge gnats.,The Fruit Flies are attracted to and eat rotten and spoiled fruit and veggies.Get rid of all spoiled edibles in the kitchen.Keep drains rinsed out after every use.
  • Dee B Dee B on Jul 05, 2016
    Never heard of sludge gnats ( knats), but I got rid of gnats in my drain by spraying a solution of 50/50 H2O and bleach after I clean the kitchen each night.
  • Janice Peterson Janice Peterson on Jul 05, 2016
    just a note: original post was about drain flies. these are different from fruit flies.
  • Bz Bz on Jul 05, 2016
    I sprinkled comet over my drains at night. Leave it set overnight. Do it every night for about 5 nights. Never had a problem again. Its been 2 years. I have fruit on the counter and still no problem. I believe I had drain gnats.
  • Bleach. Just pour it down the drain, let it sit for awhile and then run your water.
  • B B on Jul 06, 2016
    I live in Florida and a friend who has an older house gets these every summer. So this is what I have tried: Boil a huge pan of water. Place baking soda ( 2 cups in drain, followed by 2 cups of vinegar followed by boiling water and then 2 cups of washing soda and about three cups of course salt. Do this for each drain in your house twice. This seemed to do the trick. Good luck.
  • Mar7511670 Mar7511670 on Jul 06, 2016
    Bleach in hot water. Cover drain
  • Dwi5997718 Dwi5997718 on Jul 06, 2016
    Pour 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1cup of vinegar. Let it foam out of hole. Leave soda in dan at might.
  • Barbara Barbara on Jul 06, 2016
    I agree with the other suggestions posted here. I used baking soda, vinegar and boiling water a few years ago and we've never had another problem.
  • Paula Paula on Jul 06, 2016
    At home also in a floor drain at work what has always worked is a cup of bleach.
  • Mary Berry Mary Berry on Jul 06, 2016
    Best natural is to use DoTerra Lemongrass oil. Place 4-6, 8 drops in drain, spray little water let it sit. Makes your kitchen smell good to.
  • Ann Bailey Ann Bailey on Jul 06, 2016
    Try pouring Clorox down the sink and leave it overnight
  • Flossie Flossie on Jul 07, 2016
    Obliterate with a product called Barfly, it is specifically for these nasty visitors in the kitchen sink area.
  • Linda Linda on Jul 07, 2016
    A little bleach several times a week.
  • Katherine kelly Katherine kelly on Jul 07, 2016
    I put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda followed by 1/2 cup vinegar.let it bubble for a few minutes.Then boiling water 1 cup.I do this to my drains and it also keeps the drain clear.Win win
  • Flossie Flossie on Jul 11, 2016
    In London it is available in the hardware shop, it may go under a different name in US. I had a look on Amazon for you but they don't sell it I will try and find the maker's name and let you know.
  • Cynthia Green Cynthia Green on Jul 11, 2016
    A jar lid with white vinegar in it & set it on the sink. Apple vinegar would probably work also.
  • Brenda Hand-Amunrud Brenda Hand-Amunrud on Aug 15, 2016
    The Problem is killing the egg sacks they lay, they stick them everywhere and anywhere in the drain usually where the water doesn't reach. I use a product called Liquid Plumber disposal and drain foaming cleaner. (It's a sort of bath bomb) That seams to foam all the way up into the sink and reach everywhere in the pipes. I haven't had a problem since I started using the product. But, I'm sure you could make something similar. The basic ingredients are baking soda, citric acid and essential oil. The bomb is ground up by the disposal, you have to have a small stream of hot water running also. Good luck. I hate those little buggers too.
  • Bz Bz on Mar 14, 2017

    I use a little apple cider in a cup. Seal the cup with Saran Wrap. Poke about five holes in the Saran Wrap. Set it off to the side of the sink.

  • Sch3kids Sch3kids on Mar 17, 2017


  • Claude Claude on Mar 17, 2017

    Those look like damn pantry flies.....the sink is not t problem. THey are V aped and live in grain flour, crackers, macaroni..nasty boogers. Go thru your pantry or wherever you store that stuff and look in every will see webs and little larvae🤢. They hide in corners, look like webbed cocoons and hide under shelves. THEY can have entire generations hatching in a box of flour. THOSE flies in your sink are attracted by the. Smell and water. Use the cup on th counter. For adults...but go thru your pantry. I eventually found my source in the darn bird seed in the garage but not before they got to the dog food.

  • Bonnie Knight Bonnie Knight on Mar 24, 2017

    I had them (drain flies - black with big round wings), they were in the drain line where my air handler condensate pipe drained to and also in my bathroom shower drain. I used Drano, let it sit and then flushed lines with water, no more flies. They really are annoying. You really have to use something to kill the larvae. Good Luck!

  • Oluwasegun Abe Oluwasegun Abe on May 28, 2019

    Flies will be attracted to the fragrant liquid and drown. Boil a pot of water and pour it down the drain 1-2 times daily for a week. Pour 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and allow to sit overnight. Follow with a pot of boiling water in the morning. Here is a guide i found online:

  • Kato Kato on Oct 22, 2020

    I tried everything. The worst are the ‘traps’. They trap 2%!!! Don’t waste your time. 2 years of this (they leave in the winter) and I tried ammonia down the kitchen drain. Presto! Gone!! Nothing else works.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Apr 01, 2022

    Pour in 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda plus a cup of white vinegar. Allow it to work its magic overnight then flush the drain with hot or boiling water the next morning. This will sanitize the drain and kill the flies and their eggs.

  • Pour some bleach down the drain periodically.

  • Pour boiling water down the drain a couple of times a week.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 02, 2023

    Sticky yellow traps.

  • Pour bleach down the drains.