Drain, Fruit, & House Flies 101

How to handle drain flies, fruit flies and house flies at home

The rule of the thumb is that if you spot any insect inside your house, you should take action immediately before they start to multiply. It is easier to deal with a few insects than an entire army of them. Drain flies, fruit flies and house flies are common household insects that show up at our houses and may not leave for a long time, sometimes never. The reproduction rate for these flies is very high, with new eggs hatching every 48 hours or so. This means that you are always racing against time when working to eliminate these flies from your home.

What causes drain flies/fruit flies/house flies?

Drain flies love moisture or any stagnant shallow water. Along with house flies, drain flies can also be found near sources of food or bacteria, e.g. around sinks and showers. House flies also like additional areas that may be smelly, e.g. in dust bins or compost heaps. Fruit flies, as the name suggests are attracted by sweet smelling or strongly scented food, especially fruits, pastry and salads.

If you wanted to know if your home is under attack from drain flies, for example, you can put a piece of sticky tape with the sticky part facing inward over a drain pipe. In an ideal situation, the drain flies will fly to the piece of paper and get trapped on the sticky paper. The number of drain flies trapped on the piece of paper can advise you on how to get rid of the flies since you will have a rough idea of just what you are dealing with.

How to get rid of drain flies, fruit flies and house flies

If you work well and efficiently, you can easily get rid of a drain fly/fruit fly/house fly infestation in under one week.

Some of the ways you can use to expel them from your space are:

i. Drain flies

    • Keep your drain and sink clean using your usual cleaning solution and a pipe brush to scrub around and inside the drain.
    • Pour hot water down and around the drain once or twice a week. You could also pour a solution made of baking soda, vinegar and salt which will do the same job of keeping drain clean and getting rid of drain flies or wash away any debris that forms their breeding ground. You can also buy commercial drain cleaner solution and use it instead.

ii. House flies

    • For house flies, creating a solution of hot water and cayenne paper will repel them easily. Spraying this solution around the house will keep houseflies away.
    • Having plants like the Venus fly trap can do well to get rid of house flies as these plants catch and digest flies.
    • There are also insecticides sold in shops specifically for getting rid of flies around the home.
    • The most effective way of keeping flies away from your home is by making sure that they do not breed in the first place. Destroy all potential breeding grounds including rubbish heaps, cracks in doors and windows, open vents, and keep your house and environment clean at all times.

iii. Fruit flies

    • Keep surfaces clean around the house. Make sure they are free of grease and leftover food particles as these form breeding grounds for fruit flies.
    • Throw out any overly ripe food items. Female fruit flies lay their eggs in overripe fruits and once larvae hatch from their eggs, you have thousands of fruit flies to fight. Throwing away overripe fruits ensures you don’t have to deal with the flies at all as they will not find a perch in your home!
    • Use a chemical fruit fly spray to kill them or keep them off.


Once you see the first fruit fly, house fly or drain fly, assume there is an infestation and first work on destroying their breeding ground and keeping your surfaces, sink and drains clean. That way, you will keep them out and prevent a potential catastrophe.

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