-Written by: Peta Florus
The weather in South Africa is surely warming up and with the recent rains, all things creepy and crawly are finding places to lay their eggs and breed. A recent news article reported that a spate of drain fly infestations were plaguing homes in the Gauteng region.
Although drain flies are part of the fly order Diptera (meaning two wings), and are very different from the more common “housefly” or “bottlefly”. They form part of the Psychodidae family and are found mainly outdoors in wet, decaying organic matter or sewage works.
They are much smaller and dark-winged, and are sometimes called moth flies because of their broad hairy wings. They breed in stagnant water or decaying organic matter, which makes a clogged-up drain an ideal breeding ground. Eggs or larvae are often laid in the overflow outlets of your bath, hand basin or even in your kitchen sink tap in extreme cases.
These larval drain or moth flies need moisture and can live anywhere that water accumulates for an extended length of time or where a visible layer or thin film of slime can be seen on the surface of stagnating water. You might even be able to see the larvae wriggling in the water if the infestation is severe. Because the larvae are so small, it may be easy to overlook their breeding places.
If you have ever been in a rush and forgot to empty your coffee cup before leaving home for an extended trip, you may have been unexpectedly welcomed on your return by a swarm of these delightful little dark-winged creatures, flitting around the source. Getting rid of them, however, is relatively easy.
A general insecticide spray should do the trick, and if they’re coming up from your drain, once you start the water flowing through your taps, they should be eradicated.
You could also use a quick DIY remedy: dilute a small part bleach to water and spray the solution into the bath and basin outlet holes, and into the taps – especially those that do not have a sieve. A quick thorough rinse with hot water and you should be rid of them.
Contrary to popular belief, they are not baby flies at all, they are fully grown adults and there are a number of different types which you may have encountered on occasion in your home or office:
Other types of flies that could also be found in and around your drain areas are:
Sphaerocerid flies or Dung flies can be found in and around decaying or fermenting matter and are one of the more common species we come into contact with more often than not. If you have over-watered your pot plants which have now become too saturated and soggy, sphaerocerid flies tend to turn this into a nesting habitat. Rentokil Initial’s Ambius division ensures that your office plants are optimally maintained to prevent them from becoming waterlogged and attracting pests like fungus gnats.
Phorid flies or Coffin flies breeds in decomposing plant and animal matter. These flies can be found breeding wherever there is moisture such as your drains and garbage areas.
Fruit flies (like the name suggests) can be found around fermenting fruit and vegetables. We’ve all come across these at some stage or another and they can be distinguished from Phorid flies by their protruding red coloured eyes.
So what can you do this summer to keep your home free from these pesky species of fly?
- Make sure that water collected for recycling has a close-fitting lid.
- Get rid of standing water on your property or make sure it is treated.
- Clean the water feature and make sure the filter is working and the water is running.
- Clear debris from gutters where flies have access to breeding grounds.
- Make sure your drain is free-flowing and that no debris has collected.
- Store overripe fruit and vegetables in your fridge.
- Invest in an aerosol insecticide dispenser.
Rentokil, the experts in pest control now offers a specialised drain treatment to ensure that nothing creeps up your drain and takes ownership of your home.
To find out more about flies and how to control them this summer click on the image below