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Little Black Flies - How to get rid of?

One question we get a lot is how to get rid of the little black flies in either your home, restaurant or anywhere actually. These little pests are also known as Fruit Flies, Phorid Flies, Fungus Gnats, and Drain Flies. Now which one you are seeing may be easy to tell depending on the location. One thing to note about these pests is that they can reproduce extremely fast, but even if you eliminate all the adults that doesn't mean that your problem is solved. The adult flies can lay their eggs beforehand allowing these pests to return and start reproducing again. Without proper sanitation these pests are not likely to be going anywhere until the area they are reproducing at is addressed.

Key Prevention Tips

  • Clean your kitchen regularly, wiping down counters and appliances, and sweeping or vacuuming the floors.

  • Dispose of overripe or rotting fruits and vegetables promptly.

  • Keep sink drains and garbage disposals clean and clear of debris.

  • Store food in airtight containers.

  • Avoid overwatering indoor plants.

  • Fix any leaks or standing water issues.

  • Use a dehumidifier to control moisture levels in your home.

Let's start with Drain flies, these may also be called Moth Flies. That is because they look like a small moth but are commonly called Drain Flies because they will come from drains or things leaking from a drain or pipe. These are of the 4 easiest to identify but eliminating them may take extensive repairs and other measures if caused from a damaged pipe. If no damage is observed, take into consideration the floor drain or even the sink overflow may need some attention for basic maintenance or sanitation.

Now for Fungus Gnats, if you noticed a leak but didn't see Drain Flies, you might be seeing Fungus Gnats. This may be caused from the moisture and is causing mold or fungus to grow which in return tends to cause Fungus Gnats to come around. The fungus will be the main food source for larvae, so same as Drain Flies unless you address this issue, their eggs will continue to hatch and be flying around soon enough ready to keep reproducing. Another reason you may be seeing these pests is due to soil fungus, which could be from indoor plants or even from outside. This is usually from over watering the plants or the soil is to compact with improper drainage and is just holding moisture. Proper care for potted plants will be essential for indoor elimination but effective treatments provided by professional exterminators can eliminate them on the exterior of home or business.

Next is to look for any spoiled fruit, this will be most likely where Fruit Flies will come from. This can be from fresh fruit to decomposing organic matter like rotting potatoes. Also note that organic matter breaking down can be happening in a few places and not just your perishable food products. There can be food built up in drains, garbage disposals, or behind baseboards in commercial settings would all be considered organic matter decomposing causing a breeding site for these pests. Again, the only way to fully eliminate these pests is to attack their breeding sites with sanitation and proper maintenance, chemicals and traps may help with the number of flies you are seeing but do little to control the situation.

Finishing off with Phorid Flies, these will be a bit tricky and may take proper identification to determine what is next to come. They are similar to Fruit Flies and may even desire similar breeding sites such decomposing organic matter, but don't let these pests fool you. One thing to note about these flies compared to Fruit Flies is that they will run on across surfaces which gives them the nickname of "Scuttle Fly", where Fruit Flies usually fly. This will be noticeable if you try to swat them. Also, it is important to understand that if it is a Phorid Fly the possibility of the breeding site can be endless to find it seems, these flies also have another nickname such as "Coffin Flies". Which means yes, these flies are common at funeral homes, but they may also be from a decomposing carcass such as mice. These Flies may also come from drains or even a crack from septic pipes and tanks.

Finding the breeding site is key to eliminating these pests and preventing them from coming back in the future. As you can tell though breeding sites can anywhere and without proper identification the methods you are trying may unfortunately be wasting your time and money. Thats why hiring a pest control company even for just an inspection can help solve the mystery behind the little black flies you're seeing.

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