Help! How to get rid of “sink flies”?

I have been plagued by small flies hanging around my sink, right through winter. Last Fall, when I thought they were fruit flies and tried my no fail fixes - fixes failed.

My home-share doesn’t include kitchen privileges, but I’m fine with guests’ very light usage. But the flies😦 are always around the sink! I have referred to them as “fruit flies” to make their presence a little less disgusting, but I’m out of patience and almost ready to resort to a 5 gallon drum of Draino or something equally noxious! I kid, of course, but😤

Any ideas, oh wise ones?

Nothing screams, “Superhost” like a kitchen full of flies!

If they are genuine “drain flies” then either bleach, ammonia or caustic soda. Take your pick.

We get them sometimes, usually when the temp starts to rise and we haven’t flushed the drains with either of the above!

Don’t forget to treat the sink overflows as well.


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I love your last line. This reminds me of when I stayed in Ireland with my daughter and there was one of those long sticky fly catching paper ribbons hanging right near where we were supposed to eat breakfast.


I can just see it! Mine were over the sink each time, trying to be discreet but not succeeding. The couple of guests who used the kitchen at the time, I think, privately felt as we do.

Thanks, John. I’ll try your methods again and just keep at it - at least I got your confirmation that they do, indeed, come from the drains

Try physically cleaning the sink trap, too.

I had a friend from Canada come to visit and stay for a month a couple years ago. I have open shelving in my kitchen for dishes and colorful dishware, so it’s sort of a decor thing. I went out for an hour or so, and when I came back in the kitchen, I saw everything covered in dish towels and paper towels. The shelves, the toaster, the blender, everything. It looked absurd.

When I asked my friend what that was all about, she said “There are so many flies!”. She’s one of those total bug phobes who has never lived in a tropical climate. I said, “They’re fruit flies, dear, not house flies. They’re not dirty and don’t spread disease- all you had to do was cover the bananas and oranges in the fruit bowl, which is what is attracting them”, and proceeded to remove all the dish towels and paper towels.

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Sprinkle baking soda into the drain. Add some white vinegar. It will sizzle and fizz. After a few hours, pour a kettleful of boiling water on top and down the drain.

Cheap, effective and relatively non-chemical. :slight_smile:


These weird little gnats seem to come in phases. Last year, not so bad. One year they were so bad that they lined the top of my bathroom mirror like tiny blackbirds. I about got a little bitty shotgun and…nevermind. I finally got something called InVade Bio Drain Fly Killer, supposedly a probiotic method to eat away at all the organic matter that has built up in the pipes (which the baking soda, vinegar, etc. doesn’t reach, I guess, as I did try all the methods). Something about it being a gel so it sloops down into all the nooks and crannies and slurps 'em up overnight. I put it in all 17 drains in my house. I believe it helped. We still get the little buggers, but very few and mostly tied to produce. You can get the product various places, but I think the key is that it is probiotic, or enzymatic, and a gel. There must be similar products out there.

Go to your local tool rental place and get a 35’ electric drain snake. Wear leather or work gloves and snake that puppy. Once snaked, use the baking soda and vinegar (remember volcanos in science class?) and about a gallon of boiling water after the fizzing stops.

Don’t ask me how I know this… :wink: Florida. Gotta love it.

Thanks for all the great suggestions😊. I’m on a mission, and will report back, sans gory details.

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They breed in them mainly, which is why you need to flush with something that’ll kill the larvae.

I use a spray bottle with a solution of ammonia for getting into the overflows, which has the added benefit of killing the pheromone trails left by cockroaches as well.

I don’t like having to resort to harsh chemicals, but in our region it’s the only thing that seems to work.

There have been occasions in the past where I’ve been running around with the vacuum cleaner, sucking them up just before guests arrive!


“There have been occasions in the past where I’ve been running around with the vacuum cleaner, sucking them up just before guests arrive!”

My partner does this - it’s very entertaining😊

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When my dog had a serious flea problem one summer, I got the idea one day to vacuum her. I have a shop vac and just used the end of the hose pressed hard against her and kept running it back and forth. It worked!

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Brilliant! Although my Chihuahua/Terrier is tiny, so I’d risk sucking him up with the fleas​:astonished::rofl:

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