Spotlight: Pests That Live In Your Drains | Killingsworth
  1. A Spotlight On The Pests That Live In Your Drains

FEBRUARY 01 2022 /

A Spotlight On The Pests That Live In Your Drains

Drain Bugs–What Do They Mean For Your Home?

Believe it or not, the moist and dark conditions your home’s water drain provides a variety of bugs with everything they need to live, eat, and breed. That’s right, most drain bugs thrive in moist environments, they feed on organic matter like hair and food waste, and they lay their eggs in the gunk that collects throughout your plumbing–YUCK! Within this article, we will touch of the types of bugs in your drains, why and how they got there and how to get rid of them. Let’s get started.

Types Of Drain Bugs


A cockroach has no problem living in a bathroom or kitchen drain where they’ll always have a consistent source of food and water. It’s important to know that if you find one cockroach in your home, there are likely others. Try to get rid of the pesky cockroaches yourself, or consider bringing in a pest expert as they can be particularly tough to get rid of.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are attracted to fresh fruits and vegetables, rotting fruits and vegetables, garbage, and damp organic material. Once in your home, a fruit fly will find its way into your comfortable drain to breed. Before you know it, you have a fruit fly infestation. Eliminate the things in your home that attract fruit flies or set your own fly traps and you should be able to avoid problems.  

Phorid Flies

Also known as the “humpback fly", the phorid fly is attracted to fungi, deceased animals, rotting vegetables, and the moist organic material that gathers in drains and other plumbing. A phorid fly infestation has the potential to cause major damage to your home’s plumbing system and should be addressed immediately by an expert.


A centipede is a harmless, one and a half inch long flat bug with 15 sets of legs, frequently found in the bathroom around drains. The house centipede prefers to live and grow in damp, secluded areas like basements, closets, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. If you’re looking to banish centipedes from your home, dry and vacuum clean the darkest, untouched parts of your home.

Drain Flies

Yes, it's true. There is an entire species of flies named after drains. And these guys can be tricky to get rid of! Because of their hairy bodies and wings, drain flies are sometimes called “moth flies”. Drain flies breed in drains, sewers, septic tanks, and sewage contaminated soil. You can avoid a drain fly problem by removing areas that serve as breeding sites. If you think you already have a drain fly problem, quickly identify the breeding site and take steps to abolish it.

How Do They Get In?

Perhaps the most frustrating part of discovering you have drain bugs is not knowing how or why they got there. The truth is, most drain creatures are either already living and breeding in your home. It is a common misconception that bugs enter the drain from the outside. While it isn't impossible, it is not the way bugs normally enter your drains. That being said, if you have tiny cracks in your outdoor pipes, it's very possible that drain bugs will find a way to creep in.   Otherwise, they enter through your doors, windows, or structural cracks. But whichever they enter, it's never long before they’re in your home, it doesn’t take long before they find a cozy, wet drain to call their temporary home. 

Tips To Keep Your Drains Bug-Free

Seal Your Pipes

This is a very important first step in preventing drain bugs. Making sure your pipes are sealed and free from any holes will make it a lot harder for “drain bugs” to find their way into your drain in the first place. Use a flashlight to locate, and caulking to seal any cracks or holes in your drains both within your home and outside.

Wrap Pipes With Insulation

As we mentioned before, pests love moisture. And a huge reason why pests find their way into your drains is because of all of the condensation that surrounds them. An easy way to combat this is by wrapping insulation foam around any pipes that seem to be accumulating condensation. We suggest adding insulation to all accessible pipes as an extra step of caution!

Watch Out For Excess Water

Keep your sinks, tubs, and showers as dry as possible. Any standing water is an open invitation for pests to find their way into your drains. Also, be sure to fix any leaking faucets. Standing water will not only encourage pests, but it will also encourage mold growth which will also attract pests to your home.

Prevent Clogs

In drains like showers or bathtubs, it’s easy for hair and dirt to start clogging your drains. And clogs are–you guessed it–another ideal habitat for pests to thrive in. Luckily, there are a number of ways to prevent clogs in your drains. We’ve listed a few methods below:

  • Run hot water through the drain after each use
  • Pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with hot water
  • Purchase an enzyme drain cleaner and use regularly

Do Some Research

Research more specifically what conditions drain bugs like. If rotting food and garbage are what attracts them, do your best to keep your home free of rotting food and garbage. If you’re noticing more bugs in your bathroom drains, perhaps they’re attracted to the hair and grime in your drains. Whatever it may be, figure out why your drain bugs are there and decide what will work best for your home from there. Luckily, drain bugs are a common plumbing issue and getting rid of pests can be relatively easy for someone who knows what they’re doing. At Killingsworth Environmental, we specialize in all things pest removal and pest control. If you’ve got pests in your drains, schedule a service. We’re happy to help!