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    Drain Flies from pipe in Sump Pump Area

    Asked Jul 16, 2008, 08:20 PM 12 Answers
    We've been in our home for two years now. For the first year, we were fine, but this year, we've had record rainfall and billions of drain flies since late February. We didn't know where they were coming from at first, but now we know where... the pipe where the sump pump is located. This is the sump pump and the black pipe that all the drain flies are coming from (located in the storage closet under the stairs of the walkout basement). Please see attached image. If it weren't for the fly strips and the light bulb, those thousands of flies would be all over our house... right now they are contained in the closet but not dying despite pouring about 5 gallons of bleach down there and 16 oz. of Invade Bio-Foam. The flies are not in the sump pump itself but they are coming in from the rain water drain off pipe (the black one) that comes into the house; the water drains off into the sump pump area where the pump takes it out of the house through another pipe. So the black pipe is where it's coming from. The pipe itself is clean up to what my husband could reach. He even ran a 25 foot snake down there and still nothing. I would really appreciate any help or suggestions you could give us. We didn't have this problem last year, but we didn't have the record rainfall either. What can we do? As you can see, it is really gross! Help! Oh, and we are on City Utilities, not a septic tank. We have called five different pest control places who won't touch it (either told us to pour bleach or keep doing what we are doing), one plumber who cleaned sewer lines but told us to call pest control, and an online seller of DYI pest control. We just need some help.

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    Last edited by Val08; Jul 16, 2008 at 09:12 PM.
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    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 10,076, Reputation: 746
    Home Improvement & Construction Expert
     
    #2

    Jul 16, 2008, 08:52 PM
    Is enough of the pipe expose so that you could install a trap?
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    Val08's Avatar
    Val08 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Jul 16, 2008, 09:10 PM
    The pipe is exposed but we can't get to all of it (that's the sticky fly trap you see there in the photo covered in flies!) We have to change the fly strips every week because they are so covered that there is literally no stick to them. Oh, I forgot to mention that we called five different pest control places who won't touch it (either told us to pour bleach or keep doing what we are doing), one plumber who cleaned sewer lines but told us to call pest control, and an online seller of DYI pest control. We just need some help.
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    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 10,076, Reputation: 746
    Home Improvement & Construction Expert
     
    #4

    Jul 16, 2008, 09:41 PM
    This is just a suggestion but I don't know if its doable because of the lack of room.
    That looks like 6" corrugated drainage pipe. Get some 4' PVC pipe and a 90 degree ell. Can be Schedule 40 or thin wall. Cut one piece long enough to go up in the drain pipe a foot or so. Put that inside the drain pipe and put on the 90 degree ell. Add another piece of pipe long enough to reach about 1" above the bottom of the sump crock or hole. You want the end of the pipe to be below the water level that is left after the sump pump shuts off and far enough from the bottom to let the water out. Reset the float level of the pump if necessary. You will probably have to temporarily remove the pump to do this. Seal between the PVC pipe and the drainage pipe. Use cloths or even those large sponges. Anything to block the opening, it doesn't matter if it gets wet. You are not trying to seal for water, just seal out the insects. With the end of the PVC pipe below the water level they should not be able to enter. You should not even have to glue the pipe together.
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,585, Reputation: 1908
    Senior Plumbing Expert
     
    #5

    Jul 17, 2008, 10:19 AM


    I had drain flies in my shower so I realize what you're going through. A trap or bleach won't stop them. The following may help.

    MOTH OR DRAIN FLIES

    Moth or drain flies are small black flies which
    Thrive in drain pipes and sewer lines. They need
    A lot of moisture to complete their life cycle.
    Drain flies do not fly well. They tend to drift
    And seem to float along more than fly. Their
    Wings are shaped like a leaf of a plant and one
    Can see hair like fibers on all parts of their
    Body which is why they are also called moth flies.
    I have dealt with drain fly infestations in
    Many homes which start in the sink or bathroom
    Shower. The drain lines which have the most
    Activity seem to be the ones most likely to have
    An infestation. I have also observed that homes
    With septic tanks seem most likely to get them.
    I am not sure if there is some kind of build up
    Which occurs more with this type of drainage
    Or if there is something in the tank which allows
    These flies to prosper. Although these homes
    Seem more likely to get drain flies, once the
    Cycle begins it takes place in the home. I have
    Encountered several infestations where the larva
    Were found crawling out of shower or bath tub
    Drains. The homeowners thought they were some
    Kind of leach. In fact, the larva of drain flies
    thrive in a slime buildup which is on virtually
    any drain pipe which is used a lot. This slime
    enables the eggs which are laid to be protected
    and sheltered. The eggs and hatching larva
    embed themselves in this slime so they don't wash
    away. The cycle of these flies takes around
    a month to complete. Don't waste your time with
    bleach or other cleaning solvents.
    Showers and tubs
    Which have ceramic tiles may also supply a moist
    Slimy environment in which they can live. Sump
    Pumps and wet crawl spaces are other environments
    Where I have seen them live. Drain flies can be harder
    To control than other small flies. Although
    There are several products to kill adults, the
    Key is maintaining and minimizing their breeding
    Areas. This could prove to be difficult and
    Ongoing.
    Like most flies, there are several products
    Available for their control. Use a "SPACE SPRAY"
    For immediate relief of the adults. There are
    Several to choose from in the section below.
    This will quickly control the adults, but the
    Secret to getting rid of them is to use a
    Product we sell which removes the slime build
    Up on drain pipes. By removing this slime, the
    Larva cannot develop. This will stop the cycle.
    In the "SURFACE SPRAY" section below, look for
    The product called SURVIVORS. This is applied
    Down drain pipes and will remove the nest sights
    These flies need. You may also use the product
    Called PT-CYKICK which is located in the same
    Section. It is ideal for treating in cracks and
    Crevices where these flies like to lay eggs. Such
    Cracks will develop around ceramic tile, windows
    And grout joints.
    Good luck, Tom
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    Val08's Avatar
    Val08 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #6

    Jul 17, 2008, 07:03 PM
    Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the expertise!
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    lamereee's Avatar
    lamereee Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #7

    Jul 15, 2009, 06:24 AM
    I notice that you posted this a year ago. I hope that by now you have found an answer to your problem. However if you have not, this might help. We are having a similar problem as you have/had. We have been in our house for 6 years and this is the first time we have had an issue with flies in our sump pump. Also like you, I have called every pest control business in town and no one would help me. The last place I called said, "You don't need me. All you need is cooking oil." He told me to pour cooking oil down my sump pump. It lies on top of the water and coats the pipe and also covers the eggs of the flies not letting them breath and therefore die. We only did this yesterday and I'm not ready to say we are fly free, but I do see an improvement. Hopefully this is a non issue for you anymore, but if not here's something to try. Good luck (To both of us)!
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,585, Reputation: 1908
    Senior Plumbing Expert
     
    #8

    Jul 15, 2009, 06:56 AM


    Please let us know if cooking oil will interrupt the cycle. If it works then you've discovered "a miracle cure". Good luck and let us kinow. Tom
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    lamereee's Avatar
    lamereee Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #9

    Jul 15, 2009, 03:52 PM
    The cooking oil does not interrupt the cycle. In fact I put the oil on yesterday and early this morning it rained and the sump pump worked fine. I'm hopeful that this solves our problems. It looks good, but we'll have to just wait and see.
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,585, Reputation: 1908
    Senior Plumbing Expert
     
    #10

    Jul 15, 2009, 04:02 PM


    Quote Originally Posted by lamereee View Post
    The cooking oil does not interrupt the cycle. In fact I put the oil on yesterday and early this morning it rained and the sump pump worked fine. I'm hopeful that this solves our problems. It looks good, but we'll have to just wait and see.
    I meant the drain fly cycle of breeding. Let us know if it works. There are a lot of people out there that will be interested. Cheers, Tom
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