Drain Flies Vs Fruit Flies (& How To Deal With Both)

If you’re wondering whether you have an infestation of fruit flies or drain flies, then you’ve come to the right article. In this article, not only will you find out quickly what type of fly you’re dealing with. You’ll also learn what attracts them in the first place and how to deal with both types too!

So keep reading to find out everything you want to know!

A Quick Guide To Drain Flies And Fruit Flies

If you don’t have a lot of time, then here’s a quick guide on whether you’re dealing with drain flies or fruit flies.

Drain FlyFruit Fly
Size1/8th of an inch.Slightly larger than 1/8th of an inch.
ColorRanging from pale grey to black.Tan, brown, black. (But red eyes)
FurWings look like they’re covered in fine fur.No fur or fuzz.
DietOrganic material that is found in water.Fruit, plants, organic material.
CharacteristicsOften found in drains, standing water, and anywhere with organic buildup.Found in decaying food and often kitchens or areas with plants.
RemovalClean pipes, remove standing water, and vinegar trap.Remove any rotting organic material from your home and vinegar traps.

More About Drain Flies

Drain flies are often found anywhere there is organic debris and material where they can eat and breed. As you can imagine, one of the most common places this happens is in drains. If the pipes aren’t getting cleaned properly, then it’s much more likely that organic material is going to build up in them.

One of the easiest ways to tell whether you’re dealing with drain flies is to watch how they fly. Drain flies don’t tend to fly far; instead, it almost looks like they’ll hop from one location to another when disturbed.

If you’re dealing with drain flies, then it’s important to eradicate them from your entire home, as well as outside too. Generally, drain flies start outside and then migrate inwards. (Here are all the places to check if you have a drain fly infestation.)

Adult Bathroom Moth Midge of the species Clogmia albipunctata

More About Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are more often than not found in areas where a lot of food is being processed. That’s why they tend to be in your kitchen or around your bins and food processor. (While drain flies can be found all around your home.)

It’s also important to note that fruit flies don’t just like fruit, but fruit that is overly ripe. This is the perfect environment for them to lay their eggs and feed, so by removing rotting fruit and vegetables from your home, you’ll often times get rid of fruit flies as well!

You’ll also be able to spot fruit flies by their distinctive red eyes.

Traveling And Swarming In Drain Flies Vs. Fruit Flies

Another easy way to differentiate between drain flies and fruit flies is to check whether they’re swarming and traveling together or not.

Drain flies are more often found together, especially when there’s a lot of waste. However, fruit flies tend to travel alone unless there’s a big feast for them all to eat.

On top of this, fruit flies will almost always be found around fruit and vegetables, which are decaying, whereas drain flies aren’t as picky. In fact, it’s common to see drain flies anywhere there’s an organic buildup of food.

But one of the biggest differentiators is how light it is. Fruit flies are active during the day and will fly around at any time. Whereas drain flies tend to be a lot less active any time it’s light and prefer flying around in the dark.

Where Are Drain Flies And Fruit Flies Found

Another way to know whether you’re dealing with drain flies or fruit flies is based on where you’re finding them.

If they’re always in your kitchen, then you’re probably dealing with fruit flies. However, if they’re in other areas of your house (especially the bathroom), then you’re probably dealing with drain flies instead.

You’ll also notice that drain flies tend to favor vertical walls, whereas fruit flies don’t.

Drain Fly Vs. Fruit Fly Appearance

This is going to be the easiest differentiator between drain flies and fruit flies. In fact, from appearance alone, you should be able to tell the difference between the two.

Drain Flies

While drain flies and fruit flies are similar in size, one of the quickest ways to spot the difference between the two is their actual appearance. As you can see, drain flies tend to look a lot fatter, and they’re also a lot furrier in appearance when compared to fruit flies.

Adult Bathroom Moth Midge of the species Clogmia albipunctata

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies, on the other hand, tend to look a little bit thinner, and their wings are also a lot more clear. However, the biggest way to really spot the difference between the two is in the eyes. While it’s hard to notice a drain fly’s eyes, fruit flies’ eyes are bulbous and red. So look at the eyes to see exactly what you’re dealing with.

Fruit Fly Vs. Drain Fly Diet

You can guess by the name what fruit flies eat compared to what drain flies eat. So depending on what you see them feeding on can also give you a good idea as to what type of fly you’re dealing with.

Fruit Flies

As you know by now, fruit flies are going to be found around fruit and vegetables they can suck the nutrients out of. However, if there’s a room in your house that has a lot of plants, then it’s not uncommon to also find fruit flies there as well, as plants are also a delectable treat to them.

Drain Flies

While the chances are you’ll spot fruit flies feeding a lot, the same cannot be said for drain flies. Drain flies tend to feed on waste and decaying organic matter. Which is most often found in drains and sewage.

However, this doesn’t mean you’ll never see them feeding. If anything organic has been left out close to a drain flies home, then it’s not uncommon to see them swarm there either.

How To Remove Drain Flies And Fruit Flies

Now you know how to spot the difference between drain flies and fruit flies, here are some methods you can use to get rid of them from your house in the future.

Drain Flies

Fortunately, there are a number of different methods you can use to get rid of drain flies. Here are a few of the easiest ways.

Clean Your Homes Pipes

The first thing you can try doing is cleaning your home’s pipes. Pouring Drano down them is one of the easiest ways to do this; however, if you want to try a method that isn’t as harmful to the environment, then I’d definitely recommend trying baking soda and vinegar instead.

Use An Insect Growth Regulator

If you suspect that your home has been infested with drain flies, then an IGR is a great way to get rid of them. Just use them anywhere you think that drain flies are breeding, and it will prevent the drain worms from shedding and moving past their larval stage.

Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

You can also make an apple cider vinegar trap to get rid of drain flies too.

To make an apple cider vinegar trap, you’ll just need to pour apple cider vinegar into a container and cover it with plastic wrap. Then poke a few small holes into the plastic wrap. This way, drain flies will enter the container but won’t be able to leave.

Eventually, they’ll tire and drop into the vinegar.

Fruit Flies

Getting rid of fruit flies is just as easy as getting rid of drain flies; however, the methods may change slightly. Here are the different ways you can get rid of fruit flies!

Clean Your Home

First of all, you should make sure that you’ve cleaned your home thoroughly. Especially making sure to remove any rotting produce and old fruit and vegetables that could be in your home.

The good news with fruit flies is once you remove the source that’s causing them to come, you’ll normally get rid of them as well.

Apple Cider Vinegar And Soap

Just like with drain flies, you can also use apple cider vinegar to get rid of fruit flies. To use apple cider vinegar, do the following:

Place equal parts water and apple cider vinegar into a container before stirring in some dish soap. Once you’ve one this, place it where the fruit flies tend to swarm and wait.

Then the fruit flies will begin o land on the soap and fall through to the apple cider vinegar, where they’ll promptly drown. You’ll be amazed at how fast this method can get rid of fruit flies!

An Old Beer

And lastly, one of the easiest methods is leaving out an old beer. If the bottle is half full, then fruit flies will find it easy to enter the top but hard to leave. This way, you can trap them almost effortlessly.


As you can see, while both drain flies and fruit flies are incredibly annoying, they are different in characteristics and methods for getting rid of them. However, with the information above, you should have no problem removing them now!

With that being said, there are times when an infestation may be too severe, so if this is the case, the best thing to do is to call a plumber.

And lastly, if you liked this article, make sure to check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!

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