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Flies in your bathroom?

Common causes & remediation tips

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If you’ve noticed that your bathroom has become the local hangout spot for flies and other insects, it’s time to take action. You don’t need to accept these pesky new tenants, and it’s actually quite easy to keep them from coming back. In this post, we go over bathroom bug troubles in detail and discuss the best solutions.

Types of Bugs Commonly Found in Bathrooms

While there are a multitude of insects that make their way into Indianapolis homes, there are a few that you’re more likely to find in the bathroom. That’s because bathrooms offer conditions that help these bugs thrive, providing all of the humidity and food they need.

Drain Flies

These cute little guys are small, fuzzy flies with a heart-shaped anatomy. Many people find their look similar to moths. Although drain flies may be adorable, they’re not fun to live with. They feed on the sludge that accrues in your drains, and can amass very large numbers in a short period of time. After laying their eggs in any standing water they can find, their larvae (maggots) will hatch and wriggle around until they metamorphose into their final form.

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Fungus Gnats

These flies have less charm than their furry counterparts, but they are similar in terms of habits. They also feed on sewage and decaying organic matter, which can be found in abundance in neglected drains. Plants and fungi are additional food sources for fungus gnats.

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Like the aforementioned flies, silverfish favor bathrooms for access to their favorite food - mold, fungi, dead skin, hair, and paper pulp. They need warmth and humidity to be comfortable, which is standard for steamy bathrooms. Silverfish can trigger allergies, and cause property damage through feeding and defecating.

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The beetle of everyone’s nightmare, cockroaches come in many shapes and sizes. They’re also prolific breeders and very hard to get rid of. These bugs love to feed on the rotting goo and moisture found in bathrooms, as well as make use of the piping for easy navigation.

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Like any good hunter, spiders go where the prey is plentiful. With bathrooms attracting so many other bugs, it’s no wonder that spiders often pick them as their favorite place to camp out.

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House Centipedes

These long, spindly insects come to bathrooms for the same reason as the spiders. Although they aren’t capable of damaging your home, they can give a painful bite. For that reason alone, not many of us would be happy to share our bathrooms with these little creepies.

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What’s Attracting Flies & Other Bugs to my Bathroom?

flies in your home causes
Buildup in Drains

As we rinse away spit-out toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and waste, some of the particles can stick to the surfaces of drains and their interior piping. This can build up a thick layer of residue over time, which serves as a prime food source for many of the bugs listed above.

Drain flies especially love to congregate around this buildup of organic matter, which is why you’ll commonly see them swarming around your sink bowl or in the drain itself.

You’ll need to keep this residue clear if you want to prevent drain flies and other bugs from returning. Using a traditional drain cleaner can remove the buildup throughout your drain, but you’ll probably need to do some scrubbing on the outer surface to eliminate every trace of muck.

Standing Water

Water that stands undisturbed for long periods makes an excellent place for drain flies and other bugs to lay their eggs and stay hydrated. It’s typically found in bathrooms that go unused for a while, but it can also be present in bathrooms with poor drainage.

Water can pool on tile floors if they aren’t sufficiently sloped toward the drains. It’s also possible for water to collect inside drains if hair or other matter has created a large enough blockage.

Sometimes all that’s needed to resolve this problem is more frequent use of the bathroom’s plumbing. Regularly running a quick rinse of the drains can go a long way toward prevention. In cases where drainage is a problem, the flooring may need to be re-tiled, or drains may need to be cleaned out.


Plants are an attractive source of food and shelter for many bugs. If you can’t seem to get rid of the insects in your bathroom, it may be because they’ve made your house plants their main place to hide and lay eggs.

Gently rinsing your plants and replacing their soil may help remove insects and eggs, but your best bet is to place your plants outside, or at least in a less hospitable location for the bugs.

Infrequent Cleaning

It can be tough to make time for regular cleaning of every nook and cranny in your bathroom. But without that attention to detail, you may be allowing dens for insects to form. Bugs gravitate toward tight, enclosed spaces that remain undisturbed, so any neglected spot is prime real estate.

Updating your cleaning habits can help you rid yourself of insects and prevent their return. Be sure to clean under your sink, in your drains, behind the toilet, and between any narrow spaces so that there are no areas that go untouched.

Poor Ventilation

Excess humidity may be the main draw for your bathroom’s flies and other bugs. As steam condenses, the moisture can get trapped in all sorts of areas where insects can hydrate without disruption.

If your fan is old (or non-existent), you should prioritize a new installation. This fan should be run anytime someone takes a shower, bath, or uses the sink for long periods. It’s wise to also make a habit of opening a screened window as often as possible.

Get Help With Your Drain Fly Infestation

If you’ve got a serious problem with bathroom flies, our professional plumbing team can help. We’ve encountered countless drain fly infestations in our time, and have aided homeowners in restoring their plumbing to like-new status.

We’ll help you clear your drains and resolve any plumbing issues that are attracting insects. Contact us to schedule a visit from one of our expert plumbers right away.

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