If you’ve noticed small worm-like creatures crawling around on your bathroom floor or around the drains in your sinks, chances are they are the larvae of the moth fly. Moth flies, also called “drain flies,” “filter flies,” or “sewer flies,” are grayish or dark. They have hundreds of fine hairs covering the wings and the body. You can find moth flies resting indoors with their wings held over their bodies, like a roof. They can be found resting on bathroom walls and around drain-like surfaces. The larvae are less than ¼ of an inch long. They have small suction discs along their bellies to help suction to slippery surfaces. They have a distinct head and a somewhat flattened body. They do not have legs.
The larvae of moth flies like to hang around drains, within drains, underneath drain plugs and screens, and inside of pipes. They feed on the gelatinous film found in these areas of bathroom sinks, tubs, and toilets and well as kitchen sinks.
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Moth flies develop through four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Moth flies have many generations each year and they occur anytime of the year in moist coastal regions – indoors and outdoors. Moth flies are common outdoors during the winter and spring months in California – mainly the interior areas.
If you want to avoid a moth fly infestation, there are several management methods you can use. You should screen windows and doors and reduce moisture and organic debris. To keep moth flies from multiplying, fix leaking plumbing immediately. You should also clean muck that collects in drains or under dripping taps, and brush or wash away slime under drain plugs, screens, and inside the top of drain pipes, above the water level in the J-trap. Biological control agents are also available for outdoor use as well as insecticides. Insecticides can be used outdoors, but they are not recommended for use in the home.
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