Every once in a while, we get a picture from a reader that makes us say, “Oh my goodness! This is such a cute creature!”
This is not one of these times. While the critters in the photographs below are interesting and a marvel of evolution, it’s a stretch to refer to them as cute. Instead, we’ll use the term “distinctive.”
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The reader who took these pictures says that he and his wife found these distinctive critters in the shower drain. He is wondering what they might be.
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This is one of the rare cases where we are sure that we can positively identify the animal. Considering the location where the critters were found and their appearance, it is quite likely that these are the larvae of one of the members of the Psychodidae family. A more common name for this animal is the “drain fly,” and we have written about them quite a few times in the past.
The good news is that drain flies do not cause any health issues. In fact, the larvae are often considered beneficial because they break down the organic material found in drains that might otherwise decay and be rather unpleasant.
However, drain flies can be a pain to get rid of and they tend to gross people out, primarily due to their preferred living locations. There is something fundamentally unnerving about encountering these creepy-crawlies in the places where we go to clean ourselves.
Mechanical methods tend to be most effective when it comes to the eviction of these unwanted housemates. If they can’t eat then, one way or another, they will go away. If our reader would like to remove these creatures, we advise that he thoroughly scrub the drain with a long, stiff-bristled brush to remove the organic debris that is attracting these critters. After that, he can also (carefully) pour boiling water down the drain. Obviously, it is extremely important that he use the utmost care in transporting the boiling water to the shower.
There are several sites on the internet that will recommend various chemical drain cleaners to eliminate drain flies. While these can be effective, we tend to recommend caution when applying chemical solutions. Depending on the type of plumbing you have, certain chemicals can actually harm your pipes. Also, many of these chemicals can be quite harmful to both your and your pets’ health.
If thoroughly cleaning the drains doesn’t alleviate the problem, then we recommend that our reader contact a local pest-control company. They will be familiar with the common pests found in that area as well as the safest and most effective ways to evict them.