Fruit Flies Vs. Drain Flies

Cooking in the kitchen can be annoying when tiny, little flying insects are buzzing around your head, your drain pipes, and your fruit and vegetables. If you are noticing these pests in your kitchen, your house may be under siege by fruit flies or drain flies. Unfortunately, tiny flying insects can be challenging to distinguish and get rid of! Thankfully, our pest exterminators at Champion Termite and Pest Control, Inc. have put together this guide to help you distinguish the difference between fruit flies and drain flies.

If you are finding these tiny, pesky insects in or around your home, contact our pest control company today to schedule a free pest inspection or learn more about our pest control services!

Fruit Flies Vs. Drain Flies


Fruit flies and drain flies differ from other flies as they are small and are often the most common flying insects that you will see around your kitchen. Before you can start managing your pest problem, it is important to know what kind of pest you are dealing with to control them properly. Both of these pests are about one-eighth of an inch long. Fruit flies have red eyes and a body color ranging from brown to yellow with dark stripes or spots. Drain flies, also known as sewer flies, have a moth-like appearance with fuzzy wings, antennae, and black or brown coloring.

Traveling Together

One of the easiest ways to identify the difference between a fruit fly and a drain fly is whether they are flying solo! Fruit flies rarely stay together in large groups but will swarm together to eat, which is usually rooting food. Therefore, you will more than likely only see them in large groups if you have a big bowl of fruit out in the open, but if you are seeing large swarms of flying insects in your kitchen and don’t have a big bowl out on display, they are more than likely drain flies.

Fruit Flies Don’t Fly Far

Fruit flies are lone hunters and often only swarm or gather where there is food nearby. They also don’t travel far from their food source, which is usually in your kitchen. To determine which pest is infesting your home, start by removing fruit and garbage from your kitchen. If you notice that the pests have disappeared, they were most likely fruit flies, but if the flies are still around no matter how much cleaning you’ve done, then you probably have a drain fly problem.


As mentioned previously, fruit flies like to live near their food, but they also like to lay their eggs in overripe fruits and vegetables so that their larvae have plenty to eat when they hatch. Drain flies, much like their name implies, breed and live in decayed organic material that is in drains, sewer outlets, and garbage cans.

Problems With Fruit Flies & Drain Flies

While both of these flies are generally harmless, large populations of dead and decaying drain flies can aggravate asthma among certain people. In addition, fruit flies can also transfer germs from a dirty surface onto a clean one, including salmonella, E. coli, and listeria, all of which cause food poisoning. Severe cases of food poisoning may put you in the hospital and can be life-threatening.

Preventing Fruit Flies & Drain Flies

To prevent a full-on fruit and drain fly infestation in your home, we recommend installing insect-proof window screens, repairing cracks in your home’s walls or foundation, and doing some regular cleaning. To keep the drain flies away, thoroughly clean and sanitize your drains and pipes. Both of these types of flies can be difficult to get rid of when your home is the victim of an infestation. If you’re experiencing a fruit fly infestation or a drain fly infestation, contact our experienced pest control team at Champion Termite and Pest Control to get your fly problem under control!


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