Why Are Bugs Coming Out Of My Drain?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / Steven Vona

It’s hard to feel comfortable in your bathroom when you see flies, gnats, or spiders come out of your drain. This can happen all year, but it’s most common during the summer when bugs become desperate to find water. So, why are bugs coming out of my drain?

Bugs typically come out of bathroom and kitchen drains when the drain is clogged with debris and food. This also happens when bugs find cracks and openings in the pipes beneath your sink or tub drain. Clean your drain with boiling water, baking soda, and white vinegar to clear blockages that attract bugs.

You can even trap bugs with a small dish filled with vinegar near your drain. Follow along as we explore why bugs are coming out of your drain and highlight ways to stop the problem.

Why Are There Bugs In My Drain?

You may see bugs come out of your drain because they either entered through a pipe or hid within the drain. Some bugs, such as flies, are drawn to sink and shower drains and even reproduce in them. This is mostly common with clogged drains, as they provide plenty of cover for mating and nesting.

Even spiders emerge from sink drains in search of water. Spiders often struggle to find water on particularly hot days, so they may enter your home through a pipe. It’s scary to find a spider in your sink, but it’s quite common during the summer.

Bathroom sink and tub drains are magnets for bugs between the moisture from the faucet and hot showers. Mites, silverfish, and drain flies are especially drawn to dirty sink drains. Routine maintenance is necessary to not only keep bugs away but to also protect your drain from blockages.

How To Keep Bugs From Coming Out Of A Drain

1. Baking Soda And White Vinegar

Baking soda and white vinegar are timeless household remedies for clogged drains. The chemical reaction when you combine them is powerful enough to clear blockages in drains. These blockages often attract bugs, so clearing them naturally reduces the chance you’ll find them in your drain.

First, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a moment. Next, pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain and let it sit. It helps to cover the drain, so the solution doesn’t bubble up and make a mess.

Leave the drain alone for up to 30 minutes, then run some hot water until you no longer smell the solution. Keep in mind that this only helps with existing bug infestations in your drain. You’ll only be able to keep bugs out of your drain if you clean it regularly.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils are among the best household remedies to keep bugs out of your drain and kill them. You can repel bugs such as flies, gnats, and even spiders with essential oils. For example, lavender oil repels flies and gnats while mint keeps spiders away.

Some homeowners simply fill dishes with essential oils and put them near their sink drains. You can also put a few drops of oil in a warmer and place a candle beneath it. The heat from the candle will help the oils disperse in the air.

Your bathroom or kitchen will smell great to you, but not to the bugs that come out of your drain. It also helps to dilute essential oils, like mint, with water and spray them around your sink or tub. However, you should only do this if you don’t have pets as many essential oils are harmful to cats and dogs.

3. Flush The Drain With Boiling Water

Don’t underestimate the power of boiling water. Boiling water is hot enough to clear blockages that typically attract bugs to your drain. The heat and intensity are also enough to kill bugs that remain in your drain.

Simply boil some water, pour it down the drain, and let it sit for up to 20 minutes. This method works well for kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as tub drains. You may need to repeat the process a few times if there is a severe blockage.

Some homeowners even pour boiling water down their drains before using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. That is even more effective than using hot water alone, and it’s often necessary for stubborn clogs.

4. Vinegar Dish

If you have a problem with drain flies and fungus gnats, you can trap and kill them with a small vinegar dish. The sweet aroma of vinegar attracts many pesky bugs that hover around drains. Once they smell the vinegar, bugs typically fly into the dish, get stuck, and die from the acidity.

Fill a small dish with vinegar and set it in your sink or bathtub. It may take several hours to kill all of the bugs in your drain. Bugs will likely emerge from the drain as well if you place the dish close enough to it.

Keep in mind that this is a temporary solution. Now, it’s up to you to keep your drain clean and use vinegar traps as needed when you find more bugs.

5. Keep Your Disposal Clean

It’s no secret that garbage disposals attract bugs, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Bugs are drawn to garbage disposals because of the mixture of food and moisture. You can mitigate this problem if you pour hot water down your disposal each time you run it.

Even something as simple as a few ice cubes and a pinch of rock salt can help solve this problem. First, place a few ice cubes in your disposal, then pour a little rock salt into the drain. The ice provides moisture, and the grittiness of the salt helps break up food residue.

Run your garbage disposal at least a few times per week, if not every day. Bugs can also get into garbage disposals from the pipes below if there is an opening. In that case, you must reach out to a plumber unless you have experience with patching pipes.

6. Contact A Plumber

It may seem like a job for an exterminator, but a plumber can help quite a lot if bugs come out of your drain. That’s because a plumber can examine your drain and plumbing fixtures to find holes and cracks. Bugs love to find openings in pipes, and that’s how they often wind up coming out of your drain.

Plumbers can use everything from cameras to smoke tests to find openings in your pipes. From there, it’s up to them to either patch the pipe or replace it altogether. Granted, they won’t kill bugs for you, but they can at least make it harder for bugs to come out of your drain.

7. Minimize Moisture In Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are hotbeds for moisture between the shower and sink. Bugs love moisture, and they especially seek it out during hot weather. Always run your bathroom fan when you take a shower and leave it on for up to 30 minutes afterward.

You may also need to run a dehumidifier in your bathroom or kitchen if you have a persistent moisture problem. Pest and mold infestations are possible when the moisture level in your home goes above 60%. It helps to run a dehumidifier for 10-12 hours per day if you have a severe moisture problem.

Summing It Up

Clean your drain with baking soda and vinegar or boiling water if you see bugs come out of it. Use your garbage disposal every day and run water each time to wash food scraps down the drain. Contact a plumber if you suspect that bugs are getting into your drain through holes in the pipes.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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