Why Black Bugs On Your Bathroom Ceiling Are A Sign Of An Even Bigger Problem

It's normal to see tiny bugs scurrying about your home here and there, especially if you sometimes open your windows to enjoy the luxury of fresh air. But while a ladybug or two inside the house isn't cause for concern, finding strange bugs in your bathroom is a whole different ball game. Spotting winged black bugs crawling on your ceiling is not usually borne out of coincidence, but rather a sign that you may have bigger problems somewhere. They are called drain flies, they breed in stagnant, dirty water — and their presence strongly indicates that you have a plumbing problem.

Although drain flies come from the most unholiest of unholies, they are not carriers of human diseases and therefore pose no hygienic threat to us. They are gray and look like gnats but with a pair of short, rounded wings. The standing water they breed in typically contains rotten organic material for their larvae to consume after they hatch, so even though they aren't dangerous themselves, it's still a gross situation. Drain flies are heavily associated with clogged drainage in showers, toilets, bathroom floors, and sinks, so once you see them, it's time to dive into your cleaning supply closet.

Get rid of drain flies using a baking soda mixture

Drain flies are a constant reminder that your bathroom drains are messed up. Once you take away their habitat, they'll get the hint and haul off. The first step to getting rid of drain flies is to locate the culprit drain. The oil trap method is perfect for this. Line the inside of some plastic cups with cooking oil and place them over all the drains in your bathroom. When the drain flies come out, they'll get stuck in the oil trap. Whichever cup has the most will determine the likely breeding site.

After this, the next phase is cleaning up. Clear away all the decaying organic material by giving the drain a good scrub. Use a pipe cleaner or long brush to loosen up the dredge in the pipes and pour hot water down the drain to rinse it all out. To sanitize the drain, make a natural cleaning solution using ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of salt, and 1 cup of vinegar and pour it down the drain. This will not only kill germs but also dissolve any remaining debris. Leave it throughout the night to give it time to act, then rinse it with hot water again.

A persisting drain fly problem could indicate damaged plumbing

If after everything you still notice drain flies on your ceiling and walls, then you'll have to call professional pest control or a plumber to take care of the problem. You might have damaged pipes somewhere that need to be fixed. The good thing is that drain flies are more of a nuisance than anything else. Either way, prevention is better than curing to keep these bugs out of your drains, so make sure you don't unknowingly set up a comfortable habitat for these pests to flourish in your bathroom.

Preventing drain flies starts with paying attention to the way water flows into your drains. If you notice that it takes a longer time for liquids to drain out, there may be a clog somewhere. Wherever your pipes are blocked, standing water is surely close by, so be sure to regularly unclog your drains, use filters or plugs, and keep up on deep cleaning. As long as you keep your bathroom area clean and — most importantly — dry, you won't have to worry about seeing those pesky drain flies fluttering around.