Imagine the following scenario: you're taking a shower and look down. You notice that something is moving around your drain. It's small, it's black, and it's a worm. It's also not alone. There are several down there. If you've recently experienced this in your bathroom, you have drain fly larvae, also known as drain worms. Some light research we performed will help you make sure they don't stick around for too long.
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Drain worms are found in areas that are high-moisture and often lay eggs throughout the bathroom. To get rid of them, you will need to take a multi-pronged approach. The best methods to make your bathroom uninhabitable for drain worms include:
- Reducing Moisture In The Air
- Cleaning Bathroom Surfaces With Bleach
- Use Insecticide
- Using An Enzyme Cleaner In Drains
Drain flies can be a major nuisance, not to mention a detractor from an otherwise wonderful bath time. If you want to get rid of them quickly, this guide will make it happen.
Why Are There Black Worms In My Bathroom?
To be able to remove the worms, you need to understand why they are there. Those "worms" aren't actually worms. They're drain fly larvae, which will eventually turn into annoying little furry flies. They are there because your bathroom has a lot of moisture and organic material they enjoy eating.
Are Drain Worms Dangerous?
While they might pose a threat to your ability to take a bath without feeling squicked out, drain worms are not dangerous. They don't bite, don't spread disease, and don't harm your skin. They are more of a nuisance than anything else. With that said, having drain worms is not something that you should tolerate.
What Do Drain Worms Look Like?
Drain worms are petite, black worms that often congregate around drains, showers, sinks, toilets, and underneath shampoo bottles. They never grow too large, with most of them being about the size of a fingernail. If you look very closely at the worms, you might see subtle brown and black stripes on them.
Drain Worm Removal Methods: Your Guide
Now that we've explained what drain worms are and why they're hanging out in your home, it's time to talk about how you can get rid of them and make sure they don't come back. To ensure that you have the full scope of what needs to be done, we're going to break down each important step into its own section.
Reduce Moisture In The Air
Drain flies (and their larvae) need to have moisture to thrive, and in many cases, they will leave of their own accord if an environment is too dry. To get rid of any excess moisture in the air, open up a window, turn on the vent, and get a dehumidifier if things are terrible in terms of humidity. The drier the environment, the less likely you'll see worms.
Clean All Your Bathroom Surfaces With Bleach
If your drain worm problem has gone beyond the shower drain, then you are going to have to do an extensive cleaning of your bathroom. Any portion of your bathroom with tile or ceramic will need to be thoroughly scrubbed down with bleach. The bleach will be strong enough to eat through worm tissue and kill off any eggs that might have been laid.
Due to the harsh smell that bleach can have, it's best to do this in a well-ventilated bathroom. Though it's not exactly fun, this is the only way to ensure that any drain worm spread that occurred stops in its tracks.
Another important step to ensuring that no drain worms (or any other tiny black worms you may have) is to employ the use of an insecticide. Since drain worms are relatively easy to get rid of, almost any "bug bomb" will be more than enough to handle it. However, your best bet is to use diatomaceous earth, a natural powder that is non-toxic and capable of killing any insects out there...drain flies included.
To use DE (as it's more commonly called), place small piles in corners around your bathroom where drain worms have been found congregating. If you have concerns that the "worms" you have are actually baby millipedes, then DE is a must-have. The earth will dehydrate them and kill them. Unlike other insecticides, DE is universal in its ability to get rid of insects, and bugs can't develop immunity.
Use An Enzyme Cleaner On Your Drains
Drain flies are called drain flies because they live in drains. They live and nest in drains that are clogged with biological grime like hair, bacteria, dead skin cells, and grease. They need that biological gunk to survive. It's their food. That means that you will need to use an enzyme drain cleaner to help rid your drains of the food they use.
To get the best possible results, it's better to use a full clog-removing kit that takes the hair out of your drains and also uses a drain enzyme too. Green Gobbler is famous for this. For the most part, enzyme cleaners are considered to be the gold standard of drain cleaning.
However, if you have CLR or a similar harsh chemical that you're okay with using, that will kill them too. If you need to get the rust off your bathroom sink, this could be a good time to get CLR instead.
It's worth noting that not all drain clog removal methods will work. For example, removing a clog with baking soda may not be harsh enough to kill fly larvae. Get tough on those worms!
What Should You Do If You Still Have Drain Worms?
If you used all the methods above and you still have drain worms that plague you, then the problem may be a clog that's deeper than what a drain cleaning kit can offer. At this point, the best way to ensure that you get rid of the worms is to physically remove parts of your pipe and manually take out the clog. This is often better done by a plumber.
Most of the time, manually removing the clogs in your sink or shower will do the trick and eliminate any issues. However, if you are still noticing worms crawling around after a manual cleanout has been performed, you might have a more serious problem in your home. This may be a good time to call a professional exterminator or check for broken plumbing that could have pooled underneath your house.
Seeing tiny black worms in your bathroom is never something enjoyable, but thankfully, this pest infestation is not the worst one out there. Though drain worms are not dangerous, it's still best to address the issue soon as you notice it. Ideally, you'll address the problem thoroughly and keep a close eye on it as it develops.
The trick to getting rid of those tiny black creepy crawlies is to keep your plumbing clear, your bathroom clean, and your area reasonably dry. By making your bathroom inhospitable for these tiny insects, you'll make sure they will leave and never come back.