Joe the Bug Hunter: Drain Fly, Don’t Bother Me

Joe’s second swimming lesson had gone great! He was back in the locker room rinsing all the chlorine off in the shower when he noticed a tiny flying…something…circling the drain.

It was so small that at first he thought it was a gnat, but on closer inspection, he found he could see its wings pretty clearly so that couldn’t be what it was. Could it be a baby fly?


Joe never went anywhere without his bug gun. (He had made the mistake of going to his grandma’s without it once, and he missed out on capturing a whole bunch of Asian beetles…never again.) So he quickly went to his locker, pulled it out, attached the observation chamber and headed back to catch this mystery bug.


When he got home, he told his mom that he was going to do some research and try to find out what this bug could be.

“Okay sweetie, just try to wrap it up by dinner.”

Joe grabbed his Kindle and went to the table with a notepad. He typed “flies in shower” in the search bar and immediately found what he was looking for…the drain fly.

He looked closely at the creature and confirmed that it was, in fact, the drain fly.

It was small and gray with fuzzy wings, kind of like a moth. The grown-ups stayed really close to the food source…in this case, a locker room drain. The babies actually lived in the drain and burrowed into the slimy yuckiness that caked the pipes…which meant that chemicals had little affect on them. Even Drano was pretty much useless against these babies.

The big kids had antennae and furry wings shaped like leaves. They are nocturnal, which means that they like the night better than the day, and they liked damp, gross places like drains.

Joe had seen his mom clean the drain in the bathtub once. He remembered how gross the stuff she pulled was…hair, slick and slimy scum…basically anything gross that is usually found stuck inside a drain pipe.

The drain flies don’t bite, but they multiply…a lot. When they aren’t hanging out in the drain, they’re stuck to the walls or ceiling just waiting for more gunk. Gross.

Luckily, even though they have wings, they don’t fly well so when you find one, it’s a sure bet you’ll find the rest nearby.

“Ick,” thought Joe. “These things are nasty…I wonder when Mom last cleaned the drain…”

Joe typed in a few more search terms and found what he was looking for. He went to the junk drawer in the kitchen and searched around for some flypaper. On his way to the bathroom he passed his mom in the hall.

“What are you doing buddy?”

Joe thought for a second. He didn’t want to freak his mom out and tell her that the drain in the bathroom might be infested with thousands of tiny and disgusting flies.

“Oh,” he said, “I’m just doing an experiment in the bathroom.”

“Ok, just clean up after yourself,” she said, and walked away.

Whew! Joe went into the bathroom and shut the door behind him. He unrolled the fly paper and placed it, sticky side down, over the drain hole in the tub.

“Ok, now we just have to wait for a day to see if we’ve been infested,” he whispered, wondering how he was going to keep his mom from going to the bathroom for a day.

Caution tape maybe?


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