Sometimes, you may see tiny worms around the drain in your shower. Or you might have spotted small flies on the shower walls. These are signs of a drain worm or drain fly infestation. These worms and flies are capable of bringing diseases into your house. If you spot drain worms in your shower, it is best to clear them out promptly. Read on to learn how to get rid of drain worms in your shower.
Also Read: Shower Water is Not Hot?
What are Drain Worms?
Drain worms are nothing but larvae of drain flies. As you can guess, these worms make their homes in the drains of your house. Drain flies lay their eggs in damp and dark spots. This is why they highly prefer shower or kitchen drains. Once these eggs are hatched, you start seeing drain worms in your shower. They can be spotted on the shower floor, especially around the drain. Further, these larvae grow into drain flies. They are also known by other names such as sink, filter, or sewer worms.
Are Drain Worms Harmful to Humans?
Drain worms or flies do not bite and make you ill. But, given the nature of their residence, they can transmit nasty diseases. They live and breed in your drain and bring out harmful bacteria. This can be transmitted to you, your pets, or your children. Once they find a way out of the shower, they could sit on your belongings and food. Overall, having drain worms is not ideal and should be removed immediately.
Why are worms coming out of my shower?
Drain worms usually start coming out of the shower as they hatch from their eggs. They move upwards to find better sources of food. These worms feed on organic matter and gunk. Think hair-clog or food remains in your kitchen sink. A huge clog to feed on could be luring them towards the surface. Once close enough to the drain opening, they also start crawling out.
Can Drain Worms Be a Sign of an Underlying Plumbing Issue?
Drain worms don’t always indicate underlying plumbing issues. They are usually attracted to damp, wet places. Drains naturally make a great home for them. But, a sudden infestation may be because of a densely clogged drain. Excessive build-up acts as feed for the flies, attracting them to the drain. Drain worms seen in other bathroom parts may indicate a leaking pipe. For example, a leak behind the wall can result in drain worms emerging from the shower tiles. Lastly, you should do a deeper inspection if you see an added infestation of insects like cockroaches.
How Do I Get Rid of Drain Worms?
You can eliminate drain worms by following some simple steps. Pouring a drain cleaner down your drain pipe may seem like a good idea. But, in the long run, this will cause more problems with your plumbing. De-clogging chemicals are also a health hazard when used too often. Here are some safer ways to get rid of drain worms from your shower.
1. Unclog the Drain Filters
The drain filter in your shower is where all your hair and gunk get caught. Unfortunately, this is also where the drain flies breed the most. One of the simplest methods of discouraging breeding is keeping the filter unclogged. Regularly clearing out hair and other build-ups from the drain filter does the trick.
2. Pour Hot Water in the Drains
Pouring boiling water down your drain helps, too. The hot water helps break down stubborn gunk stuck to the walls of your drain. Over time, this process can also help wash down any drain worms on the walls. But, be very careful while working with hot water. Splashbacks or spills due to incorrect handling can cause severe burns.
3. Use Bio-Enzymatic Cleaners
Bio-enzymatic cleaners aid with the cleaning of drains as well. While it is always good to start with hot water, sometimes you just need extra help. Such cleaners make use of good bacteria to help break down accumulated gunk. As a result, bio-enzymatic cleaners are safer for your family and the environment.
4. Use Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Baking soda and white vinegar create a chemical reaction when mixed. This reaction, too, speeds up the breakdown of buildup in your drains. Pour baking soda down the drain, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. Cover the drain to contain the reaction within. This will help unclog the drain and deprive the worms of any food material.
5. Scour the Drains With a Metal Pipe Brush
A metal pipe brush will help remove dirt stuck on the side of the pipes or drain wall. This takes a little more effort than pouring stuff down the drain. Moving the brush up and down around the surface provides the best results. While it takes some work, it’s highly effective in removing worms and eggs from surfaces.
6. Use a Plumbing Snake
Larger bunches of hair can get stuck deep down the drain pipe. While drain cleaners might help, they aren’t safe in the long run. A plumbing snake helps get the job done safely and efficiently. The coiled-up snake will break through accumulated dirt and clogs. It will also help destroy the breeding ground of the flies.
7. Clean the Surfaces With Bleach
Bleach has strong chemical properties that will thoroughly clean the drain. Wipe down surfaces with bleach to discourage worms from crawling out. Pouring bleach mixed with water down the drain will kill the existing worms and eggs.
8. Use a Plunger to Remove Grime Trapped in the Drains
You can use a plunger to get clogs out if you have a plunger on hand. Plungers can get dirt stuck in corners out as well. It gets out any organic junk stuck in the drains. The lack of build-up starves out the worm population.
9. Use Mineral Oil to Prevent Infestation
Mineral oil applied to the drain can help repel drain worms. It makes the surfaces slick and prevents eggs from sticking. Worms also find it difficult to sprawl through the drains when covered in oil. But, this may not work with drains that are always in use.
10. Use an Insect Growth Regulator
Insect growth regulators prevent the larvae from growing. As a result, they can no longer grow into adult flies and die eventually. The lack of adult flies would mean reduced breeding. There are no flies to lay more eggs, so the infestation eventually fades out.
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Centipedes in My Bathroom?
While drain worms do not pose an immediate threat to humans, it is best to get rid of them. They can bring diseases into the house and contaminate food. In the long run, they can prove to be a health scare. Getting rid of drain worms in your shower is not very difficult. You can follow simple steps to clean out your drains. This also prevents future infestations. Drain worms by themselves do not indicate plumbing issues.
In some cases, you may see other issues along with a drain worm infestation. These may be a sign of other underlying plumbing problems. Contact a professional in such a situation.