Bugs That Come Out of Drains

Drains contain decomposing organic matter that is rich in nutrients for bugs like roaches, springtails, and gnats among others. This is why they live, breed, and lay eggs in any drainage as long as they can access it. Drain bugs will find and eat hair, grease, toothpaste residue, and food waste in clogged, slow-moving drainage systems.

9 Common bugs that crawl out of drains

Bugs that crawl out of drains are those that live in them. In most cases, those are insects that love damp areas that are full of moisture and warmth.

Bugs That Come Out of Drains
Pictures of Bugs That Come Out of Drains

Here are some of the common bugs that crawl up from drains:

1. Cockroaches

Cockroaches are the most common bugs that live in and come out of drains. Some cockroach species reside in kitchen and bathroom drains because that is where they get a good, constant source of water and food. Also, the drains provide a humid and secluded environment vital for cockroaches’ survival. 

The drains in your home may provide cockroaches with pathways. They use this as entry points before they infest the house. After that, they will hide and look for foodstuffs. 

2. Fruit flies

Fruit flies are attracted to fresh, overripe, or rotting fruits and vegetables. The flies like feeding on rotten onions, bananas, and tomatoes. Other possible attractions of fruit flies are damp areas like the drainage systems around or inside the house.

Generally, any damp organic matter and garbage can attract fruit flies. Once in, they will get to your drains to stay and breed. Within a short time, you may be dealing with an infestation. 

3. Drain flies

Also called drain flies, moth flies have hairy bodies and wings. Drain flies are pretty small and are either brown or black and usually found in drains, septic tanks, sewers, and soils contaminated by sewage.

However, most people generalize any fly around drains as drain flies. This includes gnats, fruit flies, and house flies among other insects that thrive in damp areas that are full of moisture.

4. Phorid flies

It is easy to confuse phorid flies with fruit flies. But, understand that phorid flies are less likely to be excited and attracted by fresh, overripe, or rotting fruits and vegetables. Moreover, adult phorid flies have an arched thorax, which delivers a humpbacked appearance. For that reason, phorid flies are named humpbacked flies.

As well, a phorid fly moves irregularly and speedily in a jerking manner, giving it another name, which is the scuttle fly. Phorid flies like running and walking along surfaces, such as walls and counters, more than flying.

5. Booklice

Booklice or psocid mites pose no harm and resemble white specks once done with hatching and creation of colonies. A booklouse has a similar appearance to a head louse. 

Psocid mites like invading darkened and high humidity environments with mold and fungus. If you spot booklice indoors, it may mean you have a mold issue requiring an immediate solution. As well, you may find the bugs in cereals and underneath wallpapers. 

Because booklice females produce a lot of eggs, failure to thwart or control the infestation may worsen the situation. By quickly spreading, almost all your space and items like towels and hairbrushes will be invaded by insects.

6. Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are fragile and possess lean legs and elongated bodies. Like drain flies, fungus gnats revel in the existence of fungus and other organic matter in and around drains.

Also, look for the bugs in areas with moist soil or around potted plants in your home. The flies like living and breeding in the first two-three inches of soil. Although fungus gnats are harmless, they will contaminate your food if there is contact.

7. Spiders

Unlike other bugs, spiders do not breed in and around drains. Spiders crawl into drains because the slightly damp and dark environment is inviting to them. Spiders most commonly get inside and come out of abandoned or sparingly used drains.

8. Centipedes

The harmless bugs have long, segmented bodies, about one and a half inches. Every segment of the body bears a pair of legs.

Centipedes that are found in houses prefer to reside in locations that are damp and secluded. Apart from inside and around drains, centipedes may exist in bathrooms, crawl spaces, and basements. 

9. Silverfish

Like spiders, the bugs having a fish-like appearance and movement do not live in drains. Although the bugs find damp locations inviting, drains are too wet for their liking.

Silverfish often find themselves in drains since they have trouble climbing leveled vertical surfaces. A silverfish attempting to climb a shower curtain or a wall may drop in a sink and tub and find itself in a drain. 

Because silverfish like consuming sources of proteins and carbohydrates, you are likely to find the bugs inside foodstuffs like cereals. In addition, primitive insects may eat your paperwork, clothes, and upholstered furniture. 

What does a drain bug look like?

A drain bug looks like a moth. The pesky pests have a teeny-tiny body and wings with long hairs. A drain bug displays an erratic pattern of flying and has wings with unique vein patterns. The wings have tiny hairs, and when you crush them, you will see a powdery smudge. 

What causes drain bugs?

The causes of drain bugs are moistened decaying organic materials and stagnant water. The bugs and their larvae rely on the dirt and accumulated organic matter in and around drains for feeding and breeding.  

Indoor areas that may cause and attract drain bugs are bathrooms used sparingly, filthy garbage cans, moist compost, and locations with pools of rainwater.

The bugs may cause health issues, such as when you breathe in the pieces or dust of dead drain bugs. And drain bugs may pick and transport germs from their dirty environments to your living space. 

Drain beetles and how to get rid of them

Drain beetles are attracted in and around drains because of the dark and damp environment and the presence of food. To get rid of drain beetles, try reducing or eliminating the conditions that support their thriving. Get rid of drain beetles by:

1. Removing sources of food

Ensuring that the drains are not sources of food for drain beetles and other types of bugs is one great way of clearing out the pesky pests. Use a drain snake to unclog the drains and eliminate the growth of film and fungus in the pipes. 

2. Pouring hot water down the drain

When you pour boiling water into the drains, it will come into contact with, dissolve and remove some of the accumulated dirt. Thus, the environment in the drains will be less conducive for egg-laying.

Apart from water, you may also use any of the treatments available, including bleach. It is common knowledge that bleach is a corrosive chemical capable of killing eggs and larvae and jeopardizing bugs’ survival in drains. 

Baking soda and vinegar mixture may also come in handy as a natural solution for washing the larva and eggs of drain beetles down the drains. 

3. Hire a professional 

Only a professional drain bug remover can correctly deal with your issue. A professional understands the regulations surrounding pesticides and relies on practical solutions for getting rid of drain beetles.

Tiny black bugs in the bathroom with no wings

If you observe tiny black bugs in your bathroom with no wings, you may be facing a drain fly infestation.

Stagnant water or moisture in the tubs, showers, and sinks is what attracts the tiny black bugs to the bathroom. Also, if you spot teeny-tiny bugs, there is a high chance you have an infestation of fungus beetles, silverfish, booklice, or flies. 

Bugs that come out of bathtub drains + what to do

Bugs that come out of a bathtub drain will not make you happy unless you are an entomologist. Although the bugs will not damage the wood and fabrics in your home or leave you with an infectious illness, they have a tendency to annoy and disgust you. There is always the possibility that the bugs may bite.

When you see bugs coming out of bathtub drains, it is therefore essential that you try and eliminate the enabling conditions. For instance, often clean the bathroom thoroughly from top to bottom, use antibacterial gels, scrub the drains, and wipe and disinfect the trashcan.

Make sure any water or dirt under or around your trashcan is wiped off completely. Using an effective cleaning agent is vital since it will destroy and remove any accumulations in the drains and pipes, such as hair, grime, and skin cells that attract bugs and insects.

Before washing the sink, stop the water from running, and utilize a brush for cleaning. Open the sink’s P-trap to enable the removal of any clog remnants. Then, wash the sink with your preferred choice of an enzymatic cleaner for killing all the bugs, eggs, and larvae in drains and pipes.

If you fail in eliminating the issue of bugs coming out of bathtub drains yourself, consider hiring a pest control professional.  

How to stop bugs from coming up the drain

Stop bugs from coming up the drain by cleaning it at least once every month. Also, always see to it that the drains are covered with drain covers or stoppers. Blocking drains with covers, especially at night, can work wonders considering bugs like cockroaches, bed bugs, and centipedes are nocturnal.

Furthermore, avoid leaving leftovers in your kitchen sink or counter, particularly overnight. If a kitchen drain is full of food particles that can attract bugs, use a recommended sink cleaner. In case DIY efforts to stop bugs from coming up the drain are not bearing fruits, contact a specialist.

Discourage water and dirt accumulation in the drains, solve plumbing issues immediately, clean your living space regularly, and seal openings around the home. You can also see more on how to get rid of drain flies which are the most popular bugs in bathrooms and the kitchen sink.

In conclusion, as long as your drains are moving slowly and have organic debris and high humidity levels, expect to deal with a bug infestation. Be in a position to identify the different types of bugs and take appropriate preventative measures to avert a severe infestation of drain bugs at home.


  • Felix Odi

    Hi, I’m an experienced author and content creator with over 18 years of experience as a publisher. Growing up in rural areas of Bristol, FL, I developed an interest in pest control, fish farming, and poultry keeping. Farming is a main activity in the area, and pests are always part of our major setbacks. I had to learn how to get rid of them with simple DIYs.