How to Get Rid of RV Bathroom Flies
You arrive at your camper ready to clean it up and get it ready for the camping season. Only instead of being greeted by a few spider webs, you find tiny flies crawling and flying all around the drain in your bathroom sink.
We look at why this may have happened, what you can do to get rid of these pests, and how to prevent such a problem in the future.
Let’s dig in!
Why Are There Flies or Gnats in Your RV Bathroom?
Insect larvae are usually hidden. You don’t see them until they’re not larvae anymore. Typically, insects will lay their eggs near waste, usually in bathrooms near sewer waste and kitchens near food waste.
This is why you’ll find gnats, flies, and other insects around the toilet or kitchen sink, especially in an RV with black and gray tanks underneath.
Can Sewer Flies Affect Your Health?
Don’t panic if you find flies or gnats in your bathroom or anywhere in your RV. A few of them aren’t going to do much damage. However, if you leave them alone, these insects will reproduce. Then you might have a much bigger problem.
The flies and gnats themselves don’t transmit diseases to people, but they can carry bacteria from the waste and spread it around your RV.
How Do You Get Rid of RV Bathroom Flies?
First, try to be proactive rather than reactive. Before ever seeing your first fly or gnat, keep all surfaces sanitized. Keep your waste tank clean and sanitized as well. Sometimes these pests will still show up. But by keeping your RV bathroom clean, dry, and as bacteria-free as possible, you can eliminate a problem before it exists.
However, if you find that gnats have invaded your bathroom, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. Let’s take a look.
Dilute Your Black Tank with Bleach
Diluted bleach and non-chlorine bleach are safe to use in your black tank. Odors signify bacteria, which means a breeding ground for those tiny bathroom flies. You must clean out your black tank to get rid of the bacteria and protect your RV. Using too much chlorine bleach can harm the seals and gaskets and kill good bacteria. So by diluting the bleach, you’ll safely sanitize your black tank.
Usually, this means combining a quarter cup of bleach with a gallon of water, although this can vary depending on the size of your black tank. Always wear gloves and protective glasses when using bleach. Empty the black tank entirely and then empty the gray tank to flush out any residual waste.
Hurry Up and Wait
Fill the black tank to about ⅔ full with water by flushing your toilet. You can sanitize the black tank now with the diluted bleach solution. Don’t leave it in the tank any longer than 10 minutes but long enough for the solution to break down any waste left in the tank and break apart the bacteria growing inside.
Drain and Rinse
Keep draining and refilling the black tank as long as necessary to get rid of the odor. Once complete, fill and flush the toilet a few times to fill the bottom of the black tank. If you skip this step, the first waste that goes down will get stuck to the bottom of the black tank and may not drain properly.
Can You Get Rid of Bathroom Flies Without Bleach?
If you’d rather clean the black tank with a natural solution rather than bleach, it’s possible. You can use a baking soda and vinegar solution followed by boiling water. First, clean the drain with an appropriate cleaning tool.
Next, pour half a cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar down the drain. Leave the solution for 15-30 minutes. Then pour a gallon of boiling water down the drain to thoroughly flush out any remaining bacteria or waste.
You can also get rid of sewer flies by using an apple cider solution. Because these insects are attracted to the smell, you can use it as bait to trap them. Pour a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar in a bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and poke holes in the top. Place the bowl near the drain to trap the flies and gnats. They’ll be able to get in, but not out.
How to Keep Your RV Bathroom Fly Free
It’s crucial to keep your bathroom and kitchen clean. By removing waste and bacteria, you’re getting rid of food for insects. They won’t lay eggs where there isn’t food. Keep the RV bathroom and kitchen dry, also. And properly maintain your black and gray tanks to keep waste build-up from attracting gnats and flies.
Stay On Top of Cleaning to Prevent Bathroom Flies
It’s easy to keep flies away, but you have to stay on top of cleaning your RV – especially the bathroom and plumbing. Sometimes pests show up even after a thorough cleaning, but if you can keep your home on wheels sanitized, and free of bacteria, you’ll be doing what you can to prevent infestations and problems. Keep your tanks on your regular maintenance list, or you’ll regret it later. When’s the last time you cleaned out your black tank?
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