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280 days of Urbpandemonium #78

 photo P1020948_zps3fevnrlt.jpg

One thing I have learned time and time again as a pest control professional, is that you usually can't solve anything by throwing poison at it. This little fly (my stupid camera did a nice job for once--this fly is less than 2 mm long) lays her eggs in the bacterial slime coating the inside of a drain. The teeny maggots hatch, and feed safely within the mucusy goo. Attempts to exterminate them with bleach and other chemicals mostly deflect off the slime. The only way to interrupt the cycle is to do the hard work of scrubbing the slime out of the drain pipe with a sturdy brush. You can follow that up with maintenance treatments of a competing bacteria (several solutions are commercially available) that eat the slime-producing creatures that make the habitat for the fly. In this case, the fly is Clogmia albipunctata* usually referred to as the "filter fly," "drain fly," "bathroom fly," and so on. As pest issues go, they're pretty minor, but they have caused some fascinatingly hideous problems in rare cases: human urinary myiasis, nasal myiasis, and occupational asthma.

* You guys have been so good--what the hell does "Clogmia" mean? Is it because they live in drains, like clogs do? That can't be right. "albipunctata" means white-spotted. The family name Psychodidae uses the word "psycho" in the sense of "butterfly or moth," since these are also known as moth flies.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2015 12:18 am (UTC)
we had these last year! we cleaned our drain with baking soda and vinegar iirc, which seemed an adequate chemical scrub.
Jun. 26th, 2015 03:53 am (UTC)
I think these are the cutest. I would probably not think so if I had [fill in the blank] myiasis, but as of now they are equivalent to fluffy fruit flies in my book. Adorable harmless mildly annoying puffballs.
Jun. 26th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
Beautiful little fly and photo. Bleh to their young going up your hooha.
Jun. 28th, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC)
I know these as Owl Midges - yet another vernacular name for them. I used to have a thriving population in my bathroom but it seems to have died out. The equally thriving population of Pholcus phalangioides might have something to do with that.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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