Flies In The Toilet
Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:24 AM
I thought they might be coming into the black tank via the sewer. That would make sense but I leave the dump valve closed. I promise that I was not inebriated when the phenomenon occurred.
Has anyone had the same experience? And how did you resolve the issue.
2005 Liberty Toad
Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:51 AM
The larvae live in the crud on the sides of the drains. On the black tank I don't know where they live. You might have to Google them (sewer flies) and see if there are any insecticides that will work.
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), katie & Kelli (cats)
Full timer domiciled in SD for 11 years. Now snow birds with a house in western CO
2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N - Workhorse chassis
Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:13 PM
Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:14 PM
I'm sure that something like a chlorine bleach would take care of them but there may be better choices. I'm sure someone will chime in with a cure.
Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles
After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!
"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux
Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:40 AM
This article was in response to purchaser of used motorhome who tried using half gallon of ammonia; without success. www.fmca.com/index.php/house-calls/2871-house-calls-november-2009
Now, on to your bug problem. Evidently you are experiencing an onslaught of sewer flies, also called drain gnats, among other names (some of which cannot be printed here). Depending on your specific variety, the scientific name is probably either Psychoda alternata or Psychoda cinerea. They are sometimes found in RV holding tanks, since they thrive on moist organic waste, especially solid waste. Just the kind of stuff you’d find in a black holding tank, particularly one that has not been cleaned, flushed, or maintained adequately. Chances are, at some point, your new-to-you motorhome was probably stored without the holding tanks being flushed, cleaned, and emptied completely.
Thankfully, sewer flies do not bite, but they can be very annoying and even dangerous at times. Because they are born among decaying filth and waste, they have the capability to transfer bacteria to kitchen surfaces, etc. Prolific little creatures, they lay their eggs in masses of anywhere from 10 to 200 groups, according to one report I researched. The eggs hatch approximately 32 to 48 hours after being laid, and the larvae resemble small worms. The flies mature in about two weeks and simply keep reproducing until they die or are eradicated. Keep in mind, new adults continue to emerge from the pupae every 20 to 40 hours! The adults live approximately two weeks.
For short-term relief, published reports recommend using a spray can of an insecticide containing pyrethrins (natural insecticides produced by certain species of the chrysanthemum plant) or resmethrin. A treatment using this type of insecticide should knock the adults down for a while. I must admit, however, that I’ve never personally tried the insecticide route. If you do, always follow the proper safety precautions for pesticide use, especially inside the motorhome. After killing the flies in the immediate area, be sure to sufficiently vent the entire RV. Read the precautions on the spray can carefully.
But the best defense against long-term infestation is to simply keep the holding tanks flushed and clean during periods of nonuse. In your particular instance, it may be necessary to have your holding tanks hydro-cleaned (visit www.allprowaterflow.com for information about one company that performs this service). Because dried waste can stick to the sides and bottom of the holding tank or clog the tank outlet, simply draining and flushing with fresh water may not be enough to dislodge all contaminants. And as you flush the toilet, the added moisture imbues new life into the larvae, prolonging the infestation. The bottom line is that the toilet drain and the black holding tank must be thoroughly cleaned prior to placing the motorhome in storage.
Although some people may not favor a holding tank additive, the proliferation of sewer flies is one strong case to indeed employ one. An enzyme-based, formaldehyde-free additive, one that helps digest the solids, is my recommendation. I’ve personally seen an infestation so severe that the flies had backed up into the integral tubing inside the toilet. The toilet had to be completely disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled. It was quite time-consuming. I hope your situation isn’t that bad. But it does mandate at least a complete inspection of the toilet and other components, such as the vent pipe for the black holding tank. It’s not the end of the world, obviously, but it is quite annoying.
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