The small, black worms appearing in your toilet bowl are most likely drain fly larvae. You’ll need to clean out your drains to get rid of the worms and the gnat-like flies that follow. Let’s talk about the 9 best ways to do that!
1. Boiling Water
Drain flies live in standing water where scum and muck build up. These tiny insects are harmless but pesky and quite disgusting. They lay their eggs in the slime that builds up in drains, which leads to their larvae appearing in toilet bowls.
Pour boiling water a few times a week not just down your toilet bowl, but every other drain in your house to kill off the drain fly eggs and clean out your drains.
The plumbing in your house is all interconnected, so you have to pour that hot water down every possible drain! Do this a few times a week and see if you still get worms in your toilet bowl.
Bleach kills pretty much anything, so flushing bleach down the toilet will kill those pests! Bleach will kill anything living in your drain, but unfortunately, it can also be toxic if not used safely. Wear gloves and open up windows and doors to prevent any build-up of fumes. Pour the bleach into your toilet bowl and let it sit, doing the same to other drains in your home.
This will require pouring a lot of bleach since you have to get all the pipes in your house, so open all the windows and doors! Let it air out. You could try doing the pipes one at a time, but don’t do them too far apart so the worms don’t have a chance to just move to another pipe. Try to do it over one or two days.
You can use bleach or ammonia interchangeably depending on what you have on hand, but do not mix them! Bleach and ammonia are different chemicals that make a poisonous gas when combined, so only ever use one or the other!
If you’re not using bleach, use ammonia to kill anything in your drains and clean out whatever gunk they happen to be living in. Like with bleach, this chemical can be irritating to the skin, eyes, and lungs, so air it out and try not to use too much all at once.
Did you know Coca-Cola can clean drains? It contains high enough levels of acid to clear away a lot of muck and grime. It isn’t perfect, because it can leave a sugary residue, so you might want to follow it with some hot water, but it’s caustic enough to clear out drain block ups and kill the eggs and larvae living in pipes.
Pour about two liters of Coca-Cola or another caustic soda down your toilet bowl while flushing. Don’t forget to also pour it down other drains in your house. You need to kill all the eggs and worms in every pipe to really get rid of them.
5. Drain Cleaner
Good old reliable drain cleaner is also an option! These strong chemicals will kill off any worms and destroy their breeding grounds. Any drain cleaner will work, but the stronger the better. Use it in your toilet and other drains a few times to clean them out and kill those gross worms.
Drain cleaner is made specifically for this purpose, so it’s the most reliable option to clear out the plumbing. Wear gloves and handle carefully, as drain cleaners can contain caustic chemicals that are harsh on your skin. You should also open a couple of windows to air out those fumes and prevent that chemical smell.
6. Hair Removal Cream
It’s not the most conventional, but it does work! Hair removal cream contains chemicals designed to destroy hair, which is most often what’s clogging up drains and giving the worms a place to breed. Remove the breeding grounds, and you won’t get worms! Plus, this is a tough chemical that can kill small organisms, so it will kill the worms and eggs.
Pour down the toilet and all other drains and let it sit for a few hours before flushing it down. This stuff is caustic, so handle it with the same caution you would give the other harsh chemicals on this list.
7. Manually Cleaning the Drain
You want to destroy the flies’ habitat in your plumbing, and this is one way to do that! Get a plunger and possibly a drain snake and clean out the pipes manually to get all the muck and buildup.
Wear gloves when you do this, and I would recommend getting a throwaway container like a plastic shopping bag to put all the muck in so you can throw it away immediately and not let it sit in your trash.
Use a drain snake or wire hanger to clean out the other pipes in your house as well. This is nasty business, but it’s better than having worms breeding in your pipes.
8. Dish Soap
Dish soap is designed to cut into grease and kill off any bacteria. It can also kill pests like drain flies and their larvae. Dish soap is great because it’s harmless to humans and not toxic, so you don’t need to worry about wearing gloves, inhaling the soap, or getting it on your clothes. You will have to use a lot of it though.
Pour lots of dish soap down your toilet bowl while flushing it down the drain. You should also pour it down other drains and let them sit for a couple of hours before running hot water down them.
9. Baking Soda and Vinegar
This is one of the easiest and more reliable ways to clean out a drain without harsh chemicals. Vinegar and baking soda have an instant and explosive reaction (remember those baking soda volcanoes from eighth-grade science?) that can unclog drains and clean out all the scum that drain flies breed in.
Pour a couple of cups of baking soda into your toilet bowl and add a roughly equal amount of vinegar (the kind of vinegar doesn’t matter, they all react the same). Wait for it to bubble up, then flush it down.
Pour some baking soda down the other drains in your house and chase it with some vinegar too, because the flies could be breeding in those pipes as well.