Phorid Flies breeding somewhere in Refrigerator!!

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Old 10-04-19, 06:31 AM
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Phorid Flies breeding somewhere in Refrigerator!!

So I was in the hospital and away from my house for almost 2 weeks. When I came home I began to notice what I thought were fruit flies. After research and investigation, I believe they are Phorid flies. Iíve treated the drains and caught easily over a hundred with cups of vinegar placed on glue boards. They are in the kitchen and also Iím catching them in my bathroom. I also see them flying in my bedroom. FYI, Iíve never seen any flies around my drains, nor did I catch any by taping over the drains. After treating the drains, they did decrease considerably but then returned en force. I opened my fridge yesterday and thought I saw one fly out so began to investigate further. I cleaned the entire inside which was minimally soiled. Itís a fairly new one. The last drawer I removed was the large meat/cheese drawer and there were probably 20-30 dead flies under there. There are a couple vents under that drawer which makes me believe they must be breeding somewhere INSIDE the guts of the fridge. So....NOW WHAT!????
 
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Old 10-04-19, 11:04 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

I would think inside of those vents is too cold for them to breed. I may be wrong.

One area that can cause problems is the drip pan under the fridge. It's connected to the drain in the fridge/freezer area with a hose. You should be able to see the pan by either removing the front kick plate or pulling the fridge away from the wall and look in the back. One drop of protein like blood from meat can cause havoc.
 
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Old 10-04-19, 04:29 PM
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Along with the drip pan, see if there is an actual drain and hose from the bottom of fridge that goes to the pan. Our old fridge did, new one does not. New one actually has what look like vents on the bottom of fridge, under the drawers; have no idea what they do or where they go but things like this could be an avenue for them. You'll have to pull the drawers out.

The flies in the fridge, drain and house could all be secondary to a primary infestation somewhere else. Check pantry, closets for stored produce, especially potatoes. It's easy to forget about potatoes but when they spoil, fruit flies, phorids, etc love 'em. Though it's rare anymore, check pantry for leaking canned goods, especially tomato based cans and canned fruit and canned pet food.

Hoping you are done with the hospital; welcome home!
 
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Old 10-06-19, 05:04 AM
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Pic of under the meat and cheese drawer

I’m going to try to post the pic I took of the dead flies in the fridge under the drawer I pulled out. I think the reply that mentioned the vents on the new refrigerators is on to something. I think they either got blown or sucked up the vent on the sides under this drawer, maybe from the drain pan area or something like that. Gonna try to pull it out today and investigate. Ewwww. @PAbugman, thank you! I’m recovering very well except for these tiny torturers AND armadillos in my yard who are destroying my grass and flowers.
 
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Old 10-06-19, 06:12 AM
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They should not be able to get from the drain pan into the fridge.

The units I have seen all have a s trap or a duck bill type drain which should stop them.
Perhaps the make and model may help determine where they are breeding.

Still worth while pulling the unit out and checking the drip tray.
Could be that they flying when you open the door especially at night when they see the light.
Perhaps where they are dying is the warmest place in the fridge so that is where they go.

Since you are pulling the fridge out it would be a good time to check/clean the vents, fan blades and condenser/compressor coils.
 
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Old 10-06-19, 12:33 PM
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The evap pan is connected to the drain pan with a hose and it is not always trapped.
 
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Old 10-07-19, 05:48 AM
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Hi, thanks, the make/model is LG LFX25973D. I’m very sure those flies in the pic have not flown into the fridge as I have only ever seen a live one around the door once. They are not at all flying around the doors. I’m really very sure the one I saw around the doors was flying out and not in.
 
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Old 10-07-19, 07:07 AM
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Drain tube does look like it has a flapper on it but it is hard to tell for sure from the pictures I found.

This is a single evaporator unit so if the flies are breeding in the drip pan they have to go up into the freezer evaporator area and then be blown up into the fresh food section through the vents at the back,
So it is worth while checking this out.

I am not a bug expert but I would think that they would need a moist warm area to breed and I cannot think of such an area in side a fridge.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 04:26 AM
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So I got brave and pulled out the refrigerator yesterday. Pulled off the service panel and could not find anything live in the drip tray. There was some dried matter to one side which could have well been the larvae. But the other side of the tray has water standing and there is nothing alive in any parts that I could see. I was probably too reluctant to dig in and pull out the drain tube and such but I could not see any signs of active live larvae. I have some InVade Bio Drain that Iíve been using in the drains so I just diluted some with some water and poured it in the drip tray for good measure. I did see another live fly come out when I opened the doors yesterday (which prompted this investigation) but there are next to no new dead ones under that ďGlide and ServeĒ drawer right now. Should I just call a service man out to pull this thing apart?
 
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Old 10-09-19, 06:31 AM
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I don't know what to suggest as far as calling a repair guy. Could help, or it could be going off in the wrong direction. What about calling the manufacturers help line, if there is one, and asking about the drain line and access to it and if you could flush it out with hot water, disinfectant, etc.? I'd do that before calling someone out.

Otherwise, how is the fly density in the rest of the house? Usually, with the smaller fly species, the source is near where you find the greatest density of adults, but not always.

Another thought; if there is insulation behind/under the fridge and if it got wet then that could be a breeding ground. Very slow leaks or dampness are harder to find than are fast leaks as they evaporate before discovery, but wet enough to offer a breeding site. You probably would have smelled it though.

Don't get "locked in" on the fridge being the culprit just yet.

Do you have house plants inside? Fungus gnats are similar in size and appearance to phorids. They come from overwatered soil, especially if Spanish moss or any type of barrier covers the soil.
 
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Old 10-14-19, 09:32 AM
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Well at this point I think I may have them licked. Iíve been treating the drains for a couple weeks consistently plus pouring that enzyme stuff in the drain pan in the fridge. I put out new traps last Thursday and have only trapped one fly So I will continue my drain treatments at least weekly for awhile. Oh and I did have one plant which I took outside but didnít find any activity in it. I need to pull out that storage drawer again to see if they are still dying in there but Iím almost afraid to know. Would the larvae be obvious or are they smaller than the flies? Thanks to everyone who has replied with suggestions. I really do appreciate that!
 
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Old 10-14-19, 03:46 PM
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Sounds like you are on top of the problem. I can't tell how big or small the larvae are from the quick searches I did. Don't know if they're visible to the eye or not. I wouldn't count on it.

One time we had a small fly problem in our bathroom and were baffled as it is spotless. Turns out that underneath our shower door there was a scum buildup between the top of tub and the shower door frame that was not visible. You've covered the common places, so if the problem returns it may be time to look in unconventional places, though it seems the fridge is involved.
 
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Old 10-21-19, 09:39 AM
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Oh wow!! Good information to know! Could you see the larvae in that space or it was visible? So I think Iíve licked them. Only 3 flies on glue trap in two weeks and none are recent. And have only seen one fly loose. But I guess it only takes 2 flies to start this nightmare back up. Thanks!!
 
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Old 10-24-19, 04:52 PM
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Only saw adult flies in the shower scum, but never saw the scum until we directed water jet spray between shower frame and tub. This kind of stuff can hide right in front of us. Hoping you're experiencing good results.
 
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Old 10-27-19, 04:36 AM
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Congregated in one place

Hello,

For some strange reason Iíve been finding clusters of these flies in the middle rubber part of my fridge door. They seem to be attracted to that one particular location and theyíre flying to it, not out of the fridge. I still can not locate the source yet, but does anyone have any idea as to why theyíre attracted to this location? Iíve looked on the inside and seems the coldest part is the middle.
 
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Old 10-27-19, 07:46 AM
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Any chance that the rubber gasket has a sticky spot on it and they are simply getting stuck there as opposed to attracted to it? If so, maybe they are also attracted to whatever is sticky because of sweetness or something. Have you tried cleaning the gasket thoroughly to see if the behavior stops?

Can you post close up and non-blurry pics of these flies? There are quite a few species of small flies that invade homes and knowing their proper ID is paramount to solving the problem. The habitats, breeding, food behaviors can be quite different among the fly species which make finding the source just as different.
 
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Old 10-28-19, 04:57 AM
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Here is my fly

Hey PABugman, is this the Phorid fly I suspected it was (hope this attachment works)? Also as an update, I have not seen any flies in awhile now. The other day I was lying in bed and suddenly thereís this small fly buzzing me. Never been so grateful to see a mosquito!!!
 
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Old 10-28-19, 09:46 AM
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Hi! I've cleaned out the rubber lining on the freezer door, the inside of the fridge and also the drip pan in back. Here's a closeup picture of the bugs. For some strange reason they seem to be trying to enter the fridge in the same exact location. They are in fact not coming from inside, but outside of the fridge.
Thank you in advance.

Flies

Fridge door. Usually more.

Flies on tape
 

Last edited by Flies911; 10-28-19 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-28-19, 12:46 PM
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Wootieli:
Yep, I think that is a phorid fly. Good pic. Sounds like you might be on top of the problem now. Good Job!
 
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Old 10-28-19, 12:54 PM
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Flies911: Yes I believe those are phorid flies. Are you still seeing them in the quantities shown on the tape? Over what time frame did that amount of flies occur on the tape?
 
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Old 10-28-19, 12:56 PM
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There is a lot of good info on the internet about finding and understanding phorid flies. It's not always simple. Here is one good example of info.

https://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/phorid-flies.htm
 
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Old 11-03-19, 07:36 PM
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Thank you for the reply. I've done a deep cleaning of the kitchen and fridge and did not seem to find the source of the breeding. There's a few smaller ones still flying around but not as infested anymore. Fingers crossed they're now gone.
 
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Old 11-04-19, 04:52 AM
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Hey flies911, so I never found the source of mine either but I used these two products I found on Amazon. One is to kill the larvae in the drains. The other is to clear the gunk from the sides of the drains in which in larvae survive. I tried putting tape over the drains for a day and night to verify they were coming from the drains and never got a single fly on the tape. But this stuff did it anyhow. I used one entire bottle of the Fly Killer and thought I had my problem licked but they made a reemergence, so thatís when I also bought the biodrain stuff and a second bottle of Fly Killer. That has worked and Iím so glad to be Phorid fly free!! Oh and I also diluted some Bio Drain and put it in my fridge drip pan. Prob not a bad idea to add the Fly Killer to that too even though I never saw the larvae. But I treated every single drain in my house. Your flies look exactly like mine. I cleaned out my freezer the other day and found a long dead one.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 05:20 AM
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Back with a vengeance

I had a moment of relief but came home today and discovered an amount of phorid flies in the fridge instead of the freezer now. Seems theyíre on their second breeding and have now moved from the freezer to the fridge. Iíve never seen that many inside the fridge before and this time itís all over the bottom near the drawer. Iíve already cleaned out the drip pan and inside the fridge but today theyíve reappeared again! Iím about to buy a whole new fridge as I donít know what to do to clear it out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 04:49 PM
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Look inside the fridge but on the bottom, underneath the drawers. Is there a drain that probably goes down to the drip pan? Our previous one had that. If so, force/flush hot water and maybe a cleaner down through. Otherwise, I'm at a loss but I'll keep thinking on it. Keep us posted.
 
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