I observed hundreds of this small insect outside and inside my laundry room on the ground level. They appear to be coming from a floor drain in the laundry room (more detail below).

I am confused because they do not appear to be drain flies. Here are photos:

More pics in this Imgur Library

They have transparent wings that they seem to quickly drop (and leave everywhere). They are long and skinny.


  • I live in a townhouse on a concrete slab. The laundry room is on the bottom level directly on the slab.
  • There is a 2.5" PVC drain opening in the laundry room floor that runs below the slab. It is completely uncovered. I don't know how it's routed from there.
  • The purpose of the floor drain is to allow A/C condensate + emergency overflow from the water heater pan into the drain. There are two 3/4" PVC pipes just stuck into the 2.5% PVC "hole in the floor" and that's it.

Here's what I've tried so far:

  • (Twice:) Baking soda and vinegar down the drain
  • Wait 24 hours, boiling water down the drain
  • Wait 24 hours, hose water down the drain for several minutes to try to flush everything out

Today there were hundreds more, and when I shine a light down the drain it looks nasty again. Two questions:

  • What kind of insect are these? I think knowing this may help me if I need to hire outside help.
  • How can I get rid of these? I was looking at maybe getting some commercial enzyme cleaner on Amazon to try to dislodge whatever matter might be in the drain that they are feeding on. I do also have a drain snake. Open to any suggestions.
  • 2
    My first guess, it is a termite, now it is the season for them to relocate by flying
    – Traveler
    Apr 1, 2023 at 23:57
  • Run some bleach down the drain, install a mosquito net on the outside of the drain pipe
    – Traveler
    Apr 1, 2023 at 23:59
  • Eeeeeeeeeewwwww Apr 2, 2023 at 5:07
  • 1
    Both ants and termites can have wings. Termites have a thick waist. Those look like termites. The bad news is those are young termites, which means you probably have an infestation. Apr 2, 2023 at 6:39
  • Termites for sure. extension.umd.edu/resource/termites
    – Huesmann
    Apr 3, 2023 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


Most likely termites.

This is from Orkin:Termite swarmers can be black. Swarmers of the most common species, subterranean termites, have black bodies and clear, veined wings. Drywood swarmers are generally not dark black in color.

If there are many and it is a problem you would do yourself a favor and schedule a termite inspection to mitigate any damage there may be.


Those are termites. Need an inspection to determine how much, if any damage. If treatment is warranted, go for termite treatment and not termite baiting/ bait traps where they insert bait tubes in the ground around your structure. (Take this from a licensed pest control operator for over twenty years.)(Worked for Orkin and Terminix and then my own company for twelve years.)

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