Gnats on the Bathroom Sink – How I Fixed It (Got Rid of Them)

About 2 weeks ago, I noticed there were many little flies (gnats) flying above my bathroom sink. I know them because I had a similar problem in the office. See this blog.

What’s strange about it was where they came from. My wife’s sink next to mine didn’t have them. I figured they (the gnat larvae) must be coming from the standing water in the P-trap of MY sink. Someone from the Internet suggest pouring some Clorox bleach into the sink will take care of it. So I did the same. It worked for a day or so then the gnats came back. And I poured more bleach. Not much different. Now I was mad and puzzled! Where were the larvae?

They were definitely not in the P-trap because the bleach would surely kill them. Then it’s somewhere between the sink hole and the P-trap – which was the lever rod that control the sink stopper. See below diagram: But I had used ZipIt to pull out all kinds of hair before!?
Sink Holes Anatomy

I decided to disassemble the sink rod-stopper (drain pop-up) and pulled out the pop-up stopper. This is a relatively easy procedure. Just twist off the nut cover (PP6132 part in the diagram) and slide out the rod slightly (keep all the parts together) to remove the stopper, which is hooked into the rod.

Boy, was I surprised by the gross, dark, gooey stuff along each compartment formed by the X cross section of the stopper! I almost threw up so I didn’t want to show the picture to gross everyone out. I had to use lots of tissue paper to wipe it off the stopper before installing it back.

After putting it all back, I noticed the water flow as much faster now and the gnats were all gone within a day. Evidently the larvae were all living in and feeding off the gooey stuff on the stopper. Yak!

Lessons learned:
1. Fix the slow water flow problem ASAP. Use ZipIt to pull out the hair stoppage but to remove the gooey stuff, you’d need to disassemble the sink drain pipe, starting with the stopper/rod then move on to the P-trap, then the horizontal pipe. (I’m glad I didn’t have to go on to the P-trap step).

2. Google around how people fixed their gnats problem first but use your own judgement where the problem might lie. For me, this video provided the best information for me on how to unclog the drain: