Gadfly, Definition of Gadfly by Merriam-Webster


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Definition of gadfly

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Synonyms for gadfly


  • annoyance,
  • annoyer,
  • bother,
  • gnawer,
  • nudnik
  • ( also nudnick ) ,
  • nuisance,
  • pain,
  • persecutor,
  • pest,
  • tease,
  • teaser

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The Gadfly of Athens

The history of gadfly starts with gad, which now means «chisel» but which formerly could designate a spike, spear, or rod for goading cattle. Late in the 16th century, gad was joined with fly to designate any of several insects that aggravate livestock. Before too long, we began applying gadfly to people who annoy or provoke others. One of history’s most famous gadflies was the philosopher Socrates, who was known for his constant questioning of his fellow Athenians’ ethics, misconceptions, and assumptions. In his Apology, Plato describes Socrates’ characterization of Athens as a large and sluggish horse and of Socrates himself as the fly that bites and rouses it. Many translations use gadfly in this portion of the Apology, and Socrates is sometimes referred to as the «gadfly of Athens.»

Examples of gadfly in a Sentence

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘gadfly.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Best Drain Fly Killers [UPDATED 2020]: a Drain Gel, Foams & a Brush | Best Ways to Eliminate Sewer Flies from Your Life | Buyer’s Guide

My friends say that I have succeeded in getting rid of drain flies just because I am a professional entomologist. Well, my expertise, of course, played its part but it was my unique personal experience that made me win over those filthy pests. So I created this guide to share my experience and knowledge with those who are still struggling to do away with them. Here you will learn what attracts drain flies and how to remove them from the house.

What is the best drain fly killer?

1. InVade Bio Drain Gel
This natural solution based on citrus oil and beneficial microbes works great against drain flies. It is safe and can be used daily. Four ounces are enough to clean one drain.

2. Drain Brush to clean pipes
This bendable brush will unclog any drain. With a length of 48 inches, it can eliminate the toughest blockades. While being very flexible, it comes with firm bristles.

3. Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator to prevent breeding
The product is labeled for use in drains. Based on Hydroprene, it sterilizes insects, preventing larvae from developing. Apply the foam to both cracks and flat surfaces.

4. InVade Bio Foam for hard-to-reach places
The solution contains citrus oils and microbes that eliminate foul smell. Use it under appliances, in drains and smelly spots. The foam dissipates within 2 hours.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

Drain Fly Identification: How Not To Be Mistaken

You may have problems with distinguishing drain flies from other look-alike insects. Bleak in appearance and tiny, they do not have any expressive feature to show off, at least from a point of view of ordinary people. And as I always say, look at the behavior to see who you are dealing with. Here are some tips.

  • If the insects have been observed over the sink, bathtub drains, garbage containers, around the shower or tree holes, then these are drain flies. They can also congregate at windows and around light fixtures.

In general, drain flies feed in polluted and shallow water and thrive in a moist environment. And what is important, these insects are active at night while in the daytime they can usually be observed on the walls close to the breeding sites.

  • If they are flying near potted plants or jumping throughout the soil surface, it means that you are dealing with fungus gnats (Read about how to get rid of fungus gnats). Another kind of species, fruit flies, would swirl around ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen as well as would not certainly deny themselves the pleasure to taste stale beer (More ideas about how to successfully trap fruit flies).
  • But if they destroy fabric and are common visitors of the wardrobe, then you have faced clothes moths (Learn some useful tips on know how to get rid of clothes moths).

Where Do Drain Flies Come From And What Attracts Them?

Just as it is not storks that bring babies in our homes, so too it is not the pipes, where drain flies come from. Actually, they come from outside the house through small openings and gaps. And they do it when there is an environment they need to breed and live in.

That is why before applying any drain cleaner, you should first detect moist areas where they thrive. Secondly, eliminate all entry points you will manage to discover. Now, how to find where drain flies are coming from? The answer is all too simple: thorough inspection of the house. Easier said than done, you might argue. Agree. But here are some suggestions that will make it easier for you.

Start from outdoors

Look for damaged and draining lines near the house. For example, check the place where an air conditioning system is installed. The area you need to inspect is usually covered with concrete and is located around the roof. Pay a particular attention to shaded areas with mould on the surfaces. Do not neglect spots where water pools after rains — this is a good breeding site for drain flies.

Sometimes, your drain flies are actually not “local”. Carried on with the wind from another breeding site in the neighborhood, they become the problem of yours, first, settling outside the house and, then, penetrating into the house.

How can drain flies come from outside?

They use water supply and sewage systems to get indoors. That is why you should check toilets, especially those that are not operational or exploited rarely. Inspect sinks, shower drains, and bathtubs. One more site that can potentially attract these insects is the tiled floor, particularly where tiling is loose and can turn into a source of moisture.

What Do Drain Flies Look Like?

Drain flies are too small and you can distinguish them only under magnification. To be precise, they are 1/5 to 1/6 inch long when grown up, grayish or dark in color. Their bodies and wings are densely covered with hairs, that is why these insects look fuzzy.

They have long antennae consisting of more than a dozen segments and the wings that are much longer than the body. Such impressive wings do not make drain flies strong fliers though. To the contrary, they prefer to make irregular flights from one place to another, with a distance not exceeding several feet.

As for the eggs, normally you see them as a homogenous mass. Each egg is too tiny to be distinguished with the naked eye but this is not necessary because a typical mass is comprised of 10 to 200 eggs. One female insect can lay up to one hundred eggs that hatch within two days.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies in 8 Steps

Before starting to do anything, I developed a plan which I consistently followed. Here it is:

Step#1. Inspect all the pipes to see whether they are leaking. Clean dirty garbage cans, remove stagnant water under plant pots. Look for any leakage outdoors, in particular, in such places as beneath air conditioners or bird baths. In other words, any natural or artificial container with stagnant water should be removed or emptied.

Step#2. Detect the source of the problem. Since these pests are nocturnal, there is nothing to do but set traps that will show what kind of creatures and where exactly dwell. To this end, you should know how to trap drain flies in a proper way.

Actually, there is no rocket science here. Take a clear plastic container with one or more glue boards on the sides. Place it upon the opening that the pests are supposed to inhabit. Be patient and leave the trap for the whole night or, even better, for several nights. Another solution involves using a plastic cup greased with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. If you have drain flies trapped, congratulations — your house is infested!

Step#3. Destroy their world. Namely, the gelatinous slime on the inside surface of the pipes. But keep in mind that drain cleaners may not help because they are designed to remove clogs rather than slime. The best method of removing slime is cleaning the pipe with a plumber’s snake. But do not be lazy, do it thoroughly! Or you may take any wire brush, as long as it is flexible and long. Like Brushtech Drain Brush that is 48 inches in length. Being stiff, it bends easily and goes deep into the drain. A cost-effective and viable option that is always useful to have at hand.

Step#4. If the infestation is not severe, pour hot water down the drain. In any case, I would not advise you to use this method because it is effective only in a short period of time. The thing is that drain fly larvae are hard to drown because of their unique ability to trap air bubbles and stay underwater for many hours.

Step#5. Apply special-purpose products — drain cleaners like InVade Bio Drain Gel — that are commercially available. Scientists from Ohio State University say that the best solution is using enzyme-action products. They are made to break the sticky bond formed on the pipes or better known as the scum. Nor should you pour insecticides down a drain as this will not kill the larvae but can damage the sewer.

Step#6. Spray insect growth regulators into the drain. This will not kill the adult insects but will prevent them from laying eggs. While larvae affected by IGRs will not be able to develop further.

Step#7. Kill flying adults. You can do it in two ways. The first one adds a bit of amusement to the process of killing drain flies. I mean fly swatters and my choice here is an electric bug zapper. The second option is spraying the insects with aerosols. However, bear in mind that both methods just knock down the flying insects and do not eradicate the larvae.

Step#8. Once you have eradicated the drain fly infestation, think about what can be done to prevent their appearance in the future. If these creatures have visited your house once, they can do it again. What has to be done in this case? You need to eliminate the environment that can be turned into their breeding sites.

For example, use TubShroom device that fits inside the drain to collect hair around it. Just for a bit more than ten dollars you get a sophisticated and quite effective tool that fits any standard tub drain. I am not sure that the item will last long as it is made of silicone but you will obviously have to clean the drain more rarely. Another benefit is that water continues to flow when the device is installed and has caught hair.

How I Managed To Remove Drain Flies From The Bathroom

Not that I do not take care of my house… As an entomologist, I have to travel a lot and spend a good deal of time doing a research. And on top of all this, I am not married. Well, it just so happens that I neglected the guest bathroom because it has not been visited for a long time. No guests, no need to clean the bathroom.

But once I saw the guests there, after all. Drain flies have settled in the bathroom. I was standing and watching all this mess, wondering how come I overlooked such a severe infestation.

Then, it was time for action. First, I started with a man’s job. I took a wire brush with a very very long handle and tried to scrub the drain as hard as only the plumber could do. I had to clean it manually before anything else since no liquid solution can be a substitute for an old-school brutal force.

The next step was to generously spray an insect growth regulator down the drain. I realized that even after the most intensive pest control measures, there could be some survivors. And my task was to make them unable to lay eggs and produce new generations.

The third step was to apply drain cleaners. I have opted for foams as such formulation makes the active ingredient penetrate into the most into hard-to-reach areas. And I suppose there are lots of them — crevices in the drain, for example. So I sprayed the foam and left it overnight.

I reapplied the solution over the course of two weeks and all the unwanted guests have gone in the end. And yet, I knew that even though I did not see them, this does not mean they did not exist. That is why I purchased a huge one-gallon bottle of gel labeled to clean drains in order to use it on a daily basis throughout the month. Now there are no drain flies in the guest bathroom and I can give a party!

How To Kill Drain Flies: TOP Best Drain Fly Killers

Applying all sorts of liquid solutions provides a temporary effect but also has some advantages. This will help you to clean hard-to-reach places where a brush cannot get. And not only that, various gels and liquids will kill bacteria and disinfect the pipes and other systems, which is particularly essential for septic tanks.

Below you will find products that will help you remove drain flies from pipes, sewage and septic tanks. I have paid a special attention to the solutions capable of penetrating into the most hard-to-reach areas. These products come in different formulations — gels, foams, aerosols, powders, and liquids — so that you can choose the most convenient for you.

1. Invade Bio Drain Gel For Bathroom | Natural Solution

It will cost you some fifty dollars. Well, you might want to get something special for that kind of money. The product is based on natural ingredients, mainly citrus oil, and therefore, is safe.

Pour four ounces of the stuff directly to drains but do it regularly, on a daily basis. Re-apply it every day over the course of two weeks and then do it once a week to maintain the effect. This solution will not completely eradicate drain flies, however, their number will be reduced notably. I know people who say the gel worked great in the bathroom which was not frequently used. And don’t forget about Drain Brush!

Demodex Are Tiny, White, Parasitic Mites That Inhabit Human Skin.

Not everybody is aware of the existence of tiny white mites, called demodex or demodicosis. A lot of people may not have heard about these really tiny parasites that inhabit the skin of mammals, particularly humans. Living on the sebaceous glands as well as the hair follicles, these mites can cause a lot of skin conditions that can result to different issues and concerns among humans. According to a worldwide study that involved clinical information and epidemiological data that have been compiled by Dr. Qu Kui Zun, 97% of adults are not aware that they are carriers of Demodex mites. His study that lasted for over 48 years included over 900,000 participants with different ages, ethnicity, and occupations.

To simply put, these tiny white skin mites affect people regardless of their race, occupation, gender, or where they live. However, as a person gets older, there are more chances that he may be carrying the parasite. This may be due to the fact that kids do not produce as much sebum as adults do. Although many people carry these parasites, their skin typically remains normal and some of them do not experience any manifestation of the infestation. Even if they do not feel any effects of the demodex mites on their skin, they are still capable of transmitting the mites to other individuals. This can happen when a person gets exposed or in contact with the eyebrows, hair, or sebaceous glands found on the nose of a carrier. Because of this, it will also be wise if they get proper medication to ensure that they will have the mites under control.

On the other hand, there are also a number of people who experience the negative effects of demodicosis on their skin. It should be noted that as the number of demodex mites increase, the likelihood of suffering skin conditions also go higher. When a person has compromised immunity, the number of parasites can increase significantly. In this case, they will feel different symptoms such as swelling, itching, and many other skin disorders including the following: Demodectic Dermatitis, Blepharitis, and Demodectic Acne Rosacea, among others. Also, there are instances when they cause acne and thinning of the hair. This is not really surprising because the face and scalp produce sebum.

It is undeniable that demodicosis causes a lot of problems to affected humans. Due to the presence of varying skin conditions, a person may lose his confidence and as a consequence, his social life may be affected. This can cause unpleasant effects in a person’s life. If you have a variety of skin problems and you think that demodex white mites may be causing them, then it is high time for you to know whether or not you have the parasites. Once you discover that you are indeed affected by the mites, you can already get appropriate treatment that will improve your condition.

How to Get Rid of Bottle Flies

Last Updated on: January 28th, 2020 at 8:34 pm

Bottle flies also known as blow flies, is a bright blue green species of flies usually larger than a common house fly. These flies belong to the Calliphoridae family of flies, which are polyphyletic in origin (developed from more than one ancestral type). The most peculiar trait of these flies is that, they make a very audible buzzing sound while flying.

Bottle flies generally feed on garbage and decomposed meat and sometimes also on the wounds of live animals. The term blow fly has its roots in an old English term “fly blown”, which meant a piece of meat that had eggs laid on it. If by chance you find these flies inside your house then there must be a breeding patch somewhere inside your house.

These flies are categorized as pests as they transmit diseases by mechanical contamination of food, they are known to transmit disease causing microorganisms like – Salmonella, E-coli, etc.

Dealing With Any Of These Fly Species ?

Physical Appearance:

The most prominent feature in a blow fly for identification is its metallic blue green color. Their size varies from 6-14 mm. All the sub-species of bottle flies have blunt mouth parts and unlike horse flies they cannot bite.

Behaviour & Habitat:

Blow flies make an audible buzzing sound while flying and hence they can be very easily spotted. They generally breed near decaying meet or decomposed matter. They mostly infest wounds of cattle and lay their eggs in the open wounds.

Feeding Habits:

Bottle flies are scavengers and hence they feed on decaying meat or organic substances. They can also be seen on flowers where they consume carbohydrate rich nectar. Blow fly larvae feed on the dead tissues inside the carrion.

Life Cycle:

Bottle flies always breed during warmer months of an year. Both the initial stages of a bottle fly i.e. pupae and larva can withstand harsh winters but the adults cannot. A female bottle fly lays nearly 2000 to 3000 eggs in their lifetime the eggs. The eggs are pale yellow or gray in color.

The incubation period for these eggs is 4-5 days but in warm and humid climate it can be as low as 24 hours. After the eggs are hatched, the resulting larvae are rice shaped (9 – 22 mm) in length. Depending on the feeding site and on the substrate on which these larvae are feeding, maggots typically complete development within 4 to 10 days.

At the end of this period, the larvae burrow inside the tissue seeking pupation sites. The pupation period can be upto a week. Next, adult flies emerge from the pupa and the life cycle continues.


  • Bottle flies can do mechanical contamination by moving between food and filth.
  • Bottle flies deposit eggs inside the wounds of animals this can cause infections and sometimes blood poisoning.
  • While feeding on the dead tissue they also tend to damage the healthy tissue inside the host’s body.

Signs of bottle fly infestation:

Before learning how to get rid of bottle flies lets understand how to identify the signs of bottle fly infestation. The most prominent signs of a bottle fly infestation are the adult flies. Adult flies can be seen resting on walls or near decaying matter. You can also spot bottle flies by their characteristic buzzing sound.

If you have identified their breeding source then you could also see the bottle fly larvae crawling near the breeding source. The bottle fly larvae are rice shaped and pale yellowish in color. The only visible feature of a blow fly is their head and their hook-like mouthparts.

How to get rid of Bottle flies:

For our convenience we will divide the process to get rid of bottle flies into two parts:

Part 1: Destroying the breeding source:

In this step we will see how to destroy the breeding source of a bottle fly. This is the first and foremost step in the process, without performing this step even if you use all the sprays and traps in the world to kill bottle flies, but they will continue to grow as their breeding source will be still intact. So, this is the most important step of the process:

  1. Identify the breeding source. As I have foretold, that bottle flies breed near decaying meat and decomposed matter. Find any place inside of nearby your house that is similar to it.
  2. Next, after you have identified such a place, clean it. Place the trash receptacle with a tight-fitting lid. If there is any rotten material at the place then dispose it off immediately.
  3. Clean the place with a borax and water solution. This removes the trace that flies leave to attract other flies to an area.

Part 2: Eliminating the Adult bottle flies:

After removing the bottle fly breeding source you will only be left with adult bottle flies. Since they now have no place to lay eggs, your bottle fly problem will disappear when these adults die. To kill these adult bottle flies you could use sprays, or swatters. Below is a list of some methods that you can use to kill them:

  1. Fly Papers: These papers produce a special scent that flies can’t resist. These papers are extremely sticky so that when a fly sits on its surface it gets stuck. These papers are commercially available at a very cheap price but you can also make one at your home.
  2. Disposable fly traps: Disposable fly tarps are plastic traps, when filled with water these produce a fragrance that lures the flies. Due to its construction, once a fly enters its body it cannot move outside and gets trapped. [Read More]
  3. Chemical Sprays: There are some chemical sprays in market that kill bottle flies. These sprays usually have a quick response time and hence are preferred by many people. But I usually don’t prefer them because they are toxic and have a bad effect on the environment.

How to keep Bottle Flies from returning:

When you have removed all the bottle flies from your house it is still possible that they may invade your home again. So, follow these steps to keep them from returning:

  • Proper sanitation and garbage disposal.
  • Make sure that there is no dead animal carcass near your home. If there is one then make sure that you dispose it off properly.
  • Timely treat the wounds of your pets.
  • If the blow fly problem is severe then sprinkle your garbage cans with baking soda(generic) and poultry dust. Baking soda will dehydrate and deodorize while the poultry dust will kill any larvae if they hatch.

So, this was all from me. Hope you will find these tips helpful and do drop in your comments in case you to want to share anything.

How to Get Rid Of Drain Flies Fast

Last Updated on: January 28th, 2020 at 8:40 pm

Drain Flies also known as moth or sink flies are a common nuisance in homes. These flies live and breed in the organic matter present inside moist drains and hence they are mostly found in kitchens and bathrooms.

Drain flies are not a harmful breed of flies and despite of the fact that they come from drains, they do not transmit human diseases. And because of this, they have become an integral part of many water dependent ecosystems.

Although they are harmless but their presence in your bathroom or kitchen make you feel yucky. In this article, I am going to show you how you can get rid of these drain flies.

But before we move ahead, let’s make ourselves familiar with these pesky creatures.

Dealing With Any Of These Fly Species ?

What are Drain Flies?

Drain flies are very small (typically 2 to 5 mm in length), light grey or tan colored flies with short body and leaf shaped wings. The body and wings are covered with small hair which gives it a fuzzy appearance. Wings are too large when compared to the body, drain flies fold their wings in a characteristic roof like pattern.

Drain Flies are typically nocturnal insects and are associated with damp habitats. They are not very good at flying, they fly in a jerky, irregular pattern. Adults can be spotted resting on walls and ceilings of the infested areas. Another important thing about them is that they do not bite.

Drain flies feed on damp, organic resources that are easily available near the infested areas, such as decaying vegetation, and other microscopic plants and animals.

Drain flies lays eggs mostly in decomposing organic matter found in drains and pipes. The eggs are brown or cream in color and hatch in 32 to 48 hours. The larvae feed on the gelatinous drain matter and reach the maturity age in 9 to 14 days. Drain fly larvae are known to survive in high temperature and low oxygen conditions. Drain Flies have a life cycle of 1 to 3 weeks.

In small number, these flies can also be considered beneficial as their larvae can break down the materials that clog drains.

  • Drain flies can grow quickly and hence they can multiply in a few days creating a nuisance for you.
  • Though drain flies are not reported to transmit any diseases to humans, but they are capable of doing mechanical contamination of food stuff as they originate from a filthy source.
  • They can intensify bronchial asthma in some people.

Now let’s see how to find the infested areas and breeding sources of these drain flies.

Signs of Darin Fly Infestation:

Before learning how to get rid of drain flies, it is important to find out the drain fly infested areas. To find this we have two methods, you can use any of the two methods:

1. Spotting the Drain Flies: This is a very simple way to identify the drain fly infested areas. Here, you have to find out the drain fly adults by naked eye. The adults can be spotted resting on walls and ceilings of the infested areas. And as these flies are not good at flying so their source i.e. (breeding area) is very near to the infested area.

So, when you spot some adult drain flies, find a nearby pipe or a drain. The drain or the pipe will be acting as the breeding source for these flies. In case there are multiple pipes or drains near the infested area then you may need to use the second method to find the actual breeding source.

2. Drain Test: In this test, we are going to cover all the drains outlets and pipes with a sticky tape, so that when drain flies try to come out of the source they get stuck to the tape, giving us infestation poofs.

Follow the below steps to do this:

1. First of all, clean and thoroughly dry the drain areas in your kitchen and bathroom.

2. After this, in the evening (this is important because drain flies are most active during night), place a piece of clear tape over the drain outlets, pipes etc. in your kitchen and bathroom, place the tape with the sticky side facing downwards. Do not completely cover the drain with tape, as this will prevent flies from coming out of the drain.

3. Leave the tape overnight or a weekend if possible. After that, check the tape, if you find any flies sticking to the tape, you have found the breeding source. If not, then repeat the test for 4 more nights to account for differences in the breeding cycle.

Now let’s see how to control the growth of drain flies.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies:

For our convenience, we will divide the process of getting rid of drain flies into two parts. The first part will deal with the cleaning of drains to destroy the drain fly eggs and larvae, while the second part will deal with the killing of adult flies.

Part 1: Destroying the breeding source:

Now once you have identified the breeding source, you can begin the process of eliminating the slime and dirt deposited in your drains where these flies breed.

1. First clean the drain, from outside. And then pour 2-4 litres of warm water to moisten the drain.

2. After this, use a metal pipe brush and push it through the pipe, move it in a up and down motion to clean the sides of the pipe. You could also use a plumbing snake to pull out the grime.

3. Next, pour a drain cleaner gel into the pipe trying to coat the sides of the pipe. Drain cleaner gel is specifically formulated to remove the organic matter from the pipes.

Many people say that instead of drain cleaning gel you could also use boiling water and bleach, but these methods are not effective against drain flies because drain fly larvae can survive under high temperatures.

4. After few hours of application of the drain cleaner gel, pour plenty of water. You could also use a plunger to flush any remaining organic matter trapped in the pipe.

Part 2: Killing the adult Drain Flies:

After removing the drain fly eggs and larvae by cleaning the drain, you are only left with the adult flies. Since they now have no place to lay eggs, your drain fly problem will disappear when these adults die. To kill these adult drain flies you could use sprays, or swatters. Below is a list of some methods that you can use to kill the adult drain flies:

1. Using Chemical Sprays: You could use chemical sprays to kill the mature drain flies. But the problem with chemical sprays is that they are toxic and hence cannot be used if the infested area is kitchen.

2. Using Fly Swatters: As drain flies are mostly seen resting on the walls so it is much easier to kill them using a mechanical fly swatter. But after killing them make sure to clean the bloody mess from the walls using a damp cloth.

3. Using Liquid Dish Soap Spray: Dish Soap contains borax, which has insecticidal properties. You can take an empty spray bottle, add 5-7 drops of dish soap, and then add 2 cups of warm water. Shake the mixture and spray on the drain flies to kill them.

4. Using a Trap for drain Flies: This method is good if the infested place is your kitchen. Take a bowl and fill it with equal amount of sugar, water and white vinegar. Add 5 -10 drops of dish soap. Leave the bowl overnight beside your kitchen sink. The fragrance of this liquid will attract the drain flies and as soon as they land on it they will be immediately drowned and dead.

How to Keep Drain Fly from Returning:

To ensure that drain flies do not return to you home again, follow the below tips:

1. Keep the drains clean and clog free.

2. Make sure that there is no stagnant water in your bathroom or kitchen.

3. Occasionally spray IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) in your drains. IGR spray prevents the drain fly eggs from breaking out of the larvae stage and hence can greatly reduce the chances of any future infestation.

So, this was it. Hope you will find these methods useful and remember if the problem is severe then you may need to seek some professional help.

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