Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?
Has this ever happened to you? You’re washing a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a tiny creature buzz up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you watch more of them buzzing around your kitchen. These annoying little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wanting to know how they got in there and what you can do about them, you’re in the right place.
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies live all over the U.S., and grow quickly. According to WebMD, “An adult female fruit fly can lay up to 2,000 eggs on the surface of anything that's moist and rotting. Within 30 hours, tiny maggots hatch and start to eat the decayed food. Within two days, they're all grown up and ready to mate.” Because they’re attracted to moisture and rotting food, they’ll head for your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and little pieces of food. In some cases you’ll see them come up out of the drain. This can be notably likely if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This preserves more moisture and food particles that appeals to these insects and allows them to thrive and reproduce.
How Bad Are They?
When fruit flies move from a dirty surface to a clean one, they bring germs with them. This might include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can result in severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Due to this bacterial exposure, keep high-traffic surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can soak up, retain and transport germs. It’s cleaner to use paper towels and throw them out.
Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water in your drain. Before bed, block off your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you ought to see some fruit flies stuck to it.
Here are other traps you can also try, all involving a jar:
- Wine—Put an ounce of wine inside the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can access the wine. You can also have a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid.
- Rotten fruit—Same as above, but use rotten fruit rather than wine.
- Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but you'll use apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid added, which makes it more difficult for flies to get away.
- Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast along with a teaspoon of sugar.
To minimize attracting fruit flies:
- Clean your produce as soon you bring it home. Occasionally they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Don't keep old produce in your kitchen. Buy only what you’re going to eat.
- Empty your kitchen trash often, and keep it closed.
- Keep your surfaces clean and disinfected.
- If you want to keep windows open, make sure they have well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly infestation, there might be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and prevent foul air from drifting up into your home. It also prevents flies from surviving in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and has no water seal, this can lead to a fruit fly problem. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed quickly. Leaky pipes can lead to mold and structural damage to your home.
You should also contact a plumber if your kitchen sink or garbage disposal is draining slowly. This problem not only helps attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can entirely clog and become unusable. The Becht/Givens Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to diagnose the problem and resolve it right away. We use a video drain inspector to plainly see what’s going on in the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and intensity of the blockage. If the problem is a garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also resolve leaky pipes.
If you need any sort of plumbing service at all, call the professionals at Becht/Givens Service Experts. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers comfortable. With more than 4,000 team members, we can deliver and innovate better than anyone. Our can-do family attitude helps us get the job done on time, and right—the first time.