Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?
Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrubbing a dish in the kitchen sink and see a tiny creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you notice more of them zooming around your kitchen. These aggravating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wanting to know how they got in there and what may be done about them, you’re in the right place.
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies live all over the U.S., and mate 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.” As they’re drawn to moisture and rotten food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny bits of food. Sometimes you’ll watch them appear up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This maintains more moisture and food particles that draws these insects and lets them thrive and reproduce.
How Bad Are They?
When fruit flies transfer from a dirty surface to a clean one, they lug germs with them. This might include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Owing 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 attract, retain and transport germs. It’s cleaner to use paper towels and throw them out.
Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spray insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you ought to see some fruit flies stuck to it.
Here are other traps you can also use, all involving a jar:
- Wine—Add an ounce of wine inside the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can get in. You can also have a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
- Old fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit rather than wine.
- Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but with apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid as well, which makes it more difficult for flies to escape.
- Yeast—Pour in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast along with a teaspoon of sugar.
To avoid encouraging fruit flies:
- Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. In some cases they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate as soon as you can.
- Avoid keeping old produce in your house. Buy only what you’re likely to eat.
- Empty your kitchen trash often, and keep it closed.
- Keep your surfaces clean and disinfected.
- If you want to keep windows raised, install well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, there could also be a problem with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and keep foul air from drifting up into your home. It also prevents flies from surviving in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and is missing a water seal, this can produce a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you notice one, get it fixed quickly. Leaky pipes can encourage mold and structural problems with your home.
You should also contact a plumber if your kitchen sink or garbage disposal is draining more slowly than usual. This problem not only helps attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become unusable. The Winnipeg Supply Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and resolve it quickly. We use a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s happening within the pipes, and a number of methods to clean them, depending on the type and intensity of the blockage. If the problem is the garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also resolve leaky pipes.
If you want any sort of plumbing service at all, get in touch with the professionals at Winnipeg Supply Service Experts. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers satisfied. 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.