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 watch a small creature buzz up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you notice 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 can 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.” Because they’re drawn to moisture and rotting food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is filled with moisture and small bits of food. Occasionally you’ll notice them fly up out of the drain. This can be particularly likely if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This preserves more moisture and food particles that attracts these insects and enables them to thrive and reproduce.

How Bad Are They?

When fruit flies transfer 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 your 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 better to use paper towels and dispose of them.

Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spread insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you ought to see some fruit flies stuck to it.

Here are other barriers you can also try, all with a jar:

  • Wine—Add an ounce of wine into the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can access the wine. You can also have a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
  • Old fruit—Same as above, but use 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 much harder for flies to escape.
  • Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast as well as a teaspoon of sugar.

To avoid encouraging fruit flies:

  • Wash your produce as soon you bring it home. Sometimes they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
  • Refrigerate as soon as you can.
  • Try not to keep overripe 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 eliminated your fruit fly infestation, there may be a problem with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to capture water and stop foul air from moving up into your home. It also prevents flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can produce a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed right away. Leaky pipes can encourage mold and structural damage to your home.

You should also contact a plumber if your kitchen sink or garbage disposal is draining slower than usual. This problem not only helps attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become inoperable. The Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning plumbing team has the tools, experience and expertise to diagnose the problem and resolve it promptly. We employ a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s happening inside the pipes, and a number of methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is the garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also fix leaky pipes.

If you want any sort of plumbing service at all, call the professionals at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. 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.

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