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 fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you watch more of them zooming around the kitchen. These irritating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re asking 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 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 lured by moisture and rotten food, they’ll often end up in your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and small pieces of food. Occasionally you’ll watch them fly up out of the drain. This can be notably bad if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This maintains more moisture and food particles that appeals to these insects and allows 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 can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to serious cases of food poisoning.

What Can I Do About Them?

Owing to this bacterial risk, keep your surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that kills bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and transport germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them away.

Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to apply insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you should see some fruit flies attached to it.

Here are other ideas you can also use, all involving a jar:

    • Wine—Put an ounce of wine inside the jar. Make 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.
    • Rotten fruit—Same as above, but with rotten fruit instead of wine.
    • Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but with apple cider vinegar.
    • Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid added, which makes it 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 prevent bringing in fruit flies:

    • Wash your produce as soon you bring it home. In some cases they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
    • Refrigerate whatever you can.
    • Try not to keep overripe produce in your home. 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 prefer to keep windows raised, put in some well-fitted screens.

If the listed methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly infestation, there might be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to capture water and prevent foul air from wafting 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 lacks a water seal, this can produce a fruit fly problem. Run the water and check below for a leak. If you spot one, get it fixed right away. Leaky pipes can cause mold and structural problems with your home.

You should also hire 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 useless. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the tools, experience and expertise to determine the problem and solve it promptly. We use a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s going on inside the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and extent of the blockage. If the problem is the garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also clear leaky pipes.

If you want any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers happy. 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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