Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and see a tiny creature buzz up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you watch more of them flying around your kitchen. These irritating 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 spread 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.” Since they’re lured by moisture and decomposing food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny chunks of food. Sometimes you’ll watch them fly up out of the drain. This can be particularly frustrating if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This preserves more moisture and food debris 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 carry germs with them. This may 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 absorb, retain and transport germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them away.
Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spray insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you ought to see some fruit flies stuck to it.
Here are other barriers you can also use, all with a jar:
- Wine—Add an ounce of wine inside the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also utilize a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
- Old fruit—Same as above, but with rotten fruit in place of wine.
- Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but using apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid in addition, which makes it more difficult for flies to escape.
- 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:
- Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. Sometimes they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate as soon as you can.
- Try not to 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 prefer to keep windows open, make sure they have well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly problem, there may be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to trap water and stop foul air from moving up into your home. It also keeps flies from surviving in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and has no water seal, this can produce a fruit fly problem. Run the water and check below for a leak. If you notice one, get it fixed quickly. Leaky pipes can lead to 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 encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become unusable. The Roland J. Down Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and fix it quickly. We use a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s going on in the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and extent of the blockage. If the problem is a garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also clear leaky pipes.
If you need any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at Roland J. Down 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.