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Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and see a tiny creature shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see 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 may be done 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 lured by moisture and rotten food, they’ll often end up in your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is filled with moisture and tiny bits of food. In some cases you’ll see them appear up out of the drain. This can be especially likely if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This preserves more moisture and food waste that appeals to these insects and lets them thrive and reproduce.

How Bad Are They?

When fruit flies move from a dirty surface to a clean one, they lug germs with them. This can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to acute cases of food poisoning.

What Can I Do About Them?

Because of this bacterial risk, keep your home’s surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that kills bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and exchange germs. It’s cleaner 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 likely don’t want to spray insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you can see some fruit flies stuck to it.

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

    • Wine—Place an ounce of wine inside the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can access the wine. You can also use a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid.
    • Rotten fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit rather than wine.
    • Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but using 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—Add 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 you bring it home. Occasionally they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
    • Refrigerate whatever you can.
    • Avoid keeping overripe produce in your home. 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 up, put in some well-fitted screens.

If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, there might be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the part of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and keep foul air from moving up into your home. It also stops flies from surviving 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 spot one, get it fixed right away. 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 slower than usual. This problem not only helps breed 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 equipment, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and solve it right away. We utilize a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s happening in the pipes, and a variety 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 handle leaky pipes.

If you need 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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