Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrubbing a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a small creature shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see more of them zooming around the kitchen. These annoying little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re asking how they got in there and what can be done about them, you’re in the right place.
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies exist 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 lured by moisture and rotting food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and small bits of food. In some cases you’ll see them fly up out of the drain. This can be notably frustrating if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This preserves more moisture and food debris that appeals to these insects and allows them to 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 might 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?
Due to this bacterial risk, 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 transfer germs. It’s better to use paper towels and dispose of them.
Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you likely don’t want to spread insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water into your drain. Before bed, block off your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you can see some fruit flies attached to it.
Here are other ideas you can also try, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Add an ounce of wine inside 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 using apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid added, which makes it much harder for flies to get away.
- Yeast—Pour in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar.
To avoid attracting fruit flies:
- Rinse your produce as soon you bring it home. In some cases they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Don't keep old produce in your kitchen. Buy only what you’re most 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, make sure they have well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t resolved 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 prevent foul air from wafting up into your home. It also keeps flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can create a fruit fly problem. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you spot one, get it fixed promptly. 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 slowly. This problem not only helps breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become unusable. The Calverley Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and expertise to determine the problem and resolve it right away. We use a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s occurring within the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and extent of the blockage. If the problem is your 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, get in touch with the professionals at Calverley Service Experts. 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.