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 fly up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see more of them flying around the kitchen. These annoying little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re asking 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 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 drawn to moisture and decomposing food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and little pieces of food. Occasionally you’ll see them come up out of the drain. This can be particularly bad if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that drains slowly. This retains more moisture and food particles that attracts 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 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?

Due to this bacterial exposure, keep high-traffic surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that destroys bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and transfer germs. It’s better to use paper towels and throw them out.

Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t kill the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spread insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water down your drain. Before bed, block off your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you ought to see some fruit flies attached to it.

Here are other barriers you can also attempt, all involving a jar:

    • Wine—Pour an ounce of wine into the jar. Make a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can get in. You can also utilize a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
    • Old fruit—Same as above, but with rotten fruit instead of wine.
    • Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but you’ll use apple cider vinegar.
    • Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid in addition, which makes it much harder for flies to break free.
    • Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar.

To prevent bringing in fruit flies:

    • Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. Sometimes they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
    • Refrigerate whatever you can.
    • Don’t keep 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 prefer to keep windows raised, make sure they have well-fitted screens.

If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly problem, there may be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the part of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to trap water and stop foul air from drifting up into your home. It also stops 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 create a fruit fly problem. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you notice one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can encourage mold and structural damage to your home.

You should also hire a plumber if your kitchen sink or garbage disposal is draining more slowly than usual. This problem not only helps encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can entirely clog and become unusable. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the equipment, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and resolve it right away. We use a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s occurring inside the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is a garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also handle leaky pipes.

If you want any sort of plumbing service at all, get in touch with 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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