Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrubbing a dish in the kitchen sink and watch a small creature shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see more of them buzzing around the kitchen. These annoying 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 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 drawn to moisture and rotten food, they’ll head for your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and small bits of food. In some cases you’ll see them appear up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This retains more moisture and food particles that draws these insects and enables them to thrive and reproduce.
How Bad Are They?
When fruit flies move from a dirty surface to a clean one, they carry germs with them. This can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can cause severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Owing to this bacterial risk, keep high-traffic 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 kill the eggs. And you likely don’t want to apply insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you can see some fruit flies trapped to it.
Here are other barriers you can also try, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Add an ounce of wine into the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also utilize a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
- Spoiled fruit—Same as above, but use 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 added, which makes it much 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 immediately after bringing it home. Occasionally they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Avoid keeping old produce in your house. 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, install well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, 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 keep foul air from drifting up into your home. It also keeps flies from hiding 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 check below for a leak. If you find one, get it fixed right away. Leaky pipes can encourage mold and structural damage to your home.
You should also contact a plumber if your kitchen sink or garbage disposal is draining slowly. This problem not only helps attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become inoperable. The Falso Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and know-how 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 multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is the garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also resolve leaky pipes.
If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at Falso 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.