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 notice a tiny creature buzz up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you notice more of them flying around the kitchen. These aggravating 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 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.” Since they’re attracted to moisture and rotten food, they’ll often end up in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and small pieces of food. Sometimes you’ll see them fly up out of the drain. This can be notably likely if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This retains more moisture and food waste that appeals to these insects and lets them 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 serious cases of food poisoning.

What Can I Do About Them?

Owing to this bacterial exposure, 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 better to use paper towels and dispose of them.

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

Here are other ideas you can also attempt, all with a jar:

    • Wine—Place an ounce of wine in the jar. Make a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also have a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid.
    • Spoiled fruit—Same as above, but use rotten fruit instead 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 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 attracting fruit flies:

    • Rinse your produce as soon you bring it home. Sometimes they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae.
    • Refrigerate whenever you can.
    • Avoid keeping spoiled 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 open, install well-fitted screens.

If the listed methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly issue, there may be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to capture 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 create a fruit fly problem. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can cause mold and structural problems with 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 encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become unusable. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the tools, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and resolve it quickly. We utilize a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s happening within the pipes, and a number of 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 resolve leaky pipes.

If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, call 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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