Has this ever happened to you? You’re washing a dish in the kitchen sink and see a small creature buzz up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see more of them zooming around the kitchen. These aggravating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wondering how they got in there and what may be done about them, you’re in the right place.
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies survive 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.” Because they’re drawn to moisture and rotten food, they’ll head for your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny bits of food. Sometimes you’ll see them come up out of the drain. This can be particularly likely if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This retains more moisture and food debris 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 lug germs with them. This might 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?
Owing to this bacterial exposure, keep your surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that destroys bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and transfer germs. It’s better to use paper towels and throw them out.
Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you likely don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you can see some fruit flies attached to it.
Here are other ideas you can also use, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Place 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.
- Spoiled fruit—Same as above, but with 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 in addition, which makes it harder for flies to escape.
- Yeast—Pour in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast as well as a teaspoon of sugar.
To avoid bringing in fruit flies:
- Wash your produce immediately after bringing it home. Occasionally they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whenever you can.
- Don't keep 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 prefer to keep windows open, install well-fitted screens.
If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly problem, there may be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and keep foul air from wafting up into your home. It also stops 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 infestation. Run the water and check below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed quickly. 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 slowly. This problem not only helps attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can entirely clog and become unusable. The Norrell Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and know-how to diagnose the problem and fix it quickly. We employ 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 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 fix leaky pipes.
If you want any sort of plumbing service at all, call the professionals at Norrell 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.