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 shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see more of them buzzing around your kitchen. These annoying little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wondering how they got in there and what can be done 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 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. Sometimes you’ll notice them come up out of the drain. This can be particularly frustrating if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This preserves more moisture and food debris that attracts these insects and allows them to thrive and reproduce.

How Bad Are They?

When fruit flies transfer 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 risk, keep your surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and exchange germs. It’s better to use paper towels and throw them out.

Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spray insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you should see some fruit flies trapped to it.

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

    • Wine—Pour an ounce of wine inside the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also use a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid.
    • Rotten fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit in place 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 as well, which makes it harder for flies to get away.
    • Yeast—Add two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar.

To prevent attracting fruit flies:

    • Clean your produce immediately after bringing it home. Occasionally they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
    • Refrigerate whatever you can.
    • Don’t keep spoiled produce in your house. 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 like to keep windows up, make sure they have well-fitted screens.

If the listed methods haven’t resolved your fruit fly infestation, there may be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the part of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and stop foul air from wafting up into your home. It also prevents flies from living in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and is missing a water seal, this can create a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you find one, get it fixed right away. Leaky pipes can cause 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 encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become useless. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the tools, experience and knowledge to diagnose the problem and solve it promptly. We employ a video drain inspector to plainly see what’s happening in 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 clear leaky pipes.

If you want any sort of plumbing service at all, contact 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 satisfied. 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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