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 notice more of them buzzing around the kitchen. These irritating 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 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 decomposing food, they’ll often end up in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and little chunks of food. Occasionally you’ll see them come up out of the drain. This can be especially bad if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This maintains more moisture and food particles that attracts these insects and lets them 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 may include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can result in severe cases of food poisoning.

What Can I Do About Them?

Because of this bacterial risk, keep your home’s surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can soak up, retain and exchange germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them away.

Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you likely don’t want to spread insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you ought to see some fruit flies attached to it.

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

    • Wine—Put an ounce of wine into the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can get in. You can also use a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
    • Rotten fruit—Same as above, but with rotten fruit in place of wine.
    • Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but with 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 as well as a teaspoon of sugar.

To prevent encouraging fruit flies:

    • Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. Sometimes they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae.
    • Refrigerate as soon as you can.
    • Try not to keep old produce in your home. Buy only what you’re going 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 listed methods haven’t resolved 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 capture water and prevent foul air from drifting up into your home. It also prevents flies from surviving in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and is missing a water seal, this can lead to a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you notice one, get it fixed quickly. 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 breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become inoperable. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the equipment, experience and knowledge to diagnose the problem and resolve it right away. We employ a video drain inspector to obviously 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 need 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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