Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?

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. Is that a gnat? Then you watch 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 you can do 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 rotting food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and little pieces of food. In some cases you’ll see them fly up out of the drain. This can be notably likely if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This preserves more moisture and food waste 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 carry germs with them. This might 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 surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that kills bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and transport germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them out. 

Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t kill the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to apply insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you should see some fruit flies attached to it. 

Here are other barriers you can also try, all utilizing a jar: 

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

To prevent encouraging fruit flies: 

  • Clean your produce as soon as you take it home. Sometimes they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae. 
  • Refrigerate whenever you can. 
  • Don’t keep overripe produce in your kitchen. 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 prefer to keep windows up, make sure they have well-fitted screens. 

If the above methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly problem, 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 keep foul air from wafting up into your home. It also prevents flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and is missing a water seal, this can produce a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you find one, get it fixed promptly. 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 slower than usual. This problem not only helps encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become useless. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to determine the problem and fix it quickly. We utilize a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s occurring within the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and intensity 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 need 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 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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