Has this ever happened to you? You’re washing a dish in the kitchen sink and see a small creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you see more of them buzzing around your kitchen. These aggravating 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 exist 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.” As they’re drawn to moisture and rotting food, they’ll often end up in your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and little bits of food. In some cases you’ll watch 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 maintains more moisture and food particles that attracts these insects and enables 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 can 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?
Due to this bacterial risk, keep your surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that kills 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 kill the adult fruit flies but won’t kill the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spread insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you ought to see some fruit flies trapped to it.
Here are other traps you can also attempt, all involving a jar:
- Wine—Put an ounce of wine inside the jar. Add 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.
- 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 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 along with a teaspoon of sugar.
To prevent attracting fruit flies:
- Rinse your produce immediately after bringing it home. In some cases they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate as soon as you can.
- Try not to keep overripe produce in your home. 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 up, make sure they have well-fitted screens.
If the listed methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly infestation, there might be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and stop foul air from drifting up into your home. It also keeps flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can produce a fruit fly problem. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed right away. 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 more slowly than usual. This problem not only helps encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become useless. The Peachtree Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to diagnose the problem and solve it quickly. We utilize a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s going on within the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and extent of the blockage. If the problem is the garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also clear leaky pipes.
If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, call the professionals at Peachtree 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.