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 notice a tiny creature shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you see more of them flying around your kitchen. These annoying little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wanting to know 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 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 often end up in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and small chunks of food. In some cases you’ll see them fly up out of the drain. This can be particularly likely if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that drains slowly. This maintains more moisture and food particles that draws these insects and enables 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 might 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 exposure, keep your home’s surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and exchange germs. It’s cleaner to use paper towels and throw them out. 

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

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

  • Wine—Add an ounce of wine inside the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also have a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid. 
  • Rotten fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit instead 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 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 and a teaspoon of sugar. 

To prevent bringing in fruit flies: 

  • Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. Sometimes they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae. 
  • Refrigerate whenever you can. 
  • Avoid keeping spoiled 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 like to keep windows raised, install well-fitted screens. 

If the above methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly infestation, there could also be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the part of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to trap water and stop foul air from drifting up into your home. It also stops 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 create a fruit fly problem. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can cause 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 attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become unusable. 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 utilize a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s happening within the pipes, and a variety of 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 handle leaky pipes. 

If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, call 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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