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 see a tiny creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you see more of them flying around your kitchen. These aggravating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re asking how they got in there and what can be done 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.” As they’re attracted to moisture and rotten food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is filled with moisture and small pieces of food. Occasionally you’ll see them fly up out of the drain. This can be notably bad if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This retains more moisture and food debris that attracts these insects and lets them thrive and reproduce. 

How Bad Are They? 

When fruit flies transfer from a dirty surface to a clean one, they carry germs with them. This may include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can cause severe 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 attract, retain and transfer germs. It’s cleaner to use paper towels and dispose of them. 

Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you likely don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water down your drain. Before bed, block off your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you should see some fruit flies stuck to it. 

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

  • Wine—Put an ounce of wine in the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can get in. You can also have 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 using apple cider vinegar. 
  • Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid as well, which makes it harder for flies to escape. 
  • Yeast—Add two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. 

To minimize bringing in fruit flies: 

  • Clean your produce immediately after bringing it home. Occasionally they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae. 
  • Refrigerate whenever 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 prefer to keep windows up, put in some well-fitted screens. 

If the above methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly issue, there may 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 keeps flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and has no water seal, this can produce a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed quickly. Leaky pipes can cause mold and structural problems with your home. 

You should also call 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 completely clog and become unusable. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the equipment, experience and know-how to identify the problem and solve it right away. We utilize a video drain inspector to plainly see what’s going on inside 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 want 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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