Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrubbing a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a tiny creature buzz up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you watch more of them buzzing around the 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 mate 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 frequently appear in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and small pieces of food. In some cases you’ll notice them come up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that drains slowly. This preserves more moisture and food debris that appeals to 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 bring germs with them. This can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can cause severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Because of this bacterial risk, keep high-traffic surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that kills bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can soak up, retain and exchange germs. It’s better to use paper towels and throw them away.
Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spray insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you should see some fruit flies stuck to it.
Here are other barriers you can also try, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Place an ounce of wine into the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also use a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid.
- Old fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit rather than wine.
- Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but using 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 avoid bringing in fruit flies:
- Rinse your produce immediately after bringing it home. Sometimes they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate as soon as you can.
- Try not to keep spoiled 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 like to keep windows open, put in some well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t resolved your fruit fly issue, there might be a problem with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and prevent foul air from wafting 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 has no water seal, this can create a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you notice one, get it fixed quickly. Leaky pipes can lead to mold and structural problems with 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 fully clog and become unusable. The Comfortech Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and knowledge to identify the problem and solve it promptly. We use a video drain inspector to plainly see what’s going on within the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and extent of the blockage. If the problem is a garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also resolve leaky pipes.
If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at Comfortech 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.