Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrubbing a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a tiny creature shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you notice more of them flying around the kitchen. These aggravating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wondering how they got in there and what may be done about them, you’re in the right place.
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies live 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.” Since they’re drawn to moisture and rotten food, they’ll head for your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny bits of food. Occasionally you’ll watch them come up out of the drain. This can be particularly frustrating if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that drains slowly. This preserves more moisture and food debris 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 bring germs with them. This might include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can cause serious cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Owing 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 exchange germs. It’s best to use paper towels and dispose of them.
Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you likely don’t want to spray insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you can see some fruit flies trapped to it.
Here are other traps you can also use, all involving a jar:
- Wine—Put an ounce of wine inside the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can get in. You can also use a funnel or paper cone in the place of a lid.
- Rotten fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit rather than wine.
- Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but you'll use apple cider vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid in addition, which makes it more difficult for flies to break free.
- Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast along with a teaspoon of sugar.
To minimize attracting fruit flies:
- Clean your produce as soon as you take it home. Sometimes they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Avoid keeping old produce in your home. 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 open, make sure they have well-fitted screens.
If the listed methods haven’t resolved 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 trap water and keep foul air from moving up into your home. It also stops flies from living 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 search below for a leak. If you spot one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can encourage 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 attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become useless. The Eveready Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and resolve it promptly. We employ a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s occurring inside the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is a 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, call the professionals at Eveready Service Experts . Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers satisfied. 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.