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 watch a tiny creature fly up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you watch more of them zooming around your kitchen. These irritating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re asking how they got in there and what you can do about them, you’re in the right place.

Why Are They Here?

Fruit flies survive 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.” Since they’re lured by moisture and rotting food, they’ll head for your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and small chunks of food. Sometimes 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 drains slowly. This retains more moisture and food waste that draws these insects and allows them to thrive and reproduce.

How Bad Are They?

When fruit flies transfer 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 acute cases of food poisoning.

What Can I Do About Them?

Due to this bacterial exposure, keep your surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that destroys bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and exchange germs. It’s better to use paper towels and dispose of them.

Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t kill the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you ought to see some fruit flies trapped to it.

Here are other traps you can also try, all utilizing a jar:

  • Wine—Put an ounce of wine into the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also have a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
  • Old fruit—Same as above, but use rotten fruit instead of 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 as well, which makes it much 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 prevent bringing in fruit flies:

  • Wash your produce immediately after bringing it home. Occasionally they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae.
  • Refrigerate whatever you can.
  • Avoid keeping spoiled produce in your house. 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 open, install well-fitted screens.

If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly infestation, there might be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the part 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 hiding in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can create a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and check below for a leak. If you notice one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can cause 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 encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become unusable. The BW/Cook Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and knowledge to diagnose the problem and solve it quickly. We use a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s going on inside the pipes, and a variety of methods to clean them, depending on the type and intensity of the blockage. If the problem is your garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also fix leaky pipes.

If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, get in touch with the professionals at BW/Cook Service Experts. Whether we’re warming, cooling or making the water run, we take great pride in keeping our customers comfortable. 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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