Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and see a small creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you see more of them zooming around the 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 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 frequently appear in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and little pieces of food. Occasionally you’ll watch them appear up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This maintains 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 carry germs with them. This may include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can cause 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 kills bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and exchange germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them out.
Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spray insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water down your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you should see some fruit flies attached to it.
Here are other ideas you can also use, all with 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 utilize a funnel or paper cone in the place of a lid.
- Rotten fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit in place 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 added, which makes it harder for flies to escape.
- Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast along with a teaspoon of sugar.
To prevent encouraging fruit flies:
- Wash your produce as soon you bring it home. Occasionally they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Try not to keep old produce in your house. 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 up, put in some well-fitted screens.
If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, there could also be a problem with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to capture water and stop foul air from drifting up into your home. It also stops flies from living in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can lead to a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you notice 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 slower than usual. This problem not only helps breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become unusable. The Rolf Griffin Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and know-how to diagnose the problem and resolve it promptly. We utilize a video drain inspector to plainly 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 resolve leaky pipes.
If you are looking for any sort of plumbing service at all, get in touch with the professionals at Rolf Griffin 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.