Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a small creature fly up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you watch 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 exist all over the U.S., and grow 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 decomposing food, they’ll head for your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is filled with moisture and little pieces of food. Sometimes you’ll notice them fly up out of the drain. This can be particularly likely if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This retains more moisture and food waste that attracts these insects and enables them to thrive and reproduce. 

How Bad Are They? 

When fruit flies transfer from a dirty surface to a clean one, they bring germs with them. This may include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to acute cases of food poisoning. 

What Can I Do About Them? 

Due 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 soak up, retain and transfer germs. It’s better to use paper towels and throw them out. 

Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spray insecticide all over your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you ought to see some fruit flies attached to it. 

Here are other ideas you can also try, all with a jar: 

  • Wine—Put an ounce of wine into the jar. Make a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also use a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid. 
  • Spoiled fruit—Same as above, but with 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 as well, which makes it much harder for flies to get away. 
  • Yeast—Add two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast as well as a teaspoon of sugar. 

To avoid encouraging fruit flies: 

  • Clean your produce immediately after bringing it home. Occasionally they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae. 
  • Refrigerate as soon as you can. 
  • Try not to keep old produce in your kitchen. 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 want to keep windows open, install well-fitted screens. 

If the above methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly infestation, there might be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and keep foul air from wafting up into your home. It also keeps flies from living in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and has no water seal, this can create a fruit fly problem. Run the water and search below for a leak. If you find one, get it fixed quickly. 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 attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become useless. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the tools, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and solve it quickly. We utilize a video drain inspector to clearly 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 your garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also handle leaky pipes. 

If you need any sort of plumbing service at all, contact 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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