Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a small creature shoot up out of the drain. Is 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 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 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.” Because they’re attracted to moisture and rotten food, they’ll head for your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and small bits of food. Sometimes you’ll see them fly up out of the drain. This can be notably bad if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that drains slowly. This maintains more moisture and food debris that appeals to these insects and lets them 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 result in severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Owing to this bacterial risk, keep your home's surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and transfer germs. It’s better to use paper towels and throw them away.
Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t kill the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spread insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you ought to see some fruit flies stuck to it.
Here are other ideas you can also try, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Add an ounce of wine inside the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also utilize a funnel or paper cone instead 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 in addition, which makes it more difficult for flies to escape.
- Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar.
To avoid bringing in fruit flies:
- Wash your produce as soon you bring it home. Occasionally they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Don't keep overripe produce in your home. 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 want to keep windows raised, make sure they have well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly problem, there may be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and stop foul air from moving up into your home. It also stops flies from surviving 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 find one, get it fixed right away. Leaky pipes can lead to mold and structural problems with 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 breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can entirely clog and become unusable. The Freschi Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to identify the problem and resolve it promptly. We employ a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s occurring 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 fix leaky pipes.
If you need any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at Freschi 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.