Has this ever happened to you? You’re scrubbing a dish in the kitchen sink and see a tiny creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you watch more of them buzzing around the kitchen. These irritating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wondering how they got in there and what can be done about them, you’re in the right place.
Fruit flies live 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 drawn to moisture and decomposing food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is filled with moisture and little chunks of food. Occasionally you’ll see them appear up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This preserves more moisture and food particles that draws these insects and allows them to thrive and reproduce.
When fruit flies transfer from a dirty surface to a clean one, they lug germs with them. This might include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can result in serious cases of food poisoning.
Because of this bacterial risk, keep high-traffic surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can attract, retain and transfer germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them away.
Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spray insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close up 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 with a jar:
To prevent bringing in fruit flies:
If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, there could also be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and keep foul air from moving up into your home. It also stops flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and is missing a water seal, this can create a fruit fly infestation. Run the water and check below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can cause 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 breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become unusable. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to diagnose the problem and fix it right away. We utilize a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s going on within the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and intensity of the blockage. If the problem is the 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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