Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a small creature buzz up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you notice more of them flying around the kitchen. These annoying little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wanting to know 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 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 head for your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and little bits of food. In some cases you’ll notice them come up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This preserves more moisture and food waste that appeals to these insects and allows 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 can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Owing to this bacterial risk, keep your surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that eliminates bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and transport germs. It’s better to use paper towels and dispose of them.
Bug sprays can kill the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spray insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close up 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 use, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Place an ounce of wine in the jar. Make a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can access the wine. You can also have a funnel or paper cone in the place of a lid.
- Spoiled fruit—Same as above, but using rotten fruit instead of 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 harder for flies to escape.
- Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast as well as a teaspoon of sugar.
To prevent bringing in fruit flies:
- Rinse your produce as soon you bring it home. Sometimes they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate as soon as you can.
- Try not to keep spoiled produce in your home. Buy only what you’re going to eat.
- Empty your kitchen trash often, and keep it closed.
- Keep your surfaces clean and disinfected.
- If you like to keep windows raised, install well-fitted screens.
If the listed methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, there might be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and stop foul air from moving up into your home. It also keeps 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 problem. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you spot one, get it fixed promptly. Leaky pipes can encourage mold and structural problems with your home.
You should also hire a plumber if your kitchen sink or garbage disposal is draining slowly. This problem not only helps breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can entirely clog and become inoperable. The R & M Climate Control Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to identify the problem and fix it right away. We use a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s occurring within the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is the garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also resolve leaky pipes.
If you need any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at R & M Climate Control 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.