Has this ever happened to you? You’re washing a dish in the kitchen sink and watch a small creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you notice more of them flying around your kitchen. These aggravating 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.
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies survive 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.” As they’re attracted to moisture and decomposing food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is filled with moisture and little bits of food. Occasionally you’ll watch them come up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This maintains more moisture and food particles that draws 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 carry germs with them. This can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to serious cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Due 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 attract, retain and transfer germs. It’s better to use paper towels and dispose of them.
Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you ought to see some fruit flies trapped to it.
Here are other ideas you can also use, all involving a jar:
- Wine—Place an ounce of wine in the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can access the wine. You can also utilize a funnel or paper cone instead of a lid.
- Rotten fruit—Same as above, but using 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 more difficult 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 bringing in fruit flies:
- Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. Occasionally they can have fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whenever you can.
- Don't 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 want to keep windows raised, install well-fitted screens.
If the listed methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly infestation, there may be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the area of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to trap water and prevent foul air from wafting up into your home. It also keeps flies from surviving in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and is missing a water seal, this can lead to a fruit fly problem. Run the water and look below for a leak. If you see one, get it fixed quickly. 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 attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become inoperable. The Midland Air Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and knowledge to determine the problem and fix it quickly. We utilize a video drain inspector to obviously see what’s going on in the pipes, and a number of 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 Midland Air 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.