Has this ever happened to you? You’re washing a dish in the kitchen sink and notice a small creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you see more of them zooming around your 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 survive 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.” Since they’re attracted to moisture and rotten food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your overripe fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny bits of food. Occasionally you’ll see them appear up out of the drain. This can be notably frustrating if you have a partly clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This maintains more moisture and food particles 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 lug germs with them. This might include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can cause severe cases of food poisoning.
What Can I Do About Them?
Owing to this bacterial exposure, keep high-traffic surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that destroys bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and transport germs. It’s best to use paper towels and dispose of them.
Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you probably don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, run boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. In the morning, you should see some fruit flies trapped to it.
Here are other traps you can also attempt, all utilizing a jar:
- Wine—Add an ounce of wine inside the jar. Put a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can access the wine. You can also have a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid.
- Old 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 added, which makes it much harder for flies to break free.
- Yeast—Pour in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast along with a teaspoon of sugar.
To minimize bringing in fruit flies:
- Clean your produce as soon you bring it home. In some cases they can contain fruit fly eggs or larvae.
- Refrigerate whatever you can.
- Try not to keep old produce in your kitchen. 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 like to keep windows up, install well-fitted screens.
If the above methods haven’t eliminated your fruit fly issue, there might be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the part of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to trap water and prevent foul air from moving up into your home. It also stops flies from living in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can lead to a fruit fly problem. Run the water and check below for a leak. If you spot one, get it fixed right away. Leaky pipes can lead to mold and structural damage to your home.
You should also contact 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 completely clog and become unusable. The Winnipeg Supply Service Experts plumbing team has the tools, experience and know-how to diagnose the problem and solve it right away. We employ 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 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 clear leaky pipes.
If you need any sort of plumbing service at all, contact the professionals at Winnipeg Supply 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.