Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re washing a dish in the kitchen sink and see a tiny creature shoot up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you notice more of them flying around your kitchen. These irritating little guys are actually fruit flies. And if you’re wanting to know how they got in there and what may be done 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 attracted to moisture and rotting food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny bits of food. Sometimes you’ll see them come up out of the drain. This can be especially likely if you have a somewhat clogged sink or disposal that clears out slowly. This maintains more moisture and food debris that draws these insects and lets them thrive and reproduce. 

How Bad Are They? 

When fruit flies transfer from a dirty surface to a clean one, they bring germs with them. This can 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 exposure, keep high-traffic surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that kills bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and transfer germs. It’s cleaner to use paper towels and throw them away. 

Bug sprays can kill off the adult fruit flies but won’t get rid of the eggs. And you probably don’t want to apply insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, pour boiling water in your drain. Before bed, block off your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you ought to see some fruit flies trapped to it. 

Here are other traps you can also use, all utilizing a jar: 

  • Wine—Pour an ounce of wine in the jar. Add a hole in the lid so the fruit flies can enter. You can also use a funnel or paper cone rather than a lid. 
  • Old fruit—Same as above, but with rotten fruit in place 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 added, which makes it much harder for flies to get away. 
  • Yeast—Put in two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast as well as a teaspoon of sugar. 

To prevent attracting fruit flies: 

  • Clean your produce as soon you bring it home. Occasionally they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae. 
  • Refrigerate as soon as you can. 
  • Try not to keep overripe 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 want to keep windows raised, put in some well-fitted screens. 

If the listed methods haven’t resolved your fruit fly issue, there could also be a problem with your p-trap. That’s the part of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to capture water and prevent foul air from wafting up into your home. It also stops flies from surviving in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and lacks a water seal, this can produce 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 slowly. This problem not only helps attract fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can fully clog and become useless. The Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing plumbing team has the tools, experience and expertise to identify the problem and fix it promptly. We use a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s occurring in the pipes, and a number of methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is your garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also fix leaky pipes. 

If you want 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 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.