Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and watch a tiny creature shoot up out of the drain. Was that a gnat? Then you watch more of them zooming around the kitchen. These irritating 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.
Fruit flies live all over the U.S., and grow 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.” Because they’re lured by moisture and decomposing food, they’ll often end up in your trash can, your rotten fruit and the kitchen drain, which is packed with moisture and tiny pieces of food. In some cases you’ll watch them fly up out of the drain. This can be particularly likely if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This retains more moisture and food particles that appeals to these insects and lets them thrive and reproduce.
When fruit flies transfer from a dirty surface to a clean one, they lug germs with them. This can include listeria, salmonella and even E. coli. All of these bacteria can lead to severe cases of food poisoning.
Due 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 dispose of them.
Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t destroy the eggs. And you likely don’t want to spread insecticide all throughout your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water in your drain. Before bed, close off your drains with clear packing tape. Each morning, you can see some fruit flies stuck to it.
Here are other ideas you can also use, all involving a jar:
To avoid encouraging fruit flies:
If the above methods haven’t taken care of your fruit fly issue, there might be something wrong with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to capture water and prevent foul air from drifting up into your home. It also prevents flies from living in your pipes and flying up out of the drain. If your pipe has a leak and has no 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 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 slower than usual. This problem not only helps breed fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can completely clog and become inoperable. 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 occurring inside the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and severity of the blockage. If the problem is a garbage disposal, we can repair or replace it at a price you can afford. We also fix 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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