Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen Sink Drain?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re cleaning a dish in the kitchen sink and watch a tiny creature fly up out of the drain. Is that a gnat? Then you watch more of them flying around your 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 exist 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 drawn to moisture and decomposing food, they’ll frequently appear in your trash can, your old fruit and the kitchen drain, which is full of moisture and little chunks of food. Occasionally you’ll watch them fly up out of the drain. This can be especially frustrating if you have a partially clogged sink or disposal that empties slowly. This preserves more moisture and food waste that attracts 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 bring germs with them. This might 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? 

Because of this bacterial risk, keep your home’s surfaces clean at all times. Use a kitchen surface cleaner that destroys bacteria. Don’t reuse sponges that can absorb, retain and exchange germs. It’s best to use paper towels and throw them away. 

Bug sprays can eliminate the adult fruit flies but won’t kill the eggs. And you most likely don’t want to spread insecticide all around your kitchen. Instead, put boiling water into your drain. Before bed, close up your drains with clear packing tape. Every morning, you should see some fruit flies attached to it. 

Here are other ideas you can also attempt, all utilizing a jar: 

  • Wine—Add an ounce of wine into the jar. Add 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. 
  • Old fruit—Same as above, but with rotten fruit instead of wine. 
  • Apple cider vinegar—Same as above but you’ll use apple cider vinegar. 
  • Apple cider vinegar and dish soap—Same as above with dish liquid as well, which makes it harder for flies to get away. 
  • Yeast—Add two or three ounces of water, one packet of activated dry yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. 

To prevent encouraging fruit flies: 

  • Rinse your produce as soon as you take it home. In some cases they can possess fruit fly eggs or larvae. 
  • Refrigerate whatever you can. 
  • Avoid keeping spoiled produce in your house. 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, make sure they have well-fitted screens. 

If the listed methods haven’t resolved your fruit fly issue, there may be an issue with your p-trap. That’s the section of your drain pipe bent in a u shape to hold water and keep foul air from moving up into your home. It also stops flies from hiding in your pipes and flying up from the drain. If your pipe has a leak and has no 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 quickly. 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 encourage fruit flies, but over time the sink drain can entirely clog and become unusable. The Sunbeam Service Experts plumbing team has the equipment, experience and expertise to diagnose the problem and resolve it quickly. We utilize a video drain inspector to clearly see what’s happening inside the pipes, and multiple methods to clean them, depending on the type and extent 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, get in touch with the professionals at Sunbeam 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.