If you’re like most conscientious homeowners in Southern California, you probably let some things slide, but you take a certain pride in the cleanliness of your kitchen. Any sort of insect infestation would be distressing, but your sink’s drain is the last place you’d suspect. After all, your drain is supposed to get stuff out of your sink. It’s disconcerting when insects like fruit flies use it to crawl back in.
Unfortunately, fruit flies are happy to make your drains their home. Upon exiting the drain, they zoom around your kitchen and make a general nuisance of themselves. It’s natural for you to wonder how fruit flies got in your drain in the first place and what you can do to get rid of these critters for good.
How Do Fruit Flies Get in Your Drain?
A fruit fly infestation can originate from different sources, including the fresh produce, plants and flowers you bring into your home. They can even get into your home through screens, windows and doors.
Your drains are the perfect breeding site, especially if you have a clog or plumbing issue. Fruit flies love the decaying organic substances that are left behind in your drain after washing dishes. They use the rotting organic matter as a place to lay their eggs.
Fruit flies are exceptional breeders. One female can lay over 500 eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the offspring will continue to reproduce as their mother did.
After hatching, the larva will feed on the organic material around them. In three days, they are adults. Two days later, they are reproducing. This means that as soon as you see a fruit fly, the clock is ticking. You must take action.
How Do You Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Drain?
If you don’t have a garbage disposal or it is not working correctly, don’t put food down your drain. It is better to throw the food away in the garbage can before washing your dishes. Take the trash out each night to keep your kitchen clean.
Clean your sink and drain. You can use a regular kitchen cleaning solution. With a pipe brush, vigorously scrub inside and around the drain to eliminate any organic matter.
An easy fix is to boil water and pour it down the drain. Boiling a medium-sized pot of water and pouring it down and around the drain once a week should make the environment in your drains uncomfortable for fruit flies.
Another option is to take a half cup of salt, a half cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar, combine it and pour it down the drain. Let it sit overnight. The following day, pour boiling water down the drain to finish the cleaning process.
If these organic solutions are not producing results, purchase a store-bought chemical drain cleaner. These solutions will remove organic residue and debris that make your drains attractive to flies. They will also prevent any new eggs from hatching.
You can use common pest killers for flies or gnats to kill fruit flies in your drain, but many of these sprays have caustic chemicals. Read the warning labels carefully to see if you should keep them out of your kitchen. Be careful with their usage so that you don’t damage your drains.
Most experts agree that pouring bleach down your drains is unlikely to be effective. Fruit fly larvae are tiny. They can burrow deep into the organic gunk that is built up in your drains. The organic debris serves as a shield that protects the flies from the bleach.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Drain?
In most cases, you can get a fly infestation under control within one week if you are consistent with treatment. If the problem persists, We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air professionals will be happy to go to your home and professionally clean your drains. We can also show you how to prevent fruit flies from returning.
Fruit flies don’t go away on their own. Because your home is warm, fruit flies can easily survive winters in Murrieta, California. It’s up to you to take preventative measures after cleaning out the drainage system to keep fruit flies from coming back.
From the Drain to the Rest of Your Home
Fruit flies may breed in your drain initially, but they quickly make your entire house their home. How can you get rid of fruit flies that have migrated from your drain to other areas?
First, clean all surfaces. Wipe down countertops and your sink regularly. Throw away rotting or ripe produce. Decaying produce gives female fruit flies a perfect spot to lay more eggs.
You can trap fruit flies by taking apple cider vinegar, pouring it into a glass and then covering the glass with plastic wrap. Use a rubber band to seal the edges of the plastic wrap. Poke small holes on the top. Fruit flies are attracted to the vinegar. Once they are inside the plastic wrap barrier, they cannot escape.
A similar trap involves putting apple cider vinegar in a bowl with a drop of dish soap. Leave the solution in a place where fruit flies are present, around your kitchen sink, for example. The apple cider vinegar attracts the fruit flies, but the dish soap decreases the liquid’s surface tension. When the flies investigate the solution, they become trapped.
If you have a bottle of beer you didn’t finish, don’t throw it away. Put the bottle where fruit flies are spotted. The stale beer will cause the flies to travel down the neck of the bottle, but they won’t be able to go back up.
How Serious Is the Fruit Fly Infestation in My Drains?
If you see one or two fruit flies around your drains, it is likely that there are more. Take a piece of tape with the sticky side down and put it over your drain overnight. As the flies attempt to escape, they will get trapped on the tape. In the morning, remove the tape. This will give you a good idea of how severe the infestation is.
Are Fruit Flies Harmful?
They can be. Although small, fruit flies spread harmful bacteria. When they are in your drains or land on your garbage can, their hairs collect germs and bacteria. They then spread the bacteria to every surface they land on, including tables and countertops.
Typically, fruit flies will land on your food or the surfaces where you eat. This means you may eat food contaminated by fruit flies. While you may not become fatally ill, you could experience diarrhea, nausea and vomiting if you have a fruit fly infestation in your drains.
A Team of Trusted Plumbers Serving Murrieta, California
At We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air, we take pride in serving our customers. Our commitment to excellence is why local residents experience peace of mind when trusting us with their plumbing, heating and air conditioning needs.
As a locally owned and operated company, we are known for providing quality maintenance, having 24/7 emergency repair availability and providing personalized plumbing options. Whether it is professional drain cleaning to get rid of fruit flies, installation of a water softener system or repair of a shower, tankless water heater or septic tank, you can count on us to provide quality service. You can also depend on us for all your heating and cooling installation, maintenance and repair.