Few things are more disturbing than washing the dishes when suddenly you notice something in the corner of your eye. You pause. You frantically look around. Your mind is racing. “Was that an eye floater I just saw? Am I seeing stars?” Then it hits you. You’ve got drain flies. Upon coming to this realization, most homeowners seek to take immediate action. Allow us to walk you through dealing with this issue.
Fruit Flies vs Drain Flies
We know what you’re thinking: “drain flies, fruit flies, who cares? I just want them gone!” You have a point. These two creatures are close in appearance, they behave similarly, and they hang out in the same places. However, knowing your enemy is crucial to defeating them. We lifted that straight from “The Art of War” but it is nonetheless applicable here. There are a few key differences to be aware of. Drain flies have a moth-like appearance. They are dark in color, they have antennae, and fuzzy wings. Fruit flies on the other hand tend to be smaller than drain flies. They are brown or yellow in color and have distinct bright red eyes. Although they feed on many of the same materials and they enjoy breeding in similar environments, a slightly different approach will be needed to deal with each. That being said, let’s look at how you can reclaim your kitchen.
Drain Flies Mean You Need to Clean Your Garbage Disposal
Your kitchen sink and garbage disposal is paradise for drain flies. Their ideal breeding environment is wet, humid, and laced with food waste to feed on. Your first course of action to deal with drain flies is prevention. Don’t throw anything down your garbage disposal that will cause build-up. For instance, coffee grounds turn into a thick paste when exposed to water, and grease will solidify once it cools down. Other garbage disposal no-no’s include egg shells, potato peels, bones, onion skins, pasta, rice, and fruit pits. This proactive approach can prevent damage to your garbage disposal and keep it from turning into a drain fly breeding ground. While we’re on the topic, your toilet is likewise not an endless void prepared to make anything you chuck in disappear. Never try to flush these things down the toilet.
DIY Remedies for Drain Flies
Now that we’ve addressed what you shouldn’t do, let’s look at what you should do in the event of drain fly infestation. Pouring boiling water down your garbage disposal is always a good start. It will help loosen food particles and build-up. A pipe duster could aid you in your task of clearing the drain as well. Next, run ice cubes through your garbage disposal. The rough surface of the cubes will scrape off debris and sharpen your garbage disposal’s blades. Baking soda and vinegar are a deadly duo for anyone trying to make your kitchen sink their home. Pouring half a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of white vinegar down your garbage disposal will cause a bubbling reaction. After waiting 10 minutes and then chasing your concoction with boiling water will clear out yet more waste. The combination of baking soda and vinegar can be very effective as it expands further and further down your drain, killing all insects in its path. These organic solutions offer a great place to start.
If the home remedies don’t do the trick, you might have to buy a product off the shelf. The first weapon of this kind at your disposal is likely lying somewhere around your house already. We’re talking about good old bleach. By pouring bleach down your garbage disposal, it will kill any drain flies and eggs it comes into contact with. However, this option is not without drawbacks. Contact exposure to bleach can cause severe irritation. Inhalation is likewise dangerous. You could also feel quite uncomfortable using this chemical in the same area where you prepare food. Products like Bio-Clean use 100% all natural bacteria enzymes to cleanse your kitchen sink. They offer drain cleaning kits with complete instructions to guide you through the process. After trying these DIY options, victory could well be yours. However, some drain fly infestations are so stubborn and persistent, professional help is required.
Professional Help to Rid Your Home of Drain Flies
Sometimes it’s easier just to call it in. A recurring drain fly problem could be a sign of serious damage to your garbage disposal. If its blades are compromised, your system will struggle to break down food waste that’s poured down the sink. This will lead to build-up, create a habitable environment for drain flies, and the vicious cycle repeats itself. An even worse scenario unfolds when your garbage disposal won’t turn on at all. In this instance, drain flies are able proceed with their infestation undisturbed. Other signs of garbage disposal issues that will require an expert touch include foul odors, slow drainage, loud noises, and leaks.
Our expert team of drain technicians are ready to be dispatched to your home at a moment’s notice. The most effective way to prevent drain fly infestations is to ensure that there is no habitat for them to return to. The best way to achieve this goal is through professional drain service.
BONUS TIP: Fruit Flies Mean You Need to Clear Your Kitchen Counter
Our first recommendation might be simple, but it can make a world of difference. Remove any leftover food from your kitchen. Whether you throw it out, pour it down the garbage disposal or store it, you’re guaranteed to make your kitchen less hospitable to fruit flies. The same goes for plates, bowls, and silverware. Food residue and particles attract fruit flies and provide an environment for them to feed and breed. If the pizza crust from last night is still hanging out on the kitchen island, you know what to do! Most homeowners have a trash can placed next to their kitchen sink. Run your trash out regularly to prevent fruit flies from discovering this cozy spot.
Next, you should inspect your fruit bowl. The aptly named fruit fly is also attracted to (you guessed it) fruit. Check any displayed produce in your kitchen area for infestation. Dispose of the fruit, move it to the fridge, or store it in an air-tight container to deprive your unwanted housemates of their heart’s desire. Finally, you should consider moving any potted plants, flowers, or tabletop herb gardens outside. Fruit flies thrive on nectar and they love the moisture in soil. If you still notice fruit flies in your kitchen area after removing food waste and properly storing fruit, your plants could be the culprit.
Radiant Plumbing and Air is Austin and San Antonio’s #1 in plumbing service. We’ve been serving local communities across Central Texas for more than 20 years. Our ever expanding service area covers Austin, San Antonio, and neighborhoods everywhere in between. If you need plumbing repair, you need it now. Choose Radiant for all your plumbing and drain needs.