November 19, 2020 / Flying Pests

Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Restroom?

Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Restroom?

For most homeowners, a fly is a fly is a fly. All you care about is that they buzz off. One particular type of fly that most people have learned to recognize is the hugely annoying -- if physically tiny -- fruit fly. Fruit flies are particularly frustrating because of their tendency to swarm around rotting fruit, making the kitchen one of their top destinations.

Of course, knowledge is power and being aware of what attracts fruit flies is usually the first step in eliminating them – get rid of the food source and there, too, go the fruit flies. But not always… 

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Pests with No Respect for Privacy

It’s doubly confounding when you discover fruit flies not in the kitchen but in your bathroom. No, it’s not your botanical shampoo infused with fruit essence that’s attracting them. Believe it or not, fruit flies don’t actually eat fruit – they’re attracted to the fungus growing on fruit. Guess where else in our homes we often find a fungus among us?

That’s right, fungus thrives in damp, humid places – like bathrooms

If you discover fruit flies in your bathroom, there are a few things you can do right away to try and get rid of them. Immediately remove any wet or damp towels or clothes and if you discover any leaks, clean them up and fix them or have them fixed. You can also construct a simple fruit fly trap by mixing apple cider vinegar, dish soap and water in a cup or jar, then covering the cup with plastic wrap and poking a few holes in it.

If your bathroom fly problem is severe enough, you may also want to consider having a professional drain cleaner come clean your drains. But before you go much further than that, you may want to stop and make sure it’s actually fruit flies that you’re dealing with. Because there’s another type of common household pest that could be your problem – drain flies. 

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Drain flies are often mistaken for fruit flies and, much like their fungus-loving doppelgängers, they’re essentially harmless. That doesn’t make them any less annoying, however. If you can get a closer look, drain flies are a bit furrier than fruit flies – they actually look more like a tiny moth.

You can also make a trap for drain flies, however it’s much different than the sweet-and-sour smelling kind you make for fruit flies. To make a drain fly trap, lightly coat the inside of a disposable cup with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. Turn the cup upside down and cover a drain you think your drain flies might be coming from. Leave it there for several days, checking regularly to see if any flies get stuck to the oil or jelly. 

All told, cleaning and removing any standing water, reducing moisture, fixing leaks and setting simple traps are the best ways to deal with either a fruit fly or drain fly problem. Homeowners or tenants should feel confident taking care of these pests on their own. Half the battle is isolating and then eliminating whatever is attracting the pests in the first place. From that point, you can quickly clear out any remaining visitors with a simple DIY trap.

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