These little black critters are flying around our kitchen. They don't seem too much attracted to my vinegar traps (fruit flies earlier this year were attracted). They like to hang out on the walls and ceilings, and seem to be increasing in number. They are about 4mm long. Any suggestions?
Unfortunately, our entomologist is out of the office until 11/30. Your photo was not clear enough for an accurate identification. Looks like a type of fly but we cannot say what type. We will show her your photo when she returns and send you a response. You may want to send additional photos so she can get a better idea of what you are dealing with. You can send photos of the top, side, and underside of the insects with a ruler next to it for size.
Please go to our website and view additional photos of Indoor Pests - flying http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/insects/indoor
Here are a few more pictures, but I'm not very good at such small macros with a moving object. I did get a pic of the deceased fly on my scanner with a ruler. Looks like it might be a fungus gnat. I've been vacuuming them up, just put out some mosquitobytes as a trial.
Thank you for the additional photos. Your 'critter' is a species of Drosophila, commonly known as a fruit fly. As the name implies, they frequently enter one's home via fruit that has been visited by a female while in storage or in the store and brought home as eggs. When they hatch, as long as there is fruit lying around the kitchen, they will continue to breed. The first step in control is to deny them access to any fruit or fruit scraps that might be in the kitchen. You may also trap them by placing small containers of apple cider or apple cider vinegar on the kitchen counter. While this may not kill them, you can then trap them and dispose of them.
You can also construct more elaborate traps. The following publication from one of our sister extensions may be helpful: