Well, a lot of things, actually, but they sure do bug me! If they bug you, too, read on for some great solutions.
Being bug-free is a three-part process:
Keeping them from coming
Getting rid of them if you get them
Figure out where they're hatching and get rid of the eggs
Let's dig deeper.
Keep Them from Coming
It may seem like fruit flies are materializing from thin air but they're not quite that tricky. Often, you're carrying them in with your groceries. Fruit flies love to lay their eggs on those nooks and crannies, mostly on fruit but they love anything sugary. I've found bananas to be a special favorite of fruit flies. It's easy to get rid of the larvae, just wash fruits and vegetables with soap and water as soon as you bring them home. If that's not feasible, keep them refrigerated until you're ready to eat them.
They're also attracted to ripening, and especially rotting fruit. If you start to see them flying around, check your fruit bowl. You'll likely have a piece of fruit that is getting soft. The flies can smell that fruit from a long way off and will do their best to get to the source, coming through tiny tears in screens, cracks in walls, etc. Once you get rid of the fruit, they may fly off on their own, seeking browner pastures. This article has some in-depth fruit fly origin info.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies if You Get Them
If you act quickly before the little buggers have a chance to lay eggs, you're probably home free - but what if you don't? You can end up with a nasty infestation that can feel like you're under siege. Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but it can feel like that.
My favorite method of getting rid of them is luring them into a honey trap - or in this case a vinegar trap. Take an open jar, put in some apple cider vinegar (it's best if it has the "mother") with a few drops of dish soap. Cover the jar with either a funnel or plastic wrap with a few holes poked in. The flies will work hard to get into the jar and shouldn't be able to get out. Here are some more great ideas on bug trapping.
Figure Out Where They're Hatching
Sometimes it's easy to tell where the flies are hatching because you'll see a concentration of bugs in that area. If they just seem to be everywhere, search these favorite hang-outs:
Fruit bowl - this one is obvious but you may not realize that a piece of fruit has a rotted spot. Check them all and wash all the fruit with mild soap and water. Rinse thoroughly.
Drain - especially with a garbage disposal, organic matter sitting in the pipes can be a hatching place for fruit flies. To see if this is the spot, put a piece of damp paper towel over the drain at night. If there are dead flies on the bottom of the paper toweling (the drain side), you know they're living there. Some hot water and bleach flushed down the disposal should take care of this.
Dirty dishes - like with the drain, anyplace that food is rotting is a fruit fly paradise. Consider running the rinse cycle between dishwasher loads and washing dishes on a regular basis if you don't have or use a dishwasher. They love wine, BTW:-)
Any standing water source - like a leaky pipe or mop bucket. Get rid of the water and you'll be sending them packing.
Trash - consider saving the plastic bags that you get with your fruits & veggies to contain peelings, pits, etc. when you prepare your meals and snacks. Tie up these bags before throwing them into the trash. This will keep your trash from smelling and keep fruit flies from being able to lay their eggs.
Houseplant soil - some kinds of plant soil contain organic matter that can attract fruit flies and give them a breeding place. PlantPerfect.com suggests mixing hydrogen peroxide or Neem oil with water in a 1:4 ratio. Spray it on the plant to kill the flies then pour the solution into the soil to kill the larvae.
Do you have a great FF solution? Please share it in the comments.