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7 Bedroom Styling Tricks Anyone Can Do
Short on time or money? You can spruce up your bedroom quickly and easily with these tips
We spend a great deal of our time at home in the bedroom. Even when we aren’t sleeping, we’re breakfasting in bed, blogging, reading or just relaxing. But the bedroom can be one of the last rooms we decorate; the main living areas often take up most of our time and budget. Here are some simple styling tricks to help you give your bedroom a professional, polished and finished look in next to no time at all.
1. Aim for “effortless.” Bedroom styling should create a lived-in, relaxed vibe. Your bed is a great place to start. Don’t worry about arranging the pillows and bedding perfectly. But to keep your bed from looking like a hot mess, keep one element of the bed linens straight and neat. The casually draped throw on this bed is offset by the crisp lines of the quilt beneath it.
2. No headboard? Add an art wall. Use the wall space above your bed to create a meaningful gallery wall. Instead of hanging one large artwork, try experimenting with a group of smaller pieces. Note where your head will rest when you are sitting up to read, and use this imaginary line as a guide for the bottom edge of your artwork.
3. Create an “end zone.” A spot at the end of your bed, the “end zone,” as I call it, is great for sitting to get dressed and put your shoes on, for scattering some magazines on or laying out a tray for coffee or tea. Space permitting, all you have to do is move carefully chosen furniture to the end of your bed. You could try a chest, a bench seat, two stools, an upholstered ottoman with hidden storage or a chaise longue. I love this look, as it reminds me of the polished look I see so often in boutique hotel bedrooms.
Tip: Have a purpose in mind for this area and keep it clutter-free.Read More!
How to Create Better Flow in Your Home
Learn how much room to allow for furniture, and tricks you can use to make the most of a tight space
Someone once said that a well-designed space is like a good pair of shoes: If you’re wearing a good pair of shoes, you don’t even notice that you have them on your feet. But if you’re wearing a bad pair of shoes, you notice them every step of the way. Interiors work the same way.
If you haven’t considered the circulation space around your furniture, cupboards and built-ins, you will feel it with every step you take. You’ve probably encountered poor room circulation at some point: bumping into corners while walking around furniture, dinner guests standing up to let others slide through, stepping sideways to get to your toilet, not being able to open your doors all the way. If any of these situations exist in your own home, it’s a pretty easy fix. Here are some ways to achieve better flow in your space.
To create adequate circulation space around a dining room table, allow a minimum of 36 inches (91 centimeters) between dining chairs and walls. Provide about 48 inches (122 centimeters) between the table and an entrance to allow people to enter and exit the room with ease. If your space doesn’t allow for a table large enough to host all of your friends, then purchase an extendable table so you can live with a smaller table and better circulation for most of your days. If you have to live with the squeeze only once in a while, it’s not so bad.
It’s also important to allow enough room for your guests to sit at the table comfortably. Allowing 24 inches (61 centimeters) per person will enable your guests to feel comfortable and let them sit down at and get up from the table without bumping shoulders. Read More!
10 Things You Didn't Think Would Fit in a Small Kitchen
Don't assume you have to do without those windows, that island, a home office space, your prized collections or an eat-in nook
I am learning so much by checking out Houzz photos from all over the world. For instance, I’d forgotten just how many European families get by with what we Americans would consider “a dorm room fridge.” Rather than stocking up on a decade’s worth of pretzels and cereal at Costco, a lot of Europeans pick up just 24 hours’ worth of fresh food at a time. This is why we’re seeing so many stylish small kitchens submitted to Houzz from across the pond — a double-size refrigerator and a walk-in pantry are of no use to most people over there.
Of course, plenty of Americans also have small kitchens. We’re just so used to seeing kitchen spaces larger than our entire homes that we don’t realize we can incorporate some of their great features into our modest nooks and galleys. You might not realize you have room to chop to your heart’s content, include an eat-in space or even set up a home office. Check out these 10 small-kitchen extras for inspiration.
1. Corner of windows. This one may take some sacrifice — you’ll have to stash seldom-used items in storage and purge those you don’t really need. In return, your kitchen will expand and feel so much less cramped thanks to your new views and all that wonderful natural light. Read More..
We Want to See the Most Creative Pet Spaces in the World
Pets aren’t just animals who live with us. They’re members of the family, and we go to great lengths to make sure they eat the right foods, get enough exercise and receive all the snuggles they can put up with. Whether you’re in Milan or Moscow, we want to see the little personal pet space you’ve created in your home.
Show us: Do you have an area in your house dedicated to your pets? We want to see how you’ve gone the extra design mile for your furry (or scaly or feathered) friends. Have you designed a particularly pet-friendly space inside your house? How about a doghouse with midcentury modern style or a backyard catio? Post your best photos in the Comments below. Your pet’s pad could be featured in an upcoming Houzz story.
Peter Cohen of Goleta, California, created this spiral walkway and scratching post in the center of his home office. But that’s only part of the design story. Cohen’s detailed and artistic series of platforms and walkways travels throughout his entire house to accommodate his 18 rescue cats.
“I thought maybe the cats would just look at it, but they use it all,” Cohen says. “It’s like a freeway sometimes with them all over the place.”
Have a catwalk the cats actually walk on? Let’s see photos of your creative kitty corner in the Comments below.
In Costa Rica, Houzz user Shirley McKale built a barn for her three rabbits who needed a little shade and shelter from that Central American sun. With a door and two windows on either side, the barn has a lot of ventilation, and that tin roof reflects the sun, keeping the interior cool.Read more!
10 Ways to Create a Dressing Area Large or Small
Consider these ideas for carving out space in a corner of your bedroom, bathroom or closet.
Have you ever watched a film or TV program and been struck with a serious case of room envy? While some people fall in lust with beautifully designed kitchens, living spaces or bedrooms seen on the small or silver screen, walk-in dressing areas are what set my heart aflutter. Carrie Bradshaw’s dressing room in the Sex and the City movies is a personal favorite.
If you dream of having a similar space, here are 10 ways you can work one into your home, regardless of the size of your budget or interior. While there are a few Carrie-worthy dressing rooms below that are large, a little extravagant and may cost a pretty penny to re-create at home, there are just as many ideas that are more affordable and space-efficient, and can be achieved with a few simple tweaks to your space.
1. Reclaim an unused corner of your bedroom. If you have a generously sized bedroom, consider converting a section of it into a dedicated dressing area. I love the setup in the sleep and dressing zone here. A free-standing clothes rack offers practical storage and separates the dressing area from the rest of the room. When filled with clothes, the rack provides privacy for someone getting changed, too.
A gold-framed, full-length mirror completes the setup and allows the owner to check her appearance from head to toe before running out the door. Note how the ornate frame adds character and visual appeal.
An occasional chair or ottoman is another practical item you might like to add to your setup. It will provide a place to sit while putting on shoes, and a surface to lay clothes on as you get dressed.
Consider laying down a cozy rug, too. It’ll provide comfort underfoot and protect your floor from scuffs and scratches caused by heels and hard soles. A rug will also add interest to your scheme and help define the zone.
2. Invest in a folding screen. Compact and practical, a modesty screen is a great solution for those who want a designated dressing area but don’t have a large area to work with. As you can see here, folding partitions can be used to create a closed-in nook where someone can get changed out of sight, without taking up too much floor space or visually weighing down a scheme.
If you think this space-savvy solution is an ideal dressing room alternative for your home, shop around for a screen with mirrored panels. The mirrors will prove useful when you’re getting dressed, plus they’ll bounce light around your room and create the illusion of spaciousness. Remember to position the screen in a spot that won’t interrupt the flow of traffic, such as a corner, next to your closet or along a wall if there’s room to move around it.
3. Partition the bathroom. A folding screen is a handy addition to any bathroom that experiences heavy traffic, as you can duck behind it after showering and let in other family members so they can use the room while you get dressed. Just remember to choose a screen made from a water-resistant material, such as faux leather, waterproofed wood or mirrors, so it can withstand the damp conditions.Read More!
5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff — Before It Gets in the Door
Want to free up some room around the house? Rethink gift giving, give yourself a shopping mantra and just say, ‘No, thank you’ to freebies.
Can you nicely refuse unwanted things others might try to foist on you? What can you say when relatives do not see the gifts they have given you proudly displayed on the mantel? And how can you win the battle with your own mind as you try to shove yet another item from the Target decor section into your shopping cart? These five tips can help you navigate these sticky situations, leaving your home unburdened by things you don’t use — and your friendships intact.
1. Just say, “No, thank you” to free stuff. Do you really, honestly want that free T-shirt, corporate mug, plastic sippy cup, fill-in-the-blank?
If not, just smile, say, “No, thank you” and move on.
Do not fool yourself into thinking it’s not a big deal to take it — once it makes it through your front door, it becomes much harder to get rid of.
2. Give yourself a shopping mantra. What to do when you are the one causing most of the clutter build-up in your home?
Know where your weak spots are (Target decor aisle, I’m looking at you) and prepare yourself to be strong when you face them.
It can help to come up with a brief but powerful word or phrase that gets to the heart of how you want your home to feel, such as “clean and spacious,” and repeat these words to yourself while you are shopping.
Is that metallic gold horse sculpture you just plunked in your cart going to help your home be clean and spacious? If not, put it back.Read More!
First Things First: How to Prioritize Home Projects
What to do when you’re contemplating home improvements after a move and you don't know where to begin
I recently received a desperate email from a friend. For a variety of reasons, school and work related, she and her husband and two little boys had been bumping around the globe for years. They had just moved back to the States and bought their first home. As excited as she was to be close to family and settled down, she was also exhausted from the move. In her email she wrote, “I am feeling crazy because I need to furnish a house and pick paints and it is all so overwhelming for me. I’ve been a nomad my entire adult life. Do you have advice?”
Most of us don’t know what it’s like to change continents with a family. But a big home project can feel like too much for anyone starting out or going through a big life change. Adding to the pressure, in this age of instant everything, it’s easy to think that you ought to have a perfectly appointed home within seconds of moving in. I think we’ve all seen the before-and-after articles in which a designer gives a house a makeover in less time than it takes most of us to buy a can of paint. If you are in my friend’s shoes, looking around your place worrying and wondering, this is what I recommend.
Assess conditions. Before you try to do a thing, take a deep breath, look around and then decide what needs to be done. “Everything!” may be the immediate answer, but really think about it. Are there any repairs that need to be made? Is it “just” cosmetics, such as new paint? Whatever it is, can you do the work yourself or do you need to hire it out? What are your skills? (It’s OK if you don’t seem to have any.) Read More!
How to Keep Your Stainless Steel Clean
Protect this popular kitchen material with a consistent but gentle cleaning routine
For the past few years, designers have debated whether or not stainless steel will continue to reign supreme in kitchens across America or lose its popularity to glossy black or white appliances boasting sleek, smooth finishes.
While the trendsetters debate, however, millions of us continue to choose to live with the commercially cool look and functionality of stainless steel. Whether you have a little or a lot of the shiny stuff, here’s what experts suggest we do about those fingerprints, and how to care for and clean one of the hardest-working surfaces in the house.
Keeping Stains off the Stainless. Aside from looking great and having a smooth, nonporous surface that hinders the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, one of the reasons stainless steel is so widely used in professional kitchens is that it won’t rust easily in spite of daily wear and tear.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean rust and stains can’t happen.The experts at the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers say that if the protective film on stainless surfaces is scratched with a steel pad or wire brush, comes into contact with hard water that is allowed to puddle or sit, or is exposed to chlorides from household cleansers, it becomes vulnerable to damage.
Safety first. For safe care and cleaning, start with the right tools. The European Stainless Steel Development Association, or ESDA, suggests using soft sponges and microfiber cloths as the first line of defense.
Don’t clean with steel scouring pads, which can scratch. Instead choose plastic scrubbing pads for tough jobs.Read More!
Set up a few systems now for an easy and organized routine when school starts.
Savor your precious days off while still checking off to-do’s by following this simple plan.
Make your home safe and secure and start getting organized for fall
In August, beach days and summer vacations give way — however much we wish they wouldn’t — to the return of school and work. From boosting home security to prepping weeknight dinners in advance, these nine to-dos will help keep your home safe, organized and prepared for anything.
This Is How To Cleverly Make Use Of Small Spaces
Several times in our life, we have to work with restricted space. The space seems a lot less than what would be adequate to meet our requirements. While we are trying to fit all our possessions within the available space, it looks like the area is just not enough for all those belongings to fit in. Having an apartment meet our needs at the price we can afford seems like a lost cause. But more often than not, this sense of lost is from our own lack of judgment, not the insufficiency of space.
Below are some great tricks to make better use of your available space and meet the spacing needs even with limited capacity.
1. Use mirrors appropriately to create illusion of more space.
Strategic placement of mirrors in a room can help a long way to create the illusion of more space. Placement of mirror across a window reflects light in the best way, which makes the room feel larger. Similarly, insertion of a large window behind a trunk gives the appearance of having a huge space placed behind it.
2. Paint or put wallpaper on ceilings to make the room seem taller.
When there’s something to draw the eyes upwards, it creates an illusion of having a larger room. This can be achieved by painting the ceiling with some eye-catching color or decorating it with elegant wallpaper designs. This is a great trick to make seem a room larger than it actually is.
3. Color the walls and floor with light colors.
When darker colors are used in a room, the colors absorb light instead of reflecting them. This makes the room feel significantly smaller. On the contrary, with the use of lighter colors on the floor as well as on the walls, the room has the air of having plenty of spaciousness. So, it’s best to opt for light colors while choosing painting options. Read More!
12 Spaces That Prove There’s Always Room for Books
Be inspired by the bookworms on Houzz who have won the book storage war
While we may not collect books at the same rate as we used to (thanks to the little wonder that is the e-reader), there is something magical about a shelf filled with books. It’s another place that allows you to show off your personality and add character to a room. So toss out your preconceived ideas of how and where to keep your books and try one of these fun bookshelf organization ideas instead. With the right touch, your shelf needn’t be just a shelf.
1. Above a desk. If space is tight and you’ve repurposed an alcove for your home office, go all the way. Add shelving above the desk to reach up to the ceiling — that’s what ladders are for — and fill it with your latest editions.
2. Around an entryway. If you have space to spare around a large entryway, a built-in shelving system at the edges may be just the thing to give it purpose.
3. In the bedroom. Fill your dreams with tales from far away with a custom unit filled with books. This wall unit is painted in a fantastical shade of cherry and is complete with shadow boxes for stashing treasures.
4. In the hallway. If there is one space in your house almost guaranteed to have an open wall, it’s your hallway. Before you get too excited, however, take note: Hallways can be slim and dark. That’s why this example is so inspiring. The shelves are built into the wall, so they don’t jut out and get in the way. Moreover, there is plenty of lighting, effectively turning this corridor into a comfortable library. Read More..
How to Clean Your Fridge, Inside and Out
Keep your refrigerator clean and fresh, while you gain storage space and and lose
9 Questions to Ask When Planning a Kitchen Pantry
Avoid blunders and get the storage space and arrangement you need by asking these questions before you begin
Some pantry design dilemmas don’t seem obvious at the time of planning but become apparent later. Doors that open inward onto shelving, badly arranged racks and compartments, small cubbies with no room for appliances, a lack of hooks for towels and aprons, and poorly positioned lighting are all mistakes that can be circumvented. Use this quick guide to address the most obvious blunders before they happen. The suggestions may also inspire you with some fresh design ideas.
1. Which way will the door open? A common mistake when planning a pantry is installing a door that gets in the way. When space is at a premium, the best options are sliding or folding doors. An outward-opening door gives more room for pantry shelves and is the next best option — but only if there is plenty of space to swing the door wide.
A door that opens inward can work, but be aware that it might make an already small space smaller. It can also compromise the space behind the door of your pantry, limiting the amount of stuff you can store there.
2. Will there be enough light? Another typical mistake is to have either poor lighting in the pantry or none at all. Your pantry will more than likely be built without a window or with just a small one. One way to make sure that you have enough light in there is to install quality LED lighting. Or, if your home is a single-floor dwelling, put in a skylight. Also, the light switch should be reachable and in an accessible spot by the pantry door.
3. How can top shelves be accessed? There is no point in planning a pantry with floor-to-ceiling storage if you can’t access the items on the top shelf. If your pantry is large enough, park a ladder on a sliding rail to access the infrequently used items on the top shelves. Store things you regularly use farther down.
If your pantry is small, store a step ladder in a handy spot for easy access. Inexpensive plastic single steps also can be folded flat and hung on a hook. Read More..
The Most Popular Roofing Material is Affordable and Easy to Install
The most widely used roof material in the U.S. is reliable and efficient, and may be a good choice for you
Let’s just get this out of the way: Asphalt shingles are not exciting. Your friends will not drop their jaws in awe over this material, and if your home were a Broadway production, asphalt shingles would not be the star of the show.
But that’s OK. Asphalt shingles do not seek the limelight. They do their job quietly, protecting more homes across the United States than any other type of roof material. Today we review an efficient and affordable roofing option you may want to consider for your home.
Asphalt shingles (alternatively called composition shingles) are a manufactured product consisting of a fiberglass base mat coated in composition asphalt material to provide waterproofing and additional strength.
Historically, the base layer was often made of organic material, but over time fiberglass has become the preferred choice for the base.
Though asphalt shingles can be considered a budget selection among roof materials, there are a variety of manufacturers and options, some of which can drive the cost up. Read More...
My Houzz: An Animated Home for Kids — and Kids at Heart
A creative couple make a bold statement with color and clever design
This is a home of ordered objects, happy inhabitants and an emporium of comic collections and tiny toys. The instant you walk into the two-bedroom apartment in Five Dock, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, you can feel the love. Rochelle and Wojciech Wawrzyniak live here with their two sons, Roman and Adrian, and have used their design expertise and shared love of comic books to bring their abode to life. Rochelle is an art director, and Wojciech is an industrial designer. Together they have used their skills to create unique decor that is both wonderfully technical and beautiful.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Rochelle and Wojciech Wawrzyniak and their sons, Roman, 5, and Adrian, 2
Location: Five Dock, Sydney, Australia
Size: 1,098 square feet (102 square meters); 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
The couple stumbled across their home five years ago when Rochelle was pregnant with their first child. They were renters at the time and wanted to buy. So when this property in Five Dock came on the market, the couple jumped at it. Wojciech had grown up in the suburb and knew it well; they also liked the feel of the space. “It’s on the quiet side of the building. There’s only one common wall with our neighbor and lots of natural light,” Rochelle says.
Rochelle and Wojciech are responsible for the clever decor. “We’re designers, so as for the design team, you’re looking at them,” she says. The two met at university while Rochelle was studying visual communications and Wojciech was finishing his degree in industrial design.
One of Rochelle’s favorite features is the recurring circular motif. You can see some examples in the kitchen via the hot-air balloon and round pendant lights, and throughout the home in artwork.
Rochelle and Wojciech share a love of bold colors, comics and vinyl toys, and these are found around the home. “I think a place will always be happy with bold colors,” she says.
Rochelle painted this Tintin scene for Wojciech as a birthday present. “We both love Tintin, so when we got married, our collection doubled!” she says. Read More...
8 Signs Your House Is Just Waiting to Be Robbed
These seemingly innocent things might peg your home as an easy target.
The FBI reports that a home in the U.S. is burglarized every 15 seconds. And it's the little things that might be tipping them off. "The majority of thieves are impulsive and don't look much beyond the opportunities that they see," says Joseph B. Kuhns, Ph.D., professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the 2013 study, Understanding Decisions to Burglarize, from the Offender's Perspective.
Sure, you may have a neighbor pick up your mail or set lights on a timer — but there are other indicators that give away that your home is vacant or that you've got vulnerable spots.
1. Trash barrels are out — days before pickup.
If your cans are out on Thursday and trash day is Monday, that tells burglars that you're gone for the weekend, according to home security and loss prevention consultant Chris E. McGoey. Also be wary of leaving boxes from that new flat-screen TV or gaming system at the curb — they make the home seem like a more enticing prospect. Plus, they reveal that you have money to spend and perhaps other expensive items in the home. Read More..
The Best Backsplashes to Pair With Wood Counters
Simplify your decision-making with these ideas for materials that work well with wood counters
So you’ve decided on wood countertops. Whether freshly cut live-edge walnut, reclaimed-pine floorboards, butcher block from Ikea or something else, congratulations. You’ve chosen a material that’s a departure from today’s most popular choices, and you’ll be adding warmth and texture to your kitchen. Did I mention that I’m biased? My kitchen countertops are reclaimed-wood floorboards from my attic and I love them.
Wood countertops used to be more prevalent in traditional homes, but today they warm up many contemporary and modern kitchens, presenting a strong contrast to sleek surfaces like white lacquer cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The deep archive of European photos on Houzz showed me that wood is a go-to material for Europeans, and they use it with aplomb. Whether in a traditional London townhouse, a simple Scandinavian cabin or a sleek German apartment, Europeans make great use of wood countertops and offer many wonderful backsplash pairings. Because wood shows up in such a wide range of kitchens, I’ve organized the options below by style.
What to know about wood countertops
Wood paneling. Painted wood paneling lends itself well to a cottage or farmhouse look. This can also take the form of beadboard, tongue and groove, shiplap, butt board and more. Another element here worth noting is the choice of oversized wooden pulls that dot the cabinets and drawers and tie into the countertops. Read More...
How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors
Gleaming wood floors are a thing of beauty. Here’s how to keep them that way
Although installing hardwood flooring is usually more expensive than rolling out new carpet, it’s an investment worth considering, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. Surveys show that 54 percent of home buyers are willing to pay more for a house with hardwood floors. Cha-ching! The question now: What’s the best way to clean and care for that popular flooring and keep that natural beauty (and value) shining through? Here’s how.
It’s not the wood — oak, maple, mesquite, bamboo, engineered hardwood or something more exotic — that determines how the floors should be cleaned, but rather the finish.
Surface finishes, often referred to as urethanes or polyurethanes, are among the most popular treatments today and are usually applied to hardwood floors after installation to protect them and make them more durable and water resistant. These finishes create a protective barrier. There are four types of surface finishes, according to the American Hardwood Information Center: water based, oil based, acid cured and moisture cured. Read More..
When Does a House Become a Home?
Getting settled can take more than arranging all your stuff. Discover how to make a real connection with where you live
Why is it that certain places feel like home right away, but others may take months or even years before they feel like yours? Is it the location, something about the home itself or something else? Here we’ll explore these questions and some ways to get settled at home. Please add your own experiences in the Comments!
Getting to Know Your Home
The personality of your home. Each home has its own personality, and how well that personality meshes with your own can make a big difference in how you feel about your home. If you haven’t thought of your home as having a personality before, it might seem strange — but if you give it a try, you may be surprised at what you find. Is your home quirky, sweet, a bit curmudgeonly? Neat? Warm? Mysterious?
A sense of place. A home in Nebraska feels very different than one in Southern California, Connecticut or Texas. Even if homes in different regions are similar in style, the sense of a place seeps in. The history of a place, the personality of a region (and even a specific neighborhood), and how you feel about living there will affect how you feel about your home. If you are feeling disconnected from your home, consider taking time to explore your area and seek out good things and hidden treasures. Read More..
6 Tips for Teaching Your Kids to Be Good Neighbors
Everyone wins when your children learn to respect boundaries, get help when they need it and show others they care
The summer of 1968, my parents were in the market for their first home. In a neighborhood they liked, they found two houses, side by side, up for sale. After they toured both, they decided on the slightly smaller one on the corner, and moved in a few weeks before my older brother was born. Three more of us followed in steady succession.
The people who bought the house next door were an older couple. If you restrict the definition of "good neighbors" to how they keep their homes, then the Lincolns were the best. They kept their house and yards immaculate, but they were unfriendly. His constant expression was disapproval mixed with suspicion, and she always seemed to be discovering a bad smell.
My parents took care of our home and yards, but in the front our lawn met theirs, and the line of demarcation was as obvious as if there had been a fence. Second only to the care and keeping of his enormous Cadillac, lawn maintenance was Mr. Lincoln's life's work. When a ball fell across the property line, one of us would retrieve it, running as if the grass were lava.
My siblings and I were taught to be respectful of all of our neighbors' property and the neighbors themselves, but the Lincolns were such a couple of curmudgeons, our mere existence was an affront. This sort of disdain wears on even the strongest psyche. When we moved it was such a relief to have acres of woods and fields to roam through and to be free of constant suspicion and disapproval. Read More...
How to Get Rid of Those Pesky Summer Fruit Flies
Learn what fruit flies are, how to prevent them and how to get rid of them in your home
It’s a common problem: You walk into your kitchen one day to find it buzzing with pesky little fruit flies zipping about your fruit bowl, or worse, floating lifeless in your guest’s glass of red wine. You’re not a slob, and you don’t leave your doors open, so where the heck do these things come from and why? And more important, how do you kill fruit flies?
Eric Jang is a research entomologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Hawaii. He studies fruit flies, mainly tephritid fruit flies, which are found on all fruits and vegetables in the field throughout the world. They are different from Drosophila, commonly known as vinegar flies or fruit flies. Whereas tephritid fruit flies attack the good, fresh fruit growing on vines and trees — causing devastation to food production commodities worldwide — vinegar flies, Jang says, are pests of decomposing matter, such as compost piles and rotting bananas in fruit bowls.
Common house fruit flies have an incredibly short life span. In just a week, the eggs turn from larvae to pupae to adults. That’s why it always seems as though they show up out of nowhere in your kitchen. Read More...