You wouldn’t serve your dinner guests food on dirty or cracked plates right? So why should you do that to the wild birds that come by or frequent your yard? Dirty bird feeders are responsible for spreading disease, so it is crucial for you to constantly keep your bird feeders clean and fresh. It just takes about 25 minutes of your time, each week, to wash away your bird feeders using soap and water then soak them for 10 minutes in a mild bleach solution (1/4 cup of bleach to one quart of water). This would obliterate all bacteria and numerous viruses.
Don’t wash your feeders in your kitchen sink. Salmonella, by nature, occurs in most wild bird populations. Even birds that are healthy are carriers of this bacteria, which is channeled through their droppings. It’s better to wash your feeders in a bucket, and when you’re through, sterilize the bucket and your hands using the bleach mix.
Prior to washing your feeders, make sure to take away all the old seed that’s caked on and adhering to the insides, particularly that inscrutable black gunk that occasionally appears on the inner bottom of a feeder. This is particularly crucial during the winter, when seed becomes wet and nurses fungus and mold. Wet seed, incidentally, should be taken out right away and substituted using dry seed. It just takes one day for the mold to form on wet seed.
Tips On Bird Feeding
• Maintain the area under your seed feeders clean.
Take away spilled seed as much as possible. Dig them out of fissures or cracks and discard it in the garbage.
• When it still looks bad on the ground below your feeder, spray some of the bleach solution you made to clean your feeder. Spray on the area after birds and pets retire, just before dark. The bleach would decompose into harmless elements by morning. Bleach is a known fungicide and bactericide and also kills plenty of viruses.
• Do not use a feeder that allows birds to stand around on the seed mix and pollute it with their feces. This will spread disease.
• Migratory birds from all around the country and neighboring countries as they maneuver north, south, east, west, or where their endless quest for warm weather and more food draws them. These wild birds are constantly a colorful sight in your yard, but they can occasionally carry inconspicuous bacteria and viruses that can be passed around to the other birds that frequent your feeders. If you observe any sick birds (usually plumped up and placid compared to other birds in the flock) it’s perhaps a good idea to bring down your feeders for a few days to let the birds scatter and to prevent healthy birds from being in contact with the sick ones.
• Do not forget that hummingbirds utterly hate the taste of chlorine! After cleaning your hummer feeders out with the bleach solution, you would want to wash them once again using some soap and hot water. Then let them dry in the sun.