How to clean your bird feeders
Our garden birds appreciate good hygiene as much as the rest of us, and while they can maintain their own hygiene quite well, it’s down to us to ensure that we are maintaining good hygiene practices at their feeders.
A correctly cleaned and well looked after bird seed feeder will attract and delight a whole host of UK wild garden birds. But if you cast a blind eye to the regular cleaning of your feeders, you may notice that the birds will stop visiting and find another spot to dine at. For those birds that continue to visit your feeders, you could put them at risk of picking up an unpleasant and potentially fatal disease that will develop on unclean feeders.
To avoid that happening, we have put together a few steps on how to keep your feeders clean.
Clear out your feeders
Before you start cleaning your feeder, we recommend clearing out the old food and disposing of it. Getting rid of all the old food will minimise the risk of bacteria building up on old food (which would transfer to the new food).
If you find that your feeders are always half full when you go to clean them, you might be leaving out too much food for the number of visitors you have. So, keep an eye on the frequency of your bird visitors so that you can adjust the amount of food you are leaving out (also make sure you are using great bird food )
Wash them thoroughly
Now that your feeders are empty, you can start to wash them down. Using hot soapy water and a cleaning brush you should give your feeders a thorough and deep scrub, taking care to remove and leftover food or droppings. To make sure you are getting a thorough scrub, it is best to use a strong bristled brush, it will help to lift of any stubborn stains and residue as well as reaching any indents and hard to reach spots.
Let it dry
Making sure your feeders are fully dry before refilling them, this is just as important as the cleaning. Using a dry cloth you can pat down your feeder, or you can leave it to airdry. If there is any water residue in your feeders, it could quickly spoil any new food you add. Before refilling your feeders, do a quick final check to make sure it is completely dry.
When should I clean my feeder?
We would recommend that you clean your bird feeder at least once a week. The weather outside will greatly affect when and how often you need to clean your feeder, so it is worth keeping an eye on the forecast. Wet conditions will cause your bird seed to spoil easily, and they will need cleaned quite frequently to avoid a build-up of wet and damp bird seed. You should keep an eye on your feeders every few days during wet periods as you might need to clean them every 5-7 days. During the summer months, when the weather is dry, cleaning your feeders every 7-10 will be enough.
We hope you have found our blog post on 'How to clean your bird feeders'. For more tips and tricks on bird feeding, you can visit our other blog posts.