Cleaning Your Bird Feeders

Seed Feeders:

Moldy or decomposed seeds and hulls that accumulate on feeder trays can easily make birds become ill. Contaminants such as bird droppings on your feeder can also spread infectious bird diseases. Clean your feeders about once every couple of weeks, and even more often during seasons of heavy use or wet weather. The best way is to wash your feeder thoroughly in hot, soapy water and soak or rinse it in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Be sure to rinse the feeder thoroughly when finished and dry the feeder completely before filling it as to not affect the new feed.   

Clean the area below your feeder too, in order to stop any build-up of birdseed hulls and other waste such as melted suet. Moldy or spoiled food is unhealthy for your pets and other wild animals, not just the bird. Bird food scattered on the ground can also attract rodents, and prevent grass from growing.

Space your feeders apart to prevent overcrowding and be certain they don’t have any sharp edges that can injure the birds.  

Hummingbird Feeders:

Se sure to keep the black mold off your Hummingbird Feeders. Dirty feeders can cause illness and death in hummingbirds and if you don't keep them clean, hummingbirds will not revisit them. If bees, wasps, or ants become a problem, try moving the feeder to another location and DO NOT put any kind of oil around feeding portals to deter the bees, as the oil might contaminate the nectar.

You should replace your nectar every few days in hot weather and be sure to thoroughly rinse out the bottle each time. Avoid using soap whenever you can because hummingbirds can apparently taste soap/detergent residue, and they don't like it.

Vinegar is a good alternative to dish soap as it has sterilizing qualities. Fill the bottle up with 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar and let it soak for several hours. Rinse it thoroughly before refilling with nectar. Use a stiff brush to clean the base and also a bottle brush for the bottle.