DaveLiddell's picture

Bird Feeders Spreading Infection

From BBC News :

'Researchers at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) are concerned that garden bird feeders could be putting birds at risk.

A 13-year study has found that the salmonella infection can build up on feeders and then spread among birds.

The study revealed that greenfinches and house sparrows appeared to be particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Bird lovers are being advised to disinfect feeders regularly to minimise the risk of infection.'

Presumably a mild solution of Bleach would do the trick, but to remain environmentally friendly does anyone have any ideas ?



j.tweedie's picture

The RSPB sell a special

The RSPB sell a special solution to be used for cleaning feeders. I don't know if alternatives can be used, but I guess this has been tested to be effective as well as safe. http://shopping.rspb.org.uk/p/BirdAccessories/Ark_Klens_cleanser.htm - it's available at some reserves and on other websites too.

sirhandle's picture

To be honest, I just wash

To be honest, I just wash mine every time they need filling. Most hanging feeders break apart so they can be properly wash. I use an old bowl and normal washing up liquid.

Just go out there and do it!!!

DaveLiddell's picture

I do I do Honestly !!!



anonymous spotter's picture

Disinfecting feeders

Hot soapy water is pretty good, rinse it well and dry the feeder to prevent food rotting.
Virtually any disinfectant or bleach will work, but again, remove the residues. Some companies sell proprietary products, but they're expensive. I guess you could but one, look at the ingredients, then look for a cheaper version...
If the feeder is not metal, microwaving is said to be effective (it works on dish-washing sponges!) But make sure there is water in the microwave, or you can damage it.

Kluut's picture


If any feeder etc. is metal, avoid bleach - it will corrode all except some grades of stainless steel, similarly any based on iodine. Otherwise bleach is very cheap and very effective, but only against viruses and bacteria (as are very many disinfectants), and plenty of common diseases are neither.

Flunter's picture

The birds in my garden empty

The birds in my garden empty the feeders 3 times a day!

Am I expected to wash at every re-fill?

anonymous spotter's picture

Regular refilling

It shouldn't be necessary to disinfect every time: if they look dirty, clean them. It's probably better to do it more often in wet weather, when moisture provides a haven for microbes.