Dangerous mold and fungus may be developing in the bottom of your bird feeders, due to the last month or more of what seems like never-ending rain.
We were shocked at the amount of mold in our feeders—even though we’d recently cleaned them all. They were DISGUSTING!!! Finding them in this state alarmed us so much, we are sending out an emergency email alert to all our subscribers.
How to Rid Wild Bird Feeders of Mold or Fungus
Hot & Soapy Water. Soak. Scrub. Rinse Well.
It’s that simple. Please, we urge you to check your feeders ASAP. If you see mold, or the seed is clumping (a sign of pre-mold dampness), dispose of the seed and clean the feeder thoroughly with hot soapy water, as stated above.
For a step-by-step guide see our resource ‘How to clean a bird feeder‘.
Clear Shell Debris from Under Feeders
Rake up any shell debris on the ground below your feeders. It will likely have mold, too.
Moldy Bird Seeds, Nuts and Suets Can be Deadly!
We need to take this seriously, as birds can contract diseases from inhaling mold/fungus spores.
Check Indoor Food Supplies, Too!
Check all your stored seed, nuts and suets. It should smell fresh and nutty. If you notice any unpleasant musty smell or clumping, it’s gone bad. Throw it away and replace with fresh!
If in Doubt, Throw It Out.
We can’t over-emphasize how important it is to keep your wild bird food fresh and your feeders clean, dry and uncontaminated. After all, we make sure our human restaurants achieve sanitation standards with routine inspections to protect us from spoiled food.
Our Wild Birds are Vulnerable
As good stewards, it’s up to us to do the same diligence for our backyard feeder customers. Wild birds may be less discerning than we are, but they’re just as vulnerable when food goes bad!
And now the good news: it’s not hard to remedy this situation–even if you find your feeders as disturbingly moldy as ours were! It just takes some hot, soapy water, a good scrub, and a rinse with clean water!
Check Feeders Regularly All Season
Dryer and cooler temperatures may slow growth of the icky stuff, but get this…It doesn’t die–even at 0°F– it just goes dormant and waits for the temperature to rise again. But, we should never wait!
Our wild birds and this nesting season’s new broods will thank us by continuing to grace our backyard feeders in good health.
Thank you for reading!
Debi, Mike and The Backyard Naturalist Team