As the weather gets warm, the nectar in your hummingbird feeder seems cloudy. It might seem like a good idea to change it after a few days, but that might turn out to be a terrible decision. Meanwhile, deadly bacteria and germs may accumulate in your hummingbird feeder and may harm your little fluttery guests.
Mold in hummingbird feeders is a common problem. Hence, cleaning your hummingbird feeder with a cleaning solution twice a week is a must. However, we recommend changing the nectar every day to prevent any mold buildup at all.
Why do hummingbird feeders get moldy?
Molds thrive in moist places. What is a better place than a hummingbird feeder? These are filled with nectar solutions, making them damp and a perfect breeding ground for various types of molds. Here are some of the common reasons for mold in hummingbird feeders.
Washing cycles are too long
Molds look for wet places to breed. Although the water level may have receded, black mold may continue to grow. Hummingbird feeders are an ideal option. While growing, mold is typically microscopic and may not be visible to the naked eye. Nevertheless, it can easily be removed using effective cleaning techniques.
One of the most common reasons for mold in hummingbird feeders is the gap between washing cycles. During the summer months, molds can form within 24 hours, making it crucial to have regular washing cycles to prevent mold in hummingbird feeders.
Lack of maintenance
Filling your hummingbird feeders twice or thrice a week might not be enough. Instead, regular maintenance is important to prevent harmful mild forming in those feeders. Molds often develop in port wells where the nectar is stored.
Lack of disinfectant
Apart from using lukewarm water, a lack of disinfectant might result in the development of molds. Using an effective cleaning practice along with disinfectant can go a long way in preventing molds in hummingbird feeders. While dish soaps may clean a feeder, they may not get to the intricate areas where nectar remains. While you can decide to use a DIY disinfectant, a chemical disinfectant can also be a great way in cleaning a hummingbird feeder with hydrogen peroxide.
Humidity might not be an immediate reason for the molds on your hummingbird feeder, but it can surely add fuel to it. Humidity leads to an increase in moisture, thus paving the way for mold to grow. Maintaining optimal temperatures is not possible in a hummingbird feeder, however, cleaning it regularly can be a great way to prevent molds, especially black molds.
Can moldy feeders kill hummingbirds?
Are you observing a black substance around your hummingbird feeder? Well, it can be black mold growth in your feeder. Since these feeders are filled with nectar and are mostly damp, mold can easily thrive in such conditions.
While moldy feeders can be quite common, is it dangerous to your precious hummers?
Candida, a pathogen, causes molds. It is a lethal fungus that is dangerous to hummingbirds and even results in an excruciating death. It usually affects a hummingbird’s tongue making it swell, over the days, which makes it difficult for hummers to consume nectar. This often ends with the bird starving to death. This condition in hummingbirds is known as the Hummers Candidiasis.
How to get rid of black mold from hummingbird feeders?
Black mold can be lethal for hummingbirds. Besides, our DIY nectar solution seems to be the crux of the problem. However, there is no way to avoid molding, we can still try to save our tiny friends by cleaning their feeders properly.
Deadly species like black molds require a thorough cleaning practice. Cleaning hummingbird feeder with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide can go a long way in preventing black mold in hummingbird feeders. The best way to clean a feeder is to disassemble it and soak it in water. Moreover, use a diluted solution ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your hummingbird feeder. It is also recommended to use different brush sizes to reach difficult places such as port wells.
How often should you clean hummingbird feeders?
With warmer surroundings, nectar solutions in hummingbird feeders tend to have more bacterial growth. This contributes to the growth of mold in hummingbird feeders. This can seriously sicken or even kill the tiny friends you love to watch. The nectar solution ferments due to warm temperature. This results in a reaction that turns sugar into alcohol. Hummingbird livers are not suitable to handle it, resulting in death.
To prevent such unfortunate events, make sure to clean your hummingbird feeder every 1-6 days, depending on the weather.
Getting rid of mold from hummingbird feeders is easy with these steps!
1. Cleaning solutions
Choosing the right cleaning solution plays a great role in cleaning the molds in your hummingbird feeders effectively. Professionals mostly use:
1 part vinegar, 2 parts water
A safe, yet effective concoction for hummingbird feeders. It doesn’t harm hummers and is a natural disinfectant that kills almost every germ/bacteria.
1 part bleach, 9 parts water
Cleaning your hummingbird feeder with bleach is one of the most effective ways to get rid of fungus or any bacteria. However, we strongly recommend dismantling your hummingbird feeder first to avoid any bleach getting stuck in corners. Bleach is a very strong chemical and hummers are usually very sensitive to chemicals, hence you can use this concoction when it is very necessary.
2. Getting the supplies ready
Cleaning a hummingbird feeder can be a tiring task. But for our tiny friends, it is worth it! After making your disinfectant solution, assemble your cleaning assortment. Make sure you have brushes of different sizes which makes it easier for you to reach the intricate places. Besides, you would also require a cloth, sink, or a bucket to rinse the parts.
3. Disassemble it and discard the nectar
Disassemble your hummingbird feeder and drain the nectar. You can turn on the sink to wash any debris away.
4. Soak every part
Fill a small bucket with the cleaning solution and soak the parts. Make sure to soak them for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Wash and Scrub
Gently scrub all the parts of your hummingbird feeder and wash them with normal water.
6. Refill and position
Refill your feeder with some fresh nectar and bring it back to the garden again for these tiny flutterers to enjoy.
Provided you keep a regular check on the hummingbird feeder and maintain its hygiene, there won’t be any mold to harm your little friend.