If you keep birds, you might have already experienced problems with pests. You probably keep them inside a birdcage or outside your home.
Birdcages, on the other hand, are open spaces that could be broken into by animals other than your pet. These unwanted visitors could be insects, snakes, or rodents, which may harm your birds.
Pests could also bring problems of their own, such as parasites and disease. Even worse, they might target your bird where it has nowhere to run.
If you think your bird is safe and you have not yet dealt with pests, don’t feel too safe. Pests will always find a way to get to your bird, its eggs, food, or even its feces.
So how do you keep pests out of your birdcage?
Continue reading to learn more about:
- Common birdcage pests
- Vulnerabilities in your birdcage
- Pest-proofing your birdcage
- Ideal birdcages
The information here is also useful for current bird owners and those considering getting a pet bird in the future.
Keeping Pests Out of Your Birdcage: Common Pests
Unfortunately, there are unwanted creatures that want to infest your birdcage. There are a variety of pests that can infest birdcages and cause problems for your feathered friends.
Some of the most common birdcage pests include insects. These pests can cause itching and irritation, and in some cases, they can even transmit diseases.
Some predatory animals also count as pests, as they can also eat eggs, chicks, and birds.
Look out for these annoying creatures in and around your birdcage:
Seed Moths and Grain Beetles
These creepy crawlies are generally harmless to your bird but can destroy its food source. These may also get into your own pantry and taint your food as well.
You can usually get them from outside your home, such as in bird feed bags, but they are also present in bird feeders.
They are usually present in feed dishes, flooring, and any crevices inside the birdcage.
Everyone’s common enemy is the roach. If you have problems with them, so does your bird. This pest is commonly found in dirty, humid areas, such as your birdcage.
Cockroaches can carry diseases that can affect your birds and spread bacteria. Its droppings and eggs can also attract more pests and create more problems.
Cockroaches are easy to spot and can usually be found in debris or your birdcage flooring.
Flies and Mosquitoes
Both of these insects need no introduction. They are also a big nuisance for birds and their owners alike.
These flying pests can freely enter your birdcage due to their small size.
Flies are attracted to food and droppings, while mosquitoes want to bite your bird for its blood source and lay eggs in its water source.
Like most pests, they could make your bird sick with diseases such as the West Nile Virus.
Mites, Lice, and Fleas
These tiny pests are hard to find but can cause bigger problems if left unchecked. Parasites like mites, lice, and fleas feed on your bird and can cause irritation and distress.
Most of these pests are found in wild birds, but they could also be present in your own pet. You can simply check them under your bird’s feathers. It might be difficult to spot at first, but a severe infestation, if left untreated, may be evident and life-threatening.
Ants can attack both your bird and its food source. They are also small enough to enter any small crevice in your birdcage.
A single ant could lead its colony members into your birdcage after finding just a small amount of food.
You can easily spot ants when you see them lining up to the cage.
Rats and Mice
Rats and mice frequently go into birdcages to feed or find water. These omnivorous pests will eat your bird’s food, eggs, and even your bird itself.
Rats and mice also carry diseases and parasites, such as fleas, which can make your bird sick. In worst cases, large rats could attack your birds and leave them injured or dead.
A sure sign of rats near your birds would be chewed material, holes in the cage, and droppings.
Your pet bird is considered prey for other animals. Snakes, cats, dogs, and even other birds will try to get your bird, even if it is inside a birdcage.
These are common predators, but other animals could pose a threat as well:
- Predatory birds
Your bird could be killed or eaten if the cage is not secure enough. It helps to be familiar with the wildlife in your area to identify possible threats.
Vulnerabilities In Your Birdcage
Your birdcage could be vulnerable to pests because of how it was made, where it is, or how it looks. Gaps near the door, large gaps in the bars, and damaged or weak structures are some examples.
Cleanliness, or rather, how dirty the cage is, plays a role in attracting pests. A dirty birdcage will provide food and habitat for pests.
If your birdcage is located indoors, you have to check if it is near garbage bins or litter boxes, which also attract pests.
For outdoor birdcages, make sure that the area is not frequently visited by insects or predators and that it is in clean surroundings.
Are there also openings large enough for other animals to enter or grab your bird?
If you think that there are problems in your birdcage, continue reading to learn more about pest-proofing your birdcage.
RELATED: Setting Up the Bird Cage: A Step-By-Step Guide
Pest-Proofing Your Birdcage
Now comes the most important part of keeping pests out of your birdcage.
If you’ve already seen problems or potential ones that could happen in your birdcage, it’s time to make changes and improve their structures.
After all, birdcages were generally meant to keep your bird in and pests out. Here are some tips to keep them that way:
- Check feedbags thoroughly for insects and their eggs
- Freeze feedbags to kill insects
- Store extra bird food in sealed and airtight containers to avoid attracting pests
- Dump stale food immediately
- Clean the cage floor regularly and change the liners
- Vacuuming and disinfecting the cage every once in a while removes hard-to-reach insect eggs and droppings
- Seal or repair breaches and damage to the birdcage
- Replace water bowls frequently
- Clean and disinfect any items that have been infested by pests, such as branches and toys
- Get and install a birdcage mesh
- Seal cracks, kill nests, and clean it
- Set pest control devices around the birdcage, such as fly tape and rat traps
- Apply bird-friendly insect repellents and killers
- Place bird cages on surfaces where rats or mice cannot tunnel under (like concrete or brick)
- If your cage has elevated legs, place them on water bowls to deter crawling pests
Predator-Proofing Your Birdcage
- If you can, cut back the grass and plants near your birdcage so that predators don’t have places to hide.
- Do not leave leftover food outside, as this attracts animals
- Use cat repellent sprays to deter your cat or strays from going near the birdcage.
- Remove branches near the birdcage to repel other birds.
- Place bird spikes in possible perches near your birdcage
Ideal Birdcages in Keeping Pests Out
Choosing a good type of birdcage will prevent pest problems from happening in the first place. Investing now in a secure birdcage saves you headaches and more expenses in the future.
You may ask what makes a good birdcage or if your existing one is enough.
Here’s what to look for when choosing your bird’s home:
An ideal birdcage should be made of durable material. The cage should be expected to last as long as your bird lives.
Stainless steel cages are recommended as they are tough and easy to clean
Made of Nontoxic Materials
Birds like to chew or peck on the bars of their cages, and if they do, they might eat something harmful, like paint.
Wear and tear can also loosen toxic materials, which can then get into food or water.
Escape- and Intrusion-Proof
Cage bars should be narrower than a pencil. Your bird should not be able to fit its head, and no other animal should either.
The door or hatch should also be secure enough not to be opened by force.
Has Enough Room for Proper Waste Management
Crammed birdcages are both uncomfortable for your bird, and it becomes a good place to attract pests.
Make sure the cage has enough room for your bird to fly around. Having a well-ventilated birdcage also helps in preventing any form of buildup.
Also, ensure that there is a proper waste management system in the birdcage. This way, the droppings and other waste don’t pile up, and you can easily take them out while cleaning.
The flooring should be sturdy as well. There should also be no spaces for insects or small animals to get into.
Accessible and Easily Cleaned
As you have read, maintaining cleanliness is one of the best pest-proofing methods. Having an easy-to-clean birdcage makes that chore easier and give you more chances of keeping pests out of the birdcage.
How to Remove Pests in the Birdcage
If you are already dealing with existing pest problems, the best solution would be to eliminate them.
Before you start removing or exterminating the pests, make sure that your bird has been relocated.
For insect infestations, use bird-friendly pesticides or repellents. Using camicide, made from chrysanthemums, is safe outside and inside the birdcage.
If you are not comfortable using those products, use natural products such as citronella, peppermint, and black pepper.
Avoid products containing neonicotinoids and carbaryl. These products can be harmful to both humans and birds.
For rats and mice, usual pest control regimens are effective, such as rat traps, poison, or glue traps.
Make sure you place them around the birdcage but not near them. Seal off rat holes or destroy any nests near the birdcage.
If predators are a common problem for you, call animal control services. Dealing with wild animals is dangerous and may lead to injuries, so it’s best to entrust it to professionals.
Useful and Recommended Products in Keeping Pests Out of the Bird Cage
Adjustable Bird Cage Net Cover
An effective way to cover your birdcage no matter what the size. It also prevents seeds and floating feathers from scattering outside your birdcage.
It is made from netted fabric, which allows air circulation and will not block the light, providing a safe and comfortable habitat for your birds.
Poop-Off Bird Poop Remover
As you have read, bird droppings attract pests and make the cage unsanitary.
It is a fast and safe way to get rid of and dissolve bird poop from bird cages and fabrics.
Poop Off uses enzymes and cleaners made from natural and organic products.
This product does not contain solvents, orange extracts, detergents, alcohol, or bleach.
Prevue Hendryx Pet Products Wrought Iron Flight Cage
This birdcage is perfect for both new and experienced birdkeepers.
With its solid construction and large room, your birds will be safe and happy.
It features two large front doors and a bottom shelf for storing and organizing pet items.
Since it has rolling casters, it is easier to move it inside and outside your home.
Keeping Pests Out of Your Birdcage: Conclusion
Pests can be a nuisance, but they could be even worse when they invade your birdcage.
These creatures could harm your bird, spread disease, or even steal its food. Pest prevention is always better than having to deal with problems in the future.
So always remember to clean your birdcage thoroughly at least once every two weeks or more often if needed. Remove any stale food or anything on the floor.
Keep your entire household clean. If you keep your birdcage in a dirty house, there are bound to be pests.
Secure the cage and narrow down large openings in your birdcage. Seal gaps in the floor, doors, and windows, if it’s applicable.
In the bottom line, make sure to always take time to check on both your bird, home, and birdcage.