Is There a Good Substitute for Bleach When Disinfecting Wild Bird Feeders and Nesting Boxes?

| 4/2/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: bird feeder, birds, disinfectant,

Is there a good substitute for bleach when disinfecting wild bird feeders and nesting boxes?

If you don't want to use bleach to disinfect your feeders or nesting boxes, plain white vinegar is a great alternative. A 5-percent vinegar solution kills the majority of bacteria, viruses and molds. Tea tree oil is also an effective disinfectant — you can find it at most health food stores. Simply mix a teaspoon of the oil in a gallon of warm water and scrub away.

David Mizejewski, naturalist, National Wildlife Federation

5/6/2011 1:06:49 PM

I believe a good soaking in lemon juice then leave in the sun to dry will accomplish the same thing.

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