If you have birdfeeders in your backyard, then it’s important to check them frequently for mold. After recent extended rain or moist conditions, your wild birdfeeders can easily become infested with mold.
Mold and fungus is particularly common on the bottoms of birdfeeders – like underneath the seeds. After an extended rainy period, your birdfeeder creates the ideal conditions for mold and fungus to grow on the bottom of your birdfeeder.
Signs of a Mold Problem in your Wild Birdfeeder
Check your feeders as soon as possible! Carefully examine all corners of your wild birdfeeder for mold or fungus. Empty the seeds and peek inside.
If you don’t see any mold, then look for seeds that are clumped together. This is a sign of pre-mold dampness in your birdfeeder.
If your seeds are clumped together, or if you see any signs of mold or fungus, then it’s crucial that you dispose of the seeds and clean the feeder thoroughly. Use hot, soapy water to clean the birdfeeder.
Next, walk outside and look for shell debris on the ground beneath your birdfeeder. If your birdfeeder had mold on the bottom, then the shell debris will have mold as well.
Why is this important? Well, birds frequently contract diseases from mold. When a bird inhales a mold or fungus spore, it can quickly lead to a serious disease. Moldy bird seeds and nuts can be deadly. It’s never a good thing to have diseased birds flying around your neighborhood.
Top 4 Problems with Wet Birdseed
Wet birdseed is more than just a mold issue. Wet birdseed is linked with a number of different problems, including all of the following:
Smell: Wet birdseed gives off a characteristic, unpleasant odor. If your birdseed is wet, then you may notice a musty, dank smell around the feeding station. Birds aren’t likely to be turned away by these unpleasant odors. However, it can be unpleasant for you.
Stickiness and Clumping: Wet seeds will clump together. This is particularly a problem with oily seeds, like sunflower seeds. Clumped seeds can clog up your bird feeding ports, making it impossible for birds to access the seeds inside. If you leave wet seeds in your feeder for a long period of time, then they can also cause oily stains, making the feeding station less aesthetically pleasing.
Sprouting: Some seeds only need a bit of water and the right conditions to sprout. If your birdfeeder is wet, then you may notice the seeds start to sprout. This defeats the point of your birdfeeder because birds will not eat sprouted seeds. Birds might still pick up the sprouted seeds and toss them on the lawn, however, which can lead to unsightly growths on your lawn or garden.
Mold: Eventually, wet seed will become moldy. Mold is a type of bacteria growth. If your birdfeeder has moldy seeds, then you’re effectively poisoning every bird that eats at your feeder. In some cases, moldy birdseed can be fatal to birds. Birds are less likely to eat spoiled seed as well. Over time, you may notice fewer and fewer birds are using your birdfeeder.
How to Prevent Future Mold Growth on your Wild Birdfeeder
If you frequently notice problems with mold on your birdfeeder, then there are a number of easy steps you can take. Your main goal is to keep the birdseed dry. Here are a few easy ways to do that:
Put the Birdfeeder Under a Roof: Some birders choose to place the birdfeeder in a tree or in the woods near their home. However, if mold is becoming an issue, then consider placing the birdfeeder underneath a roof – say, underneath your eavestrough. Alternatively, find a thick tree that protects the birdfeeder from the rain.
Mesh: Use mesh on your birdfeeder to promote circulation. A closed-ventilation system doesn’t allow sufficient air to mix in with the seeds, causing moisture to build up. Mesh construction will allow air to flow in, causing dampness to evaporate quickly.
Drainage: Good birdfeeders have drainage options on the bottom. Make sure your birdfeeder has drainage to prevent puddles inside. If you only have small drainage holes on your birdfeeder, and you still notice mold problems, then you may need bigger drainage holes for your climate.
Use Recessed Feeding Ports: Some birdfeeders use an open tray or broad hopper to deliver seeds to birds. This makes it easy for birds to access the seeds, but it also allows water to get inside more easily. Use recessed feeding ports.
Conclusion: Avoid Mold Buildup on Your Wild Birdfeeder
Mold can quickly build up on any wild birdfeeder – especially if you live in a moist or humid climate. Take a peek inside your wild birdfeeder. See if seeds are clumping together or if there’s mold on the bottom of the feeder. If so, then you need to clean your birdfeeder immediately. Otherwise, your birdfeeder mold problem could be poisoning the local birds.