Cleaning hummingbird feeders is a very important task.
Syrup feeders need to be kept clean and full.
The little Hummingbird is a feisty and fussy diner!
If a good maintenance regimen
is followed, bird watching in your backyard will be more rewarding.
- use quality made feeders
- 2 tubs or pails, one for washing and one for rinsing
- bleach or vinegar
- a few drops of dish detergent. (Some sources say not to use soap, but rinsing the feeders thoroughly solves any problems with using soap.)
- different sizes of brushes like, bottle brushes, port brushes and a curled brush to reach in under the port end of the feeder.
- fresh syrup
See an assortment of cleaning brushes I recommend further down this page.
Maintenance of hummer feeders will take some care and cleaning.
Use warm water and vinegar, or warm water with a drop of bleach and a couple of drops of dish detergent.
Take note that detergent and soaps may interfere with some vacuum type feeders.
I have also heard of people putting uncooked rice with water in the feeder and shaking vigorously to clean out any mold that may have grown in the feeder.
Whatever solution is used great care should be taken to thoroughly rinse it out.
Many people are concerned with how often their nectar feeder needs to be cleaned. This will largely be determined by five factors:
2. How effective pest control is managed.
3. How often the feeder is being emptied.
4. How much shade a feeder receives.
5. How many birds feed from the feeders.
Cleaning Hummingbird feeders should be performed thoroughly at least once a week, at a minimum, in moderate temperatures.
In hot weather, every two or three days will be necessary to prevent the syrup from fermenting and producing mold.
It may even be necessary to clean them everyday and fill with fresh syrup daily if you have a lot of birds and it is very hot.
If hummingbird food sits in very hot sun most of the day then mold or fermentation will begin to develop.
It is not advisable to refill your feeder when it is empty without
cleaning it first. A small amount left in a feeder for only a couple of hours,
will ferment much quicker.
Cleaning hummingbird feeders may not be a fun job but it is necessary for keeping our little "jewels" healthy!
If pests are a problem to the point of driving the Hummers away, then find answers here.