While you probably know that you should keep chemicals stored safely away from any pets or children in your household. However, because of how a bird’s respiratory system works, there is additional danger from some common items in your home.
Here are three of the most common hazards for your birds, along with some safer alternatives.
Nonstick Cookware (and other nonstick-coated items)
One of the greatest dangers for birds in your household is nonstick cookware. This includes not only frying pans, but also certain baking pans, griddles, and waffle irons. You might also find this coating in other unexpected places, such as in hair dryers and space heaters. Nonstick coating often contains a chemical called PFOA, which may be deadly for birds when overheated. It has been linked to health problems for people too, so it’s worth looking into a replacement for your pans.
Some alternatives you can try are stainless steel, copper, or ceramic frying pans.
Chemical Cleaners and Pesticides
Hundreds of different chemicals that you may have in your home — bathroom cleaners, air sanitizers, pesticides — can pose serious health risks to your bird. Never use these products while your bird is in the vicinity, or in the room with its cage, as the droplets with chemicals can linger.
To clean your bird’s cage, use water and a mild detergent, or a specially formulated, natural cleaner. You should also use a natural cleaner throughout their room.
If you’re having problems with insects, look into natural solutions based on the type of bug you’re dealing with to combat the problem rather than using commercially available insecticides. For ants, sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the edges of your bird’s room can be beneficial in keeping these pests away. (Make sure you wait until the dust settles and clean up any excess before returning your bird to its room.) Some homeowners also report success with essential oils like orange or cinnamon at sites where the ants are coming in — again, never use these products with your birds nearby, and wait until the scent dissipates.
Storing your bird’s food in an airtight container and keeping the room clean will also go a long way to reduce pests in your home that might be attracted to your bird’s food. Storing your bird’s food in the freezer for 48 hours is often beneficial in dealing with moths.
Air Fresheners and Candles
Another common health hazard for birds is scented plugins, air fresheners, melts, and candles. These products often have chemicals and carrier oils that can be dangerous for your bird if inhaled.
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