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As areas of housing, industry and general infrastructure continually take more and more of our countryside and free space, nature and in particular wildlife, has to adapt to survive. Many species are very adept to the changes and can often change the situation to their advantage, especially rodents including rats, mice and squirrels, others however, sometimes need a little help to survive.

More and more people enjoy feeding wild birds in their gardens and delight in the various species that can be attracted that otherwise would be difficult to see. There are various advantages, as not only does it increase interest in our wildlife, but it also helps in the general welfare of our wild bird population.



By feeding the birds, people are taking on a responsibility to ensure that, what and how they are feeding, maintains the health and well being of their feathered visitors. It is very important to follow basic hygiene precautions to reduce the potential risk for the spread of disease and also to ensure that the garden remains a safe place, not only for the birds, but for us too.

Bird feeders need to be regularly cleaned with disinfectant and rinsed thoroughly afterwards to prevent build up of birds droppings and old food that may become mouldy or contaminated. Rubber gloves should always be worn for this purpose to avoid the possible spread of any disease and any cleaning items such as brushes should be stored outside and used only for that purpose.

Advice on what to feed birds can be obtained from various sources, especially the RSPB who provide a lot of useful hints and tips.

The food itself can cause other problems if people are not responsible in its use, as seeds, fruit, nuts, fat, etc can provide a meal for other species too. It must be stored in suitable containers away from possible rodent interference to prevent it becoming contaminated with infections.

The amount of food is very important and any used should allow for a speedy turnover, thereby reducing the risk of food becoming old or contaminated with droppings etc. Any excess food left out, will quickly attract the wrong type of visitor to the feeder or bird table including squirrels, mice, rats, or even foxes. It is always a good idea to remove all feed overnight to further prevent this happening.

Bird tables and feeders should be located away from common perching places like trees, cables or branches to stop droppings falling on food and should be inaccessible to cats. Several sites in a garden are recommended and rotating the sites, (used one at a time) will help to reduce the levels of any infections which could affect humans and pets. Keep any discarded food around the base of feeders or tables to a minimum as this further increases the risk of rats and mice if not removed. A good pest prevention method would be to consider placing a large tray underneath a feeder or table to catch any discarded food which should be emptied daily. It is unadvisable to place feed directly on the ground as this could quickly become the target of rodents and if mixed with any droppings from birds or rodents is a further health risk. If bird feeding is allowed to get out of hand it could encourage increased rodent activity both inside and outside of our properties. Many rodent problems that occur, especially in high density housing areas such as Bournemouth and Poole, are normally the result of mice, rats or squirrels taking up residence in the locality because of the plentiful supply of food provided by neighbouring bird feeders. Excessive amounts of bird food being placed directly on the ground usually causes problems which can affect many neighbouring properties, which in turn causes damage and distress.

Bird baths or water containers should be checked daily and cleaned to reduce contamination, but should never be brought indoors, always carry out this task outside.

So if carried out properly, feeding the birds can be a rewarding experience and help nature too, if not, you risk doing harm not only to the birds but to yourselves as well.


If you have a problem with  Ants, Fleas,  Rats, Mice, Squirrels, Birds, Moles, Rabbits, Wasps or you need help with Wasp control or Wasp removal, mole control or mole removal or pest prevention or have a pest control problem in and around Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood, Verwood or any BH postcode area call

No-Nonsense Pest Control :  01202 523469 or 07708 944620                                                                                                                        

 or  e-mail