By Dan Shapley
An outbreak of salmonellosis has bird watchers concerned that feeding birds could abet the spread of disease. Here are some tips from the National Wildlife Health Center about how to avoid spreading salmonellosis. The disease can be present -- and deadly -- but hard to detect.
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- Clean feeders with a 10 percent bleach and water solution. Rinse well, dry.
- Wait 1-2 weeks before re-filling your feeder, so that you avoid inviting the same congregation of birds to the same spot, where any disease can spread from bird-to-bird or from feces to bird.
- Hang feeders in a different location with each filling.
- Rake up waste seeds and droppings below the feeders.
- Use only feeders with smooth surfaces, so that rough or cracked surfaces don''t accumulate bacteria.
- Store seed in rodent-proof containers.