The majority of people who own parrots have a good understanding of the usual dangers that can be found in our homes, such as Teflon that has become too hot, foods that should never be given, plants that are hazardous to parrots, and dangerous metals. There are a lot of different lists of poisonous plants and a lot of different articles about the many dangers that should be avoided.
Cleaning and pest management are two more activities that expose people to toxins on a regular basis but have not received a lot of attention thus far. The following are some ideas for non-hazardous replacements for the harmful chemical products that are typically utilized for pest control and cleaning purposes inside the home and aviary.
NATURAL CLEANING SOLUTIONS
- Put twenty drops of grapefruit seed extract into a spray bottle of water that has a capacity of 32 ounces. Apply to all surfaces inside and outside the home, and use it to thoroughly wash sprouts, fruits, and vegetables before providing them to parrots.
- Baking soda and water, in the ratio of one quarter cup baking soda to one quart water, makes for an effective all-purpose cleanser.
- Either sprinkle baking soda on the surface to be cleaned or prepare a paste using liquid soap and baking soda to clean the surface. Scrub the surface with a wet nylon scrubbing pad, a gentle cloth, a sponge, or very fine steel wool. The residue left behind by baking soda can be cleaned up using white distilled vinegar that has been diluted with water. Use a gentle cotton cloth to dry the area. Cotton clothing that has been recycled can be used effectively as a drying and cleaning cloth.
- Chewing gum, ink, oil, grease, tar, gummed labels, and even sticky fly paper “goo” can be safely cleaned with CITRA-SOLV natural cleaner and degreaser, which is a concentrated solvent made of citrus oils, surfactants, and limonene (derived from citrus peel oil). It is the only solvent that may be used on bird feathers without causing any harm, but after it has done its job, it must be removed. Apply a few drops of the Citra-solv to the feathers, and using your thumb and first finger, thoroughly work it into the sticky mess or grease that is on the feathers. It can be removed using a washcloth. The feathers should then be rubbed with Dawn liquid detergent. It is absolutely necessary to DELAY ADDING WATER until the feathers have been thoroughly mixed in with the detergent on its own. When you are finished fully incorporating the detergent into the feathers, and ONLY then, should you add the warm water. Additionally, this is applicable when removing grease from feathers. If you are unable to find a location that sells Citra-solv, you can contact the distributor at (800) 343-6588 between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Standard Time.
- If cages are wiped down every day and given a thorough cleaning once a week, you will rarely need to do a significant amount of cage cleaning. The majority of the dirt that accumulates on cages may be removed with hot soapy water, which will also help to preserve the finish.
- The antibacterial properties of Grapefruit Seed Extract make it an effective cleaning for cages. Either it may be used on a sponge to wipe down the cage or it can be added to a spray bottle and used to pre-soak the cage before cleaning it. It is absolutely safe to use and has been shown to be more effective than Clorox in killing strep, staph, salmonella, candida, and e-coli.
- The most tenacious and solidified trash may be effortlessly loosened and removed from cages and grates by using citra-solv.
- Spraying a solution of Citra-solv or GSE over a layer of newspaper will allow you to clean the grates. A further layer of newspaper should be placed on top, and then the mixture should be let to stand for fifteen to thirty minutes. Wipe, rinse, and dry.
- OxyFresh is also an efficient cleaner for grates and debris that has become compacted. It is safe to use and has been shown to be effective against polyoma.
- Use newspaper to collect droppings rather of bedding, which can trap moisture and cause cage bottoms to corrode. Bedding can also be messy. Mold spores can become airborne if corncob bedding is allowed to become damp.
IN THE KITCHEN
- To remove stains from countertops, apply freshly squeezed lemon juice directly to the stain and let it sit for half an hour. After using baking soda, scrub the area with a damp sponge or gentle cloth.
- If there is food that has been burned or baked on in the cookware, sprinkle the cookware generously with baking soda and add just enough water to wet. After allowing it to sit for three hours, remove the food that has been charred from the pan.
- Spray for cleaning and disinfecting cutting boards —
- The cutting board should have 10 to 20 drops of NutriBiotic applied to it, which should then be worked into the board using a damp dishcloth or sponge. After allowing to sit for half an hour, thoroughly rinse the mixture.
- Make a thick paste of water and baking soda to clean lightly dirty ovens by combining the two ingredients. Scrub the area well with a nylon scouring pad. Add a tad bit of liquid soap to the oven if you see that it is greasy. Make use of extremely fine steel wool to eliminate stains.
- To make it easier to clean the space beneath the refrigerator, tie a sock around the yardstick’s end. When you see that one side of the sock has become soiled, you should flip it inside out and continue.
IN REGARDS TO THE BATHROOM
- Soaking the sink, shower, tub, and tile grout in diluted liquid soap, using baking soda, scrubbing with a nylon scrubbing pad, and rinsing the area clean are the steps required to clean these surfaces.
- Spraying the surfaces of the bathroom with a solution made from one quart of water and twenty drops of grapefruit seed extract, which can be purchased at health food stores, can effectively disinfect the area.
- The best way to get rid of mildew is to spray it with hydrogen peroxide.
- As a method for removing lime deposits, spray a mixture consisting of one cup apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of salt, and one cup of water on the deposits, and then allow it to sit overnight. To finish, rinse with ice water.
CARE OF THE FLOOR
- Use a solution consisting of one gallon of warm water, half a cup of white vinegar, and a microfiber mop to clean vinyl flooring.
- A tiny amount of liquid soap that has been diluted with water can be used to remove grease from vinyl flooring.
- To get rid of black heel marks on flooring, massage the area with an eraser from a pencil or typewriter.
- After mopping, dry the floor thoroughly with a towel to avoid water marks.
CARE FOR THE CARPET
- There has been a connection made between the mortality of birds and products such as “Carpet Fresh.” It is impossible to use it in a way that will not release particles into the air, as this happens every time you vacuum the carpet after cleaning it.
- Sprinkle baking soda in its simple form all over the carpet to eliminate odors. After letting it sit for 15 minutes, begin the vacuuming process.
- There is a possibility that carpet shampoos include harmful substances including ammonia and perchlorethylene, which is known to cause cancer. Products for cleaning that are derived from plants, like citrus cleansers, are better. Utilize a steam cleaning equipment that has between ten and fifteen drops of grapefruit seed extract added to one gallon of water. The use of GSE in hospitals has become increasingly common.
TAKING CARE OF WOODEN FURNITURE
- Applying a small amount of white toothpaste to a water stain on wooden furniture will help eliminate the stain. After allowing the paste to dry completely, remove it with a soft cloth and a light rubbing motion.
- Olive oil and lemon juice can be combined in a ratio of two to one to make a homemade furniture polish. After applying the mixture to the furniture with a gentle cloth, wipe it clean and let it dry.
- The appearance of nicks and scratches can be concealed by combining granular instant coffee with a little bit of water and applying the mixture with a cotton cloth that has been thoroughly cleaned.
- To clean dust from pleated lamp shades and other spots that are difficult to access, use the cool setting on your hair drier.
CLEANER FOR WINDOWS THAT IS NOT TOXIC
- The following ingredients are needed to make a window and glass cleaner: one gallon of water and one cup of white vinegar. Use a spray bottle or a cloth to apply, and a linen cloth to wipe up any messes.
- When the windows are nearly dry, polish them with a crumpled up piece of newspaper to make them sparkle even more.
SAFE DRAIN CLEANER
- When hair and other debris have clogged your drains, produce a solution of baking soda, vinegar, and salt by mixing equal volumes of each ingredient. Put it down the drain and let it for 15–20 minutes so that it can bubble up. The next step is to wash it with boiling water.
FRESHENERS OF NATURAL ORIGIN
- Parrots should never be kept in close proximity to people who use commercial air fresheners.
- The only way to truly revitalize the atmosphere is to throw open the windows and allow fresh air to circulate through the room using a fan or an air conditioner.
- Place a dish of chopped lemons or a bowl of baking soda on the table to help absorb odors.
- Water, slices of ginger, spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, vanilla and almond extracts, and slices of lemon and other citrus fruits can be slowly simmered on the stovetop or in a slow cooker to give your home a pleasant and invigorating aroma.
OVERALL SOLUTIONS TO INSECT PROBLEMS
- A dusting of diatomaceous earth (also known as DE) can be applied to regions that are infested with pests. It is composed of the discarded shells of marine organisms that are so sharp that they can penetrate the exoskeleton of insects and cause them to get dehydrated. DE does not pose any health risks to either humans or animals. While the powder is being applied in the aviary, the parrots should not be allowed to breathe the powder. Concern by Necessary Organics is a brand that may be found in stores that specialize in natural and organic foods.
- Neem contains a high concentration of limonoids, which are compounds with a bitter flavor that inhibit the growth, eating, and egg laying processes in many different kinds of insects. These limonoids are found in the seed kernels of the Neem tree. The most powerful limonoid, known as azadirachtin, has been proven to be non-toxic to birds, animals, and humans, while at the same time having a significant impact on insect populations. This certification was issued by health authorities in both the United States and Europe.
- Ivory liquid dishwashing detergent, when mixed with water to create a solution that is 1 to 2 percent, can be used to control insects on a variety of plants and is simple to prepare. Spray the plants until they are completely submerged in water.
- Around the house and in the garden, the presence of frogs, spiders, ladybugs, praying mantises, and dragon flies will help keep pest populations in check.
- At night, a single bat can consume up to 600 insects in one hour, including mosquitoes, dangerous moths, and other insect pests. Bats do not pose a threat to humans or animals and can be coaxed onto your property by providing them with “bat houses” to live in.
- In the evening, put some of the unfinished soft food that the birds have discarded into an open Ziploc bag. By morning, the bag will be crawling with fruit flies and will be ready to be dumped after being zipped up and sealed.
- In places where fruit flies congregate frequently, put saucers of wine with a pleasant aroma and a few drops of dish soap. They won’t go to the grave unhappy!
- Insert fragrant fruit peels, such as those from mangoes, into the bottom of wine bottles. Fruit flies can enter, but they are unable to exit.
- To prevent ant infestations, wash the floor, countertops, and cabinets with a solution consisting of equal parts vinegar and water.
- Cinnamon powder should be sprinkled along ant trails. Cinnamon powder, powdered charcoal, bone meal, talcum powder, and chalk are all examples of substances that prevent certain species of ants from traversing a barrier.
- The legs of a parrot cage can be placed in shallow pans filled with water to create the effect of little moats that ants are unable to cross.
- To eradicate a colony of fire ants, it is necessary to first locate and eliminate the egg-laying queen. Pick a day when the soil is completely free of moisture. Sprinkle one teaspoon of instant grits over the top of each fireant hill in a gentle manner. The queen is the one that consumes the grits, therefore the worker ants bring them to her. When she consumes water, the grits in her stomach swell up and eventually cause her death. The rest of the hilltop is destroyed in less than a day.
- Eliminate any potential entry points for roaches into the home by sealing any cracks or spaces around pipes and wires. It is recommended that you use cement, screens, or Brillo pads. Small gaps along baseboards, walls, and cupboards should be caulked, as should cracks around pipes, sinks, and fixtures in the bathtub. Maintain a tight seal on food. Remove food residue from dishes that have been sitting out overnight. Never leave food out for your pet to eat overnight.
- Put some baby geckos in your aviary and about your house. They will need dishes of water, so make sure you provide that. At night, in the late evening, they will gorge themselves on the roaches, and during the day, they will remain hidden and sleep.
- A non-toxic roach killer can be made by combining equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar, then spreading the mixture throughout the affected area.
- It is possible to use diatomaceous earth (DE) to treat locations where roaches have been spotted. While the powder is being applied in the aviary, the parrots should not be allowed to breathe the powder. Concern, made by Necessary Organics Inc., is a brand that may be found in stores that specialize in natural and organic foods.
- If you want to get rid of the larvae that live in bird seeds, you should freeze them and then store them in airtight containers.
- To protect bird seed from being eaten by moths, put some basil leaves or mint teabags in the containers or bags that hold the seed.
- Use whole cloves wrapped in cheesecloth or spice bags and hang them in closets or bags of clothing stored elsewhere. This is a safer alternative to using hazardous mothballs in storage locations for clothing.
- Sticky fly strips that do not contain any pesticides should be stored in a closed basket or an old bird cage that is out of reach of children, birds, and other pets. By bringing sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil together, you may make your own sticky paper. Spread the mixture over the grocery bags made of brown paper. Citra-solv is the perfect product to use in the event that a bird comes into unintentional touch with fly paper and gets the sticky goo on its feathers.
- Garbage cans should have their lids securely fastened at all times to avoid attracting flies. After they have been cleansed and given time to dry, garbage cans can be disinfected by sprinkling them with dry soap powder or flakes.
- Pour approximately one inch of actual cider or red wine into a small container, such as a glass or jar. Use saran wrap and a rubber band to create a cover for the item. Using a bamboo skewer or another suitable shaper tool, make around six holes. Flies are able to crawl in, but they are unable to crawl out.
- If you want to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, you should steer clear of wearing perfume, bright colors, floral designs, and bright jewelry.
- Citronella candles can be used to keep bugs at bay.
- Products made from neem oil are effective at warding off mosquitoes and preventing their development. When applied to exposed body parts, a mixture of Neem oil at a concentration of two percent and coconut oil offers total protection against the bites of all anophelines for a period of twelve hours.
- Put some quick mashed potato powder or potato eyeballs (sometimes called potato buds) in key locations, and have a dish of water nearby. After consuming either the powder or the buds, mice will have a need for water. Bloating that ultimately proves fatal is caused by drinking water.
- To protect other animals and birds from getting hurt, place the “snap traps” inside of a box that has a hole in the lid that is just big enough for mice to fit through.
We are able to eliminate two of the primary sources of our birds’ exposure to toxins if we use natural techniques of cleaning and getting rid of pests in our houses. These two sources are:
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