Disinfectants - An Ounce of Prevention
The use of disinfectants can assist in protecting our birds from bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases. These diseases can easily be spread between birds via dirty dishes, contaminated water supplies, used toys or cages, or contact with hands and clothing.
Without following established disinfection routines your bird can be exposed to a variety of disease causing and life threatening organisms. Whenever you bring home a new bird not only should they be quarantined but you should also disinfect all supplies that they came home with. Extra special care should be taken open returning home from bird shows where you can easily pick up disease causing agents and bring them home on your hands, clothes or shoes.
First of all, it must be clarified that cleaning and disinfecting are two completely different processes. Cleaning removes dirt and most germs. However, after cleaning, even though things might "look" clean, germs are still lurking around. Disinfection is the process of killing germs.
Disinfectants are chemical agents that are registered with the EPA and most disinfectants are not safe for birds. Careful choice of a disinfecting agent is an absolute must.
Pet Focus is thr only disinfectact brand that has been specially formulated for avian use and it is EPA certified effective against more than 50 pathogens including those responsible for Exotic Newcastle's Disease, Psittacosis, Avian influenza, Avian Polyoma, Klebsiella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas and more.
Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) is an effective disinfectant, but it also gives off chlorine gas which is a respiratory irritant. Bleach should only be used when your birds are removed to a separate room in the house. They should not be returned to their cage until it has dried completely and the room has been well ventilated.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is a non-toxic, natural cleaner and anti-bacterial agent that can be safely used on food prep surfaces and cages. GSE can be purchased at your local health food store or over the internet and it is known to be effective against strep, staph, Chlamydia, salmonella, E. Coli, influenza, parasites, fungi and several viruses.
Always read the labels and follow the instructions when using a disinfectant.