Sometimes things or aspects of life never really cross our minds. For example, I just learned that you can lift some electric stovetops to clean the inside and around the sides of the oven burners. Who knew?!

There are other household and garden items that should be cleaned often including bird feeders.

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So why is it so important to clean your bird feeders? Why can't Mother Nature take care of this chore?

Simply put, birds can carry infectious diseases once they get sick. Birds primarily catch diseases because of dirty bird feeders. If birds become ill, then humans may also be at risk of contracting the same disease. It's similar to getting any other contagious disease and nobody wants that...

All About Birds website explains, "Bird droppings and other contaminants may also spread infectious bird diseases. ...Clean the ground below your feeders to prevent a build-up of hulls, uneaten seeds, and other waste. Moldy or spoiled food is unhealthy both for birds and for your outside pets."

Yep...pets can even be affected by dirty bird feeders.

HOW TO CLEAN A BIRD FEEDER

It's pretty simple to clean your feeder. The folks at All About Birds say to "...take it apart and use a dishwasher on a hot setting or hand wash either with soap and boiling water or with a dilute bleach solution (no more than 1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before refilling."

MORE: How To Eliminate Squirrels From Your Bird Feeder In South Dakota

I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, and I saw a post from a friend in Indiana in 2021. At the time Indiana was experiencing sick and dying Blue Jays, American Robins, and other songbirds. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources explains on its Facebook just how dangerous the situation was.

Are there any reports of birds such as Blue Jays, American Robins, or Northern Cardinals dying in the Sioux Empire?  No, thank goodness. However, in order to avoid an outbreak of dying birds like in the Hoosier state, let's properly maintain our bird feeders in an effort to protect nature and keep wildlife healthy.

7 Most Common Snakes in South Dakota

South Dakota may not have creepy crawlies like they do in Australia. But, there are a fair amount of snakes to be found here.
A few can be found in the Black Hills, some enjoy life on the west-river plains and several are concentrated in the southeastern part of the state along the Missouri River.

There are seven common species of snake that can be found throughout the state, including our one venomous species.

South Dakota's Weird Exotic Animal Laws Are Amazing

Have an interesting pet or looking to get one? Check this out from South Dakota Exotic Animal Laws before you go trying to adopt one.

You will need a zoo permit to harbor a raccoon dog. That's a real species. It's a small wild dog with a black facial mask and long fur, native to the forests of Asia.