It is impossible to tell you exactly how often a hummingbird feeder should be cleaned. That said, it is important to keep in mind that a properly maintained feeder is vital to your success when trying to attract hummingbirds. If the nectar has spoiled or if pest are the problem, then it is time to clean your feeder. Generally speaking, there are four factors that will determine how often your feeder should be cleaned. This post will discuss these factors.
The first factor is seasonal temperatures. When the temperature is moderate, the feeder can be clean once a week. When temperatures are hot, then the feeder will need to be cleaned much more frequently, about every two to three days, in order to prevent the nectar solution from fermenting or spoiling and then resulting in mold developing.
The second factor is how effectively pest control is managed. If ants, bees or wasp are a problem and thus driving the hummingbirds way from the feeder then I would suggest that the feeder be cleaned thoroughly. Whenever you are refilling a hummingbird feeder, it is important that you not drip nectar solution on the outside of the feeder, because it is the sugar that is in the nectar solution which draws the pest to the feeder in the first place.
The third factor to consider is how often the feeder is being emptied. If your yard is a hummingbird haven and therefore is completely emptied at the end of the day then it is not as vital that it be cleaned each and every day because the nectar does not have time to ferment or allow mold to develop. If it takes several days before being emptied, I would recommend cleaning the feeder and giving the birds’ fresh nectar.
The fourth factor to consider is how much shade the feeder receives. If the hummingbird feeder is in the sun most of the day, it will need to be cleaned regularly, every day or two at the most. It is important to remember that continual exposure to direct sunlight will cause nectar solution to spoil more rapidly and cause mold.
Hummingbird feeders are a simple way to attract hummingbirds, but maintaining them requires responsibility, so please be sure this is a commitment you are willing to make. People are frequently concerned about how often to clean their feeders, so it is my sincere hope that this post has helped you understand this issue much better.