It can be devastating to realize that your pet bird triggers your allergies. But here are 5 ways you can manage your allergies and enjoy your pet bird as well.
Choice of Bird—This is a “Johnny come lately” idea if you’re already adopted a bird. But if you are still in the process of choosing a bird this will help. All birds are not created equal in terms of the pollutants they create. All warm-blooded animals produced dander (dead skin flakes) and birds are no exception.
However, some birds create a white powder in addition to dander which increases the number of airborne pollutants exponentially. These powder down birds include African Greys, Cockatoos, Cockatiels, and Amazons. And while these birds are absolute gorgeous creatures, they will produce more particulates than other birds.
Number of Birds—-Keeping the numbers low will obviously reduce the number of particles produced. Because some birds are more social than others, your bird may have a higher quality of life if it is one of a pair. But having large numbers in captivity is sure to lead to problems for those who are allergic.
Easy to Clean Surfaces—-You can make cleaning so much easier by making smart choices about how your aviary is furnished. Tile, wood, and linoleum are all easier to clean than carpet and rugs.
Furniture that can be wiped down with a damp cloth will prevent particles that have fallen becoming airborne again. And blinds, shades, and shutters are easier to keep clean than draperies. These may seem like small choices but they make a big difference in keeping the air clearer and reducing the symptoms that result from allergies.
Clean Smarter—-When it’s time to clean, here are several things to keep in mind. Using damp mops and cloths for the floor, walls, and cage will trap more particles and send fewer into the air.
A vacuum that has a special bag to trap pollutants and prevent them from going airborne again is best. When it’s time to clean the cage, taking it outside and hosing it down will send particles in the outdoor air rather than the air inside your home.
Clean the Air—-Each time your bird flies from one perch to another, or tugs at a toy, or preens itself some particles will be released into the air. That’s just part of having a feathered friend as part of your life. The only way to continually reduce the number of airborne particulates is to filter the air.
The most effective type of cleaner for clearing particulates from the air is a HEPA (or high efficiency particle arresting) air purifier. It is able to remove particles down to.3 microns with a micron being defined as one millionth of a meter. And its efficiency is such that for every 10,000 airborne particles in the air, it will remove 99,997 of them with 99.97% efficiency.