For Your Bird’s Health: Gas Heat, Bugs And Muscular Atrophy In Bird Legs

Close-up of parrot zygodactyl foot and calf on blurred background
Read in 6 minutes

Carol P. replied


How can you get rid of the little brown bugs that come around the bird food without hurting the birds? Is there a spray or something I can order?


Thanks for your help, Carol in Tennessee


Hi Carol


Knowing what kind of bugs they are is half the battle.

Can you take a picture of them to send to me or identify them?


Are they coming from the food? Or did they go to it from outside the bag?


There should not be any bugs in the bird food. If there are then the bird food is old or has not been properly stored.


Buying more food than you can use in a few months does not save you money if it gets buggy.


ALL bird seed grows outside, ALL bird seed contains bug eggs. It is up to you to use it up before life happens in your bird seed.


If you have bugs in the food, it is time to throw it out and buy fresh.


If you can’t then I recommend that you put it all into a deep freeze for 2 weeks to kill the bugs.


Then it should be safe to use without them crawling around. If the bird food looks webby or crumbly, it is too far gone and needs to be thrown out.


There are no insecticides that are completely safe around birds.


You would do best to remove all seed debris and start fresh with fresh seed.


MangoPet Control is an insect spray that can be used but it is recommended that you remove your birds from the cage and room while spraying and allow the room to air out awhile before returning the birds to their cages.


Read about ants and bird cages here.


Thank you


Can ultrasound plug in pest controls harm caged birds? Thanks



Hi Laurie

I would not take the chance – if its an ionic version it can definitely be harmful


Birds vary so much in size, breed and behavior.


We have no way to guarantee the Ultimate AT will or will not bother your bird.


To be safe, we recommend not using the AT in the same room as your bird, or near the bird’s cage.


Some customers have reported their birds seem bothered by the ultrasound; other customers tell us their birds seem just fine.


more about ultrasound from this site 


best  mitchr




I have a concern that I never realized until this week and I would like some advice.


My new husband and I just purchased our first home together and we are in the process of moving at the present moment.


I took care to make sure this home had a “bird room” for our feathered kids that is completely safe (no fan, window coverings, outlets covered, locking door, even hardwood so I don’t struggle daily with carpet stains anymore)!


Well what I didn’t realize is that this home is heated by gas, including a fireplace and the stove-all gas!


We haven’t moved the feathered ones yet thankfully or I would have probably bothered my vet a thousand times on a weekend!


But when I turned on the stove to cook yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice an odor!


Now I am very upset and concerned that our birds are going to be harmed here!!!


Any advice??


The room is on the opposite side of the house but on the same floor.


The door does completely shut, but what happens in winter when the heat is on?


Will the gas harm them?


My husband thinks Im smelling the gas cause it was just turned on and that it shouldn’t do that once its in constant use.


Im hoping that he is correct but either way I am very worried about the birds. Thank you!


Hi Stacy


You don’t mention whether its natural gas or propane but either way both are benign for your birds.


We knew natural gas was safe but wasn’t sure about propane so we tested it for ourselves.


Our story about propane and our birds is found here: 


Keep in mind when you put your birds in a specialty “bird room” you are at isolating them from the rest of the flock which unless they are only there to sleep.


We recommend keeping birds in eyesight of their humans for great social relationships.


Best of luck,



add->  carpet stains comment mitchr


From: Sandra B


Mitch, love your articles.


Just want to clarify something.


My elderly DYH Amazon recently passed (difficult loss) and just ONE issue was “thigh muscle atrophy” per the vet.


I just read this from your article, “Most people are surprised to learn that birds have no muscles in their legs nor their feet just a pair of tendons called Flexor tendons that run basically from the hips to the toes.”

Now I am confused and wonder if there are thigh muscles?

Hi Sandra


We are sorry for your loss – we feel pets to be as much a part of our hearts as humans.


You bring up an interesting point – I walk the fine line between not dumbing things down much at not being too technical.


I will change the wording in the post based upon your excellent recommendation to read , “Most people are surprised to learn that birds have no muscles in their “visible” legs.


We present you with his excellent graphic to further explain the birds muscular anatomy.


Avian Muscles For Your Bird’s Health: Gas Heat, Bugs And Muscular Atrophy In Bird Legs


you can see where the muscles end above the elbow


Thank you for engaging with our content





He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.