Fruit Flies Are Bothering My Umbrella Cockatoos (And Me)

Umbrella cockatoo on branch
Read in 6 minutes

mitchr is red violet and italicized

 

Oh, hi. Good morning. My favorite bird people. How are you doing?

 

Good Martha. How about yourself?

 

Oh wonderful. I’m sitting here with my two umbrella cockatoos and we have some fruit flies.

 

I was wondering if you have any product I could order that might help with that?

 

Let me double check.

 

Sure.

Yeah, there’s really not anything good I checked with my buyer, but we can offer a home remedy hack.

 

A fruit fly trap that works really well.

 

What is it called? What is the last word? I’m sorry?

 

It’s a fruit fly trap.

 

Oh trap, okay.

 

Basically, let me pull it up.

 

You mean I know it’s not really a health issue for them, but it bugs me.

 

They’re very annoying.

 

Aren’t they? (and good pun)

 

Yeah, let me.

 

I find it funny in Wisconsin here that we have fruit flies in the middle of November.

 

I know I know.

 

I love my birds.

 

Just the two umbrellas?

 

Yeah.

 

Actually, just the two, that’s a lot of bird.

 

They’re rescues.

 

I know they’re just rescues.

 

I don’t know who had the bright idea of having these guys in cages. It’s so dumb.

 

I know, they were fine on their own for 99 million years and then a thousand years ago humans got a hold of them.

 

Downhill from there.

 

You’d think we would have learned somethings about pet bird care after 1000 years but here we are in the 21st century with overflowing bird rescues.

 

A

D

 

You’re going to need a glass  jar.

 

 

 

We use Ball jars, a sheet of paper and Scotch tape, so it’s not all that complicated.

 

Okay.

 

Glass jar. Okay sheet of paper and a piece of tape.

 

Roll the sheet of paper into a cone or funnel.

 

Make sure that the funnel fits snugly in the jar.

 

Okay.

 

Make sure there are no gaps around the glass.

 

That keeps the fruit flies from escaping.

 

Then take the funnel out.

 

Add a small amount of vinegar.

 

We like apple cider vinegar or even a piece of old fruit.

 

Gotcha. I have some good. I have some downstairs. Okay.

 

Put the fruit or vinegar in the bottom just a little you know, about half an inch worth of liquid.

 

Replace the funnel, tape it to the edge of the jar and wait for the fruit flies.

 

They’re going to be attracted to whatever is in the bottom of the jar and they’re going to fly into it, but they can’t fly out because of the shape of the funnel.

 

Fruit fly trap Fruit Flies Are Bothering My Umbrella Cockatoos (And Me)

 

Yeah, okay.

 

Do you know how much I love that?

 

Yay.

 

It’s a simple hack.

 

A piece of cake, I can do this.

 

It’ll cut down on the amount of them in here for sure.

 

There you go.

 

Absolutely.

 

You made our day.

 

Well, thank you.

 

Sure and I’m going to be placing an order to with you guys for a friend who rescued one of our birds from us that didn’t fit in.

 

I’m going to order some Christmas food from you guys.

 

We had another female umbrella that just hated the other female umbrella.

 

So we had to find another house, but it’s just too bad, you know?

 

Our remaining female started to pluck her feathers, I think because of the other bird.

 

Yes, we know what happens when birds get too antagonistic to other birds and people in the house. It’s rough.

 

Okay, and if you see feather plucking make sure you have full spectrum lighting over the cage on a timer.

 

That’s a good idea. We have the light. We just don’t have it over the cage. I have it kind of by the side.

 

The light should be no higher than six inches maybe a little more for the U2s because they can get to the light or wires and you don’t want that to happen.

 

clamp lamp 2 Fruit Flies Are Bothering My Umbrella Cockatoos (And Me)

 

Put the light on a timer for twelve hours on and twelve hours off so you’re emulating equatorial light cycles, which is like what they would be exposed to in Australia.

 

The light helps them with what we call “synchronizing their circadian rhythms” and circadian rhythms are what you and I as humans feel when we get SAD (seasonal affective disorder), that’s because there’s not enough light in our life.

 

Like we get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and then the lack of consistent lighting for a bird stresses them out which is one of these invisible stress triggers.

 

That’s what’s going on. I know I know love to keep mine on a little bit longer than I’ve been only I turned it off about 4:30 at night. So.

 

Yeah,  you know we go we go 8:30 to 8:30.

 

And then even when the time changes we ignore it so it goes 7:30 to 7:30.

 

And what’s interesting is that we’ve got ten budgies all rescues.

 

When the day went to Daylight Savings time, they still they all went up to the top of the cage at the same time because the lights maintain the same cycle and they all put themselves to sleep. It was now 7:30 they cuz they know what time it is.

 

Okay, keep it going.

 

8:30 to 8:30.

 

Gotcha.

 

I love them. I love them.

 

Wow, see I’m stressing them out by you know, it gets dark at four-thirty.

 

They go to bed early. I think I’m just stressing them out, you know.

 

You are, unfortunately.

 

You’re not doing it intentionally, but now you have a fix.

 

Okay.

 

Okay, I do I do I’m going to have to go and look at how I can mount my lighting on top of the birdcage.

 

The ones that go in their cage, I mean, they’re so clever so I’ll have to be real careful.

 

Oh my God, she ate my stuffed pooh bear the other day.

 

Okay. Well, I’ll have to do some thinking and check out your light supplies cuz I’m glad I talked with you because I’m inadvertently stressing about that which sucks.

 

Sure.

 

We’re big on that now, we know it works and it also helps with a lot of behavioral disorders and will “smooth things out” in the bird’s mind.

 

One little thing. Oh my goodness, okay.

 

It’s the little things  – best of luck to you.

 

I just love talking with you. Thanks so much. Have a beautiful day. Okay, bye-bye.

 

Anytime you too. Bye-bye.

Author:

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.

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