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No aerosols near budgies, but what about in the same house?

delaney

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I am considering adopting a budgie. I know I cannot use any air pollutants (candles, Teflon, incense, air fresheners, etc.) around a bird. But every time I search for info, sources just say "don't use near birds." I find this unhelpful; what is considered "near" the bird? I do not live in a mansion unfortunately, but in a 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment.

And the thing is that my roommate is into scented candles and perfumes. They aren't her whole life, but she's more fond of them than the average person I'd say, so I don't want to ruin that for her. Moreover, she has 2 cats whose litter boxes are in the laundry room with a plug-in air freshener. She has agreed to only use candles and perfumes in her bedroom if I adopt a budgie - I offered to research parrot-friendly candles for public spaces or other ways to make the apartment smell nice; I did not approach her about removing the cat air freshener because I could not think of a solution to replace it with something parrot-friendly and I don't want to be demanding. (We have some other parrot-toxic things in the house, e.g. a Febreeze can in the bathroom, but I didn't approach her about those things because I'm pretty sure she will not care if we get rid of them.)

Her bedroom, where her candles and perfumes would be used, would be about 12 ft. from the bird's room (the entire kitchen is between our bedrooms). The laundry room would be about 15 ft. from the bird's room (its door is kept only slightly ajar to control the scent). The bathroom, unfortunately, is only about 4 ft. from the bird's room, and of course sometimes bathrooms need to be cleaned with cleaners like bleach (though we do have a bathroom vent button to filter out steam and stuff). I should add that I already keep the bedroom door closed almost 24/7 because the cats are annoying, and with the addition of a budgie, I would keep it closed always except when I need to enter or exit.

So my question is, are those distances safe? I am considering buying a good quality HEPA/carbon filter air purifier to put near/in my bedroom
(one of the $500 ones if necessary). I also have a large window in my room.

If these distances are unsafe, should I ask my roommate to not use any candles? Or would this be me stepping on her toes and should I just abandon the idea of getting a bird? She is my best friend so I imagine she cares about me pursuing my interest in having a bird which I've wanted for years, but still, I hate inconveniencing others and don't know what is too demanding of a friend/roommate.
 
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Shezbug

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Lol.
I’m not even half way through the second paragraph and I’m getting seriously stressed. :laugh:

There’s no such thing as a safe candle, aerosol or store bought air freshener when it comes to birds.
Cats are also a serious hazard unless you have full control of where they can and can’t go and you can safely alternate proper separate out of cage times for the bird and cats.
I’ll read the rest of your post and then see if I can offer any actual help and information for you ;)
 

Shezbug

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Ok, I’ve read your whole post now.
I personally think given the description of your home size, living arrangement, pets and roommate behaviours that it would be best for you to wait till your living arrangements change.

I’m in a huge 4 bed 3 living area home and my mother decided it was ok to use unsafe products in her ensuite with her doors closed (3 of them) and the exhaust fan running, her room and my room (where my macaw is) are on total opposite sides of the house and there is always an exhaust fan and a hepa filter running between our rooms as well as a hepa filter (sometimes 2) running in my room- my macaw started sneezing and making horrid sounds which alerted me to a problem, I came inside and I could also smell her chemical crap. My poor budgie was panting and sitting fluffed up till I freaked out and opened every door and window to clear the toxic air out.
In my opinion, knowing how sensitive birds respiratory systems are, I would not chance bringing a bird into the air environment you describe you live in. Lol. I used to be your roommate I’m pretty sure- had multiple scented candles and incense sticks constantly burning in my home… now I have a bird and I’m actually used to breathing fresh clean air I struggle with even being too close to people wearing perfume most times.
 

ems08

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I guess this is one instance where my severe allergies work in my favor. I am extremely sensitive to smells, whether that be candles, cleaning products, laundry detergent, etc to the degree of anaphylaxis depending on the scent and degree of exposure. So that wasn't a difficult part of bird parenthood for me.

I have used a mister with water and high- quality essential oils (lavender or citrus) if the trash was stinky or the couch needed freshening up and my lovebird never had an issue with those. Not sure that would be enough to combat kitty litter funk though :( And I'm allergic to cats too, so never had to worry about that incompatibility either.

Maybe other folks here will have some more alternative suggestions? Good for you for doing your research and planning around these concerns before bringing home a feathered friend. Good luck!
 

Shezbug

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@ems08
Please be very careful and maybe even consider other safe alternatives for scenting your home. Essential oils can be extremely dangerous and sometimes even deadly for our birds too- they’re another item I used for many things for my whole life that are now not allowed to be used in my home.
 

FeatheredM

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There seems to be a lot of risk here, birds absorb 90% of what they breathe in, so imagine the chemicals in the air drifting to the tiny bird, also cats are also not a good idea, they not only hunt birds,but stress them out. I've heard some horror stories about cats and birds
 

ems08

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@ems08
Please be very careful and maybe even consider other safe alternatives for scenting your home. Essential oils can be extremely dangerous and sometimes even deadly for our birds too- they’re another item I used for many things for my whole life that are now not allowed to be used in my home.
For sure! I don't use it as any kind of diffuser. What I meant by mister was a spray bottle to directly spray (in a very very diluted form) down inside the trash can for instance.

What do you use instead?
 

Oscarbird

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I offered to research parrot-friendly candles
Like Shezbug said, there's no parrot safe candles. Birds have extremely sensitive lungs and can't handle anything like that. I personally find the amount of chemicals in candles to be overwhelming and get huge headaches from being around them, so I wouldn't use anything like that if you are considering a bird.
Moreover, she has 2 cats whose litter boxes are in the laundry room with a plug-in air freshener.
I live in a house with four cats and I know all about the odor they can create. We mainly use diluted vinegar for getting rid of odor and cleaning the floor, and are sure to keep any cleaners (toilet cleaners, bathroom cleaners ect) far away from Oscar. The cats all stay on the first two levels on my home (not including the two basement parts of my house) and Oscar is in my room 24/7. Whenever I leave the room to go to the bathroom or to go get something I always close the door. If I am going to be gone, for a long time I always put Oscar in his cage and close my bedroom door. Oscar has never come into contact with my cats and never will.
 

Shezbug

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For sure! I don't use it as any kind of diffuser. What I meant by mister was a spray bottle to directly spray (in a very very diluted form) down inside the trash can for instance.

What do you use instead?
If I need to eliminate an odour I first wash the item in hot soapy water and if that doesn’t work to remove all smells I don’t want to smell then depending on the item I’ll use…
Bi carb soda.
Vinegar & water mixed 50/50.
Cinnamon sticks and orange peel boiled in water.
Vanilla essence.
Fresh bird safe flowers steeped in water.
Herbal or fruit tea water.
Bake cookies lol.

There’s quite a few ways to clear or mask unwanted smells but it totally depends on what the item is and what the smell is as to how I rid of it.
 

Elysian

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My boyfriend likes everything to smell good too.. when we were in an apartment (before any birds) he had a whole closet shelf full of candles and automatic air freshener stuff. And he liked to mop with pine-sol.

Obviously we had discussions about all of this stuff before I got my budgies.. I found pet safe cleaners that still smell pleasant to replace the pinesol.. and I limited him to *one* air freshener in the entire house. It is in the bathroom, and the bathroom door stays closed at all times. I cannot smell it out in the living area.
He does put on cologne in the morning before work (in our bedroom, also with the door closed) but isn't around the birds at all until he comes home in the evening and it has faded.

It's been a challenge for both of us.. he put bleach in his laundry one day (laundry is in the basement) and I could smell it through the vents .. spent quite awhile freaking out and doing my best to air out the house.
If he was not an understanding significant other of 8+ years it wouldn't work. Either the birds would be in danger or he would be getting really resentful of all my rules.
 

delaney

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Thanks so much to everyone for their replies, especially @Shezbug because that really help put it into perspective. Sadly, I think I will have to wait, unless my roommate goes out of her way to comply to bird safety, but yeah, I don't want to ask her to comply to a bunch of rules and then resent me. Fortunately there is a good chance I will be living with a different person next year who would be happy to comply to these adjustments; this roommate just happens to find a lot of comfort in scented products.
 
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