Update: I gave up. With two birds, who didn’t live in a dedicated bird room, the Roomba didn’t stand a chance. The 1.5 gallon Shop-Vac is my MVP when it comes to trying to control the seeds, dander, toy parts, etc that inevitable scatter across the floor 24/7. Best vacuum cleaner for my birds’ mess:
Bonus: Because I also shed hair like crazy, it’s nice that the Shop-Vac doesn’t have a rolling brush because hair tends to wrap around those and cause issues. I just need to vacuum daily, because a bird’s job (spreading seeds to replant the entire rainforest!) is never done!
I’ve been doing some research on vacuum cleaners because my floors are always a mess now (because of the bird, d’oh). The challenge is that it needs to pick up all the crap Stewie throws on the floor (seed hulls, seeds, whole nuts, pieces of fruit) as well as hair; however, my whole apartment is less than 600 square feet. The size of my apartment means 1) something really powerful and expensive is overkill and 2) I have no room to store a big vacuum cleaner (none at all!).
After some research on BirdBoard and getting some input, I put in an order for a small (1.5 gallon) ShopVac. But then someone mentioned the iRobot Dirt Dog. The Dirt Dog is like the Roomba but designed for garage workshops. If it can pick up bolts and pieces of wood, it can handle the detritus of Stewie’s eating and playing, I figured. And I have hardwood floors, so it seemed like exactly the right machine for me. It’s so small, I can store it under Stewie’s cage and it easily goes under the couch, too.
So I got one, and it arrived this week. Tonight is the first time I’ve set it loose and let me tell you… this thing is hilarious. It’s like a big toy that you watch rolling around the house running into things, but it cleans at the same time! At first, of course, Stewie was wigged out! But I put him in his cage and gave him a treat and then showed him that I wasn’t afraid of it. I followed the robot around like I thought it was fun and soon Stewie calmed down about it.
I’ve only used it once (in fact, it’s still running right now) but so far I’m liking it. It does take a lot longer to vacuum this way than with a regular vacuum cleaner, but that’s no problem since it runs itself. So if it can hold up to heavy use, this thing will have been well worth it!
Two thumbs up for the iRobot Dirt Dog!
Update: I’ve discovered a drawback. Unlike the regular Roomba, the Dirt Dog doesn’t have a spot clean setting. That means there’s no efficient way to clean just around Stewie’s cage and underneath the playstand – where the majority of his mess is concentrated. For this, it seems I still want a small handheld vacuu — or I keep using the dustpan.
Wow, Stewie sounds like a real character 🙂 It’s good you made some progress with that Dirt Dog…my good friend has a pet parrot and is always trying to find ways to clean up after him. He finally decided on a handheld vacuum and ended up pretty happy with it. Turns out, they’re pretty affordable. Good luck!
All birds are characters…just get one and see.
Anybody have suggestions for a really good vacuum cleaner? I’m disabled and can’t lug around a canister or push an upright? I’ve got 3 cockatiels that share my sewing room. The floors are parque so I’m not dealing with carpet.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Oh,btw, the ShopVac was destroyed and those little nasty Hepa Filters are impossible to clean with my long hair,bird stuff and thread!!
I like the black and decker hand held vacuum. very powerful and resonable. out performs pricier models like dyson or dirt devil. Good luck
I enjoyed your article, especially hearing about Stewie’s reactions 🙂 The ShopVac you mention seems like an excellent choice for someone with long thick hair and a plan to adopt birds. My question is; is it suitable just for spot cleaning around perches, or can it also double as a general vacuum cleaner for a whole apartment (mostly carpet, some linoleum)? Thank you!
The shop-vac is the only vacuum I own, so I use it for my entire home. It’s particularly good for dealing with long hair because there’s no brush for the hair to wrap around. It’s great on hard surfaces. Not sure how well it would work on carpets, to be honest.
Thank you for the input! I appreciate it.
My neighbor (with a big yellow lab) turned me on to a Dyson cordless stick vac. He said it was the best he had found for cleaning up hair everywhere! I was suprised, as this guy was pretty frugal. I got a V7! Expensive – yeah, works – oh yeah! I even bought a second ‘wand’, so now I can also vac the corners on a 12 foot ceiling!