martin gourd houses

martin gourd birdhouses

Martin Gourd Cleaning Tips

Martin Gourd Birdhouse Cleaning Tips

Here are some great tips you can follow to clean your martin gourd birdhouses (or any of your birdhouses) at the end of each season.

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As the winter turns to spring and the geese once again begin flying north in those beautiful V formations you hear flying overhead, it is time to check your nestboxes once again. Even if you cleaned your birdhouses out in the fall, after all the nesting activity was over, you need to check them all and make sure they are once again ready for the return of all of your cavity nesting birds.

You may find that your birdhouses were used by some bird species during cold winters to stay warm at night. You may even find evidence that mice were using some of your nestboxes for homes. No matter what birds or animals took advantage of the warmth of your birdhouses during the winter, there are important considerations you need to know when you begin cleaning out those nestboxes in the spring.

Position yourself to avoid inhaling any dust from the nestbox and wear gloves while cleaning out the boxes. I use a putty knife to remove any old birds nests or wasps nests and put them into a plastic bag with a tie or a zip lock bag in case there are any parasites in the nestbox material. Dispose of old nest materials in the trash. Do not dispose of the old nesting materials close to the birdhouse as this may attract predators.

Once you have scraped out the nestbox and made sure all of the drain and vent holes are open, you can disinfect birdhouses by spraying them with a 10% bleach solution (one part bleach, nine parts water). If you decide to disinfect your birdhouses, leave them open for 24 hours to allow them to dry before closing them back up. I recommend disinfecting your nestboxes if you have evidence of parasites in any specific boxes. Many times you can simply scrape the insides of the birdhouses and wash them out with a sharp stream of water.

Just as I’m sure you like a clean house, your bird friends enjoy a clean birdhouse when they arrive in the springtime to bring all of their beautiful color and song to your backyard. Make them welcome by keeping your birdhouses clean before they arrive in the spring and, if you have nesting birds that produce more than one brood per season, clean out the nestboxes after each brood.

Let’s get ready for a great birding season by cleaning out your birdhouses now and enjoying all of your feathered friends and their offspring for years to come. Happy birding!


Author: Larry A Jordan

Larry Jordan has been bird watching for many years and building birdhouses for over 26 years. For quality bird products including bird feeders, bird houses, binoculars, scopes, birding field guides, CDs and DVDs and much more, go to Birds In My Yard for some great deals.

If you want to learn how to build your own birdhouses go to Build Your Own Birdhouse Plans and while you’re there, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free mini-course on how to attract birds to your yard! Plus you can go to my resources page for free plan downloads and a link to my Blog.

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