If you want to have birds make your bird house their home year after year, there are some necessary steps you need to take. One of those is to clean the bird house. Some birds build on top of old nests but most birds will not use a nest the second time around. Nests also harbor parasites and these you want to get rid of.
Bird houses are built with a hinged section that can be opened for easy cleaning which you should do at least once a year after the birds have finished breeding.
Take out the old nesting material and scrub the house with one part bleach to nine parts water, rinse well and allow to dry completely before closing it up.
Once the bird house is cleaned, it can be hung out again for new nesters or for a second brood of the same birds.
Since you are at it, you might as well check the bird house for any damage and do minor repairs as well. This will prolong the life of the bird house and keep it looking attractive for your garden or yard.
If you have a Martin house, it should be plugged up during the winter so that House sparrows and starlings don't take up occupancy. These two types of birds are very aggressive and will discourage other birds from using the bird house or building nests in the area. They are even known to chase other birds out of their nests and build on top of these nests. Sometimes they will kill other birds.
Doing this, you will continue to enjoy birds in your backyard year after year.
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