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Now’s a good time to clean out your nest boxes

Posted: Nov 13 2015

Bird NestNow that the breeding season is over it’s a good idea to give your nest boxes a clean. Over the breeding season there can be a build-up of parasites in the box which if the box is not cleaned out can remain and infest the young the next breeding season. Nest parasites can have quite an impact on survival and growth of chicks so to give the next inhabitants of your box the best possible start we’d suggest cleaning out any boxes that are used every year. If you’re going to clean out your boxes it is always best to wear a pair of gloves.

Since the nest might have a variety of parasites and damp material can have fungi growing on it, it’s best to tip the old nest straight into a plastic bag and put this into your bin.

Once you’ve emptied any material from the nest box, to kill any remaining parasites or eggs pour boiling water into the nest box.

Leave the box to dry then replace the lid. If you place a handful of wood shavings or hay in the box it may encourage birds to use it as a roost site over the winter.Rehang your box and its good for another year.

The legal bit! All birds nests are protected and the cleaning out of nests is only permitted between 1 August and 31stJanuary. Any eggs in the box should be destroyed and cannot be kept or sold.

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