Do I need to clean my bird houses? (1 Viewer)


Active member
We have had two birdhouses for a few years now. There is lots of activity at them, occupied by house sparrows. I was wondering if I was supposed to clean them out at all?

I think the birds are smart enough, and if there was something unhealthy in there they would remove it themselves. What's your opinion?


Alces alces
End of summer I take mine down, tip out the old nest & then rinse the nestbox out with boiling water .
As suggested here.

When cleaning out nest boxes it is advisable to wear surgical gloves and a dust mask. Old nests may harbour fungi growing on damp nest material, which can cause respiratory diseases. Nests can also house a variety of parasites such as fleas, lice and ticks. It is best, therefore, when removing the old nest to put this straight into a plastic bag and seal it before disposal.
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Well-known member
For years I had a nestbox that never saw bluebirds. I rarely cleaned it out. Had sparrows and wrens. Last year I built new ones and got bluebirds right away. (New design too.) Cleaned them out and took them down for the winter. Put them up this year and was blessed with another nesting pair of bluebirds right away. My recommendation is to clean them out each year.

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