When the Martins have left for the year, it is important to lower the housing, thoroughly clean it out and plug it up for the winter. Not only will cleaning remove any parasites and bacteria, but plugging the holes will prevent unwanted guests like Sparrows and Starlings from taking up residence.
Here’s what you can do to winterize your Purple Martin house …
- Lower your Martin house, open each compartment and remove all nesting martial. Use a putty knife and/or a brush to completely remove all debris.
- Mix a mild bleach solution, (2oz per gallon/warm water). This solution will kill any residual bacteria and/or mites. Scrub each nest compartment and the exterior of the house or gourd. Then flush everything with water (your garden hose will work well for this).
- You can now plug the compartments. (if you don’t have any plugs, we carry plugs for several different manufacturers) You can keep your Martin house lower and plugged all winter. We raise ours in March and wait until we have Martins perching on them to un-plug the compartments.