Reply To: Are they building elsewhere?

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Carol – Mid-Mo.

    Cher – love your theory – I do think (me in particular) we tend to try to micro-manage our blues too much – after all they are wild birds! But this is NOT to say we should not do all we can to protect them after inviting into our yards!
    In regard to the bleach, I do like to sanitize my boxes – especially after having a horrible case of mites in a TRES box (which I did not catch) last year. By the way, I believe this is what caused the babies death just about 2 days prior to fledging (I felt horrible about this). I put my box into a 5-gallon bucket with about 1/8 cup of bleach and let it set a few minutes. Then like Cher says, rinse, rinse, rinse. I like to then set it in the sun for several hours. By the way, bleaching boxes with a little stronger solution is a great way to lighten boxes which have darkened with age. My boxes after 7 years were really dark (they are natural cedar) and are out in full sun – HOT. After putting them in this stronger bleach solution, they looked like new, light colored, wood again – better in hot weather. Of course, I did this after nesting season and they had all fall & winter to get any odor out. Good luck Evie.