Time to clean out the old nest box
With National nest box week completed, it is worth mentioning the other jobs that are timely at this time of year. Cleaning and maintenance should be a part of your welfare for your wild garden birds. Cleaning out the old nest and giving the inside a good brush through gets rid of any latent disease or fungus that has developed during the vacant months over winter.
Cleaning can take place now and for the next week or so, but should be completed by 1st week in March. Just take down the nest box and access the internal chamber, remove the old nest (being careful to ensure there are no other occupants still hibernating in there) and check the condition of the internal chamber. It should be dry and free from mould or excess dust and any other debris. Take a reasonably stiff brush and give it a good brush through. If all is well and there are no remedial works required (to stop water ingress for example) re-hang the box. If the box was not occupied last year, check it is pointing North East and there is no noise or other disturbance close by. If things have changed since you installed the box, then this is a good time to consider an alternative location for your nest box.
If at all possible, avoid using detergents or cleaning agents, but if the inside of the box is damp /wet or mouldy then you may have to use a non toxic mild detergent (Ark Klense
and a good brush to remove the mould, then plenty of water to remove any odour. Leave the box out in the open for a couple of days to dry thoroughly and then replace back into it's location.