Video Example of End of Season Nest Clean Out.

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LarryMelcher/KY
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:08 pm
Location: Kentucky/Shepherdsville

<iframe width="560" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/rnwOSBHmEN0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Okay, that didn't work... How bout you just clicking on this link? This is a video that I use for my public colonies... when the question arises, I have it a click away on my laptop.

http://youtu.be/rnwOSBHmEN0
I manage 2 public sites, and one at home, for a total of 172 cavities. Board Member / Non Profit PMCA.
Find videos that I edit for the PMCA Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/PurpleMartinPMCA
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6207
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Larry, I am having difficulty understanding all the steps and execution of procedures. I believe it would help JB and I follow your video better if you would come over and do an on-site demonstration. We have a house and about 4 dozen gourds you could use for that purpose. We have a hose, bring your gloves, please :wink:

heh, seriously, good video that will help newbies do it right.

I just pasted this portion of the address into my browser,

http://www.youtube.com/embed/rnwOSBHmEN0
Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Great video Larry!
LarryMelcher/KY
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:08 pm
Location: Kentucky/Shepherdsville

Thanks Matt !!

Louise,
Now that sounds like a plan... Come over and pick me up. Drive your Pickup truck so I can bring my stuff. Hee, hee... I wish it was that easy. Great to see you and JB at the PMCA Conference. A Great Time!!
I manage 2 public sites, and one at home, for a total of 172 cavities. Board Member / Non Profit PMCA.
Find videos that I edit for the PMCA Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/PurpleMartinPMCA
Virgil McCoy
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:06 pm
Location: Louisiana/Alexandria
Martin Colony History: Purple Martin Landlord since 2006

Thanks Larry, although I would take the sprayer off of the "Jet" mode and place it on "full" flow otherwise wear a slicker suit ! lol !
Proud to be a fourth generation Purple Martin landlord.
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

If only I had logged onto the Forum about 3 hours ago...Larry, I could have used your good ideas from your video BEFORE I started the process of cleaning out my gourds just this evening! I had wanted to leave them up a little longer for more martins to spot them on their way to Brazil, but with the impending hurricane on the way, I want to protect my gourds and pole, so they had to come down. And since they had to come inside my home, they had to be clean. Thus, tonight I just discovered my least favorite part of being a martin landlord! Nasty. The one dirty nest I had to clean out from last year as a new landlord wasn't a big deal, but 7 nests this year was--a mess. Y'all landlords who have dozens...hundreds...of cavities to clean out...you really have my sympathy and admiration. Seven nests is nothing compared to what many of you have to clean up after. You guys are really dedicated. Hang in there. You can do it! (I'll cheer you on!)
Kathy in VA
msalcido
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:25 pm
Location: Texas/Mineola

Thanks for posting Larry. Good instructional video. When I did my nest cleaning, I pretty much did what you say to do except I didn't think of wearing a dusk mask. Good thing to know - so thanks!
Mike

Fifth season of being a landlord! :) and a PMCA member!
John Balga
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:13 pm
Location: Essex, Essex County, Ontario
Martin Colony History: 2012-69 pairs
2015- 3 pair at new home colony
2016-6 pair at home colony-1 ASY FEMALE banded from Andy Troyer colony
2017-17 pair at home colony
2018-38 pair at home colony
2019-47 pair at home colony

Just wanted to mention here too Larry that this is an excellent video for everyone to see and that I should have called you earlier for a demonstration here in Ontario. I could have had the wholoe club come out.

Just a kindly reminder to all to wear leg protection, something very tight around the ankles to keep the fleas from crawling up and giving you a bite.They hide themselves in the nesting material ( straw shafts) and jump around when you are cleaning it out. The bite will not be noticeable until the very next day. Trust me, I found out this past week and it can be very uncomfortable even when you take precautions. Enough said on the topic but make sure you have some Calamine lotion available just in case.

There is a lot of information out on the internet on the topic.

Happy cleaning everyone! I' m finished now until next season...
John & Linda - KY
Posts: 599
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:19 pm
Location: Kentucky/Hawesville

Linda says that if you'd put a garbage bag in a trash can you could dump the junk in there and not have to pick it up later. -- John
John Miller
Posts: 4766
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Thanks for the video tips Larry. I'm still procrastinating here.

A garden hose is a landlord's best tool for cleanup, if it will reach...but my home hose isn't long enough to run to the park sites. (grin).

I take a spray bottle with a 10 percent bleach solution with me, and an extra gallon of the mix in a jug. Don't get the mix too strong as it can burn your hands, and eye protection would be wise, and old clothes you don't care if get spotted.

I spray down the nest first, then pull out most of it, and respray and wipe out with old rags. I hope the bleach mixture protects me as I progress. The greatest benefit to the housing may be that it really brightens up the exterior.

John M
LarryMelcher/KY
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:08 pm
Location: Kentucky/Shepherdsville

Thanks for all the replies. Just thought I would share one of my latest things that I add to my laptop. Any public presentations... or if I just run into someone with martin questions... This works for me so well. Just click on the "answer to their question". With the video of a simple nest clean out, ... a picture is worth a thousand words, but video "almost" says it all.

Thanks for the tips. This may turn out to be a good thread to fine tune "the craft" (hee,hee) of end of season nest clean out.
I manage 2 public sites, and one at home, for a total of 172 cavities. Board Member / Non Profit PMCA.
Find videos that I edit for the PMCA Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/PurpleMartinPMCA
LarryMelcher/KY
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:08 pm
Location: Kentucky/Shepherdsville

John,
At my public site (Bernheim Forest) I take the gourds to the lake and get in knee deep with the gourds. I pull all the junk out under water.

One year, bored during a heavy rain, I tested out a good rain suit by cleaning the gourds in a quick moving stream. Bad thing... By the time I reached shore again, I was five miles downstream. I never let go of a single gourd. ... Okay. I hope you are laughing at me. It was one of those "normally dry" ditches. Only about a foot wide and 6 inches deep. Ha Ha... Kidding aside, it worked pretty good. Some of the Bernheim folks think I'm a little on the nutsy side, and that day just proved it. If not anything else, they know I'm serious about my martins.
I manage 2 public sites, and one at home, for a total of 172 cavities. Board Member / Non Profit PMCA.
Find videos that I edit for the PMCA Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/PurpleMartinPMCA
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Remind me to never go swimming or wading in that lake at Bernheim Forest! I had thought about putting a couple of gourds at a time into a huge plastic tub (50 gallon) to soak for awhile, and then pulling out all the wet junk. Maybe I'll try that next year; I'm up for trying a different technique next year....just pulling out the dry, dirty nest was very dusty, and I couldn't get all the crud off the inside of the gourd unless it could soak--and with nothing to hold the water in the gourd just sitting out on the driveway, the crud wouldn't stay wet to soften. Thanks for the ideas. Anybody have any recommendations for what tool works best to use to scrub the interior of a SuperGourd/Troyer Gourd?--long-handled brush, abrasive scrubber sponge, etc...I tried a short-handled brush and a smaller brush and neither worked very well. My gourds get stored inside my home, so I want to scrub them and not just hose out the inside.
Kathy in VA
Mary Wilson-SW Ont
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Leamington Ontario

This is a good demo, and I wish all our colonies were close enough to a hose that we could use it to spray them out really well. (Our backyard colony is the only one where we can do that). I usually never wear a mask, but at the very least, from now on will take a spray bottle with me to dampen things down before pulling out, which I had never thought about doing before.

I'll make mention of several items I've found to be very helpful for cleaning out gourds and houses:

Use a garden "claw" tool to rake out the bulk of the old nest from gourds and houses. This gives great leverage and will lift up a tightly stuck nest from the floor and break it up into smaller pieces that can be raked through the opening.

Use an old CD (RAP works best .... :lol: ) Cut it in half as best you can; the curvature makes it an excellent finishing scraper-outer of gourds.

The small laminate samples of counter-tops that are available free in home improvement stores make great scrapers for Trio houses. They have sharp corners, are strong, and are small enough to easily fit in there along with your hand and maneouver around. And if you lose it in the garbage, just grab another one (I usually have about a half-dozen on hand) - they're excellent scrapers in the kitchen also, BTW.

Haven't started my cleanup yet ..... always a dreaded task - 140 Trio compartments and 78 gourds to go.

One other important thing I just remembered .... on Trio housing, where an SREH plate has been riveted or screwed on top of the original round-hole door (which is what mine are all like) ..... this is a hiding place for mites. Winter does not kill them (and even though we are extreme southwestern Ontario, we still have some pretty cold weather in winter). So what I do is: in a rubbermaid container, I stand the doors vertically, then I pour boiling water from a kettle over the cracks between the plate and the original door. Kills the mites instantly.
www.ontariopurplemartins.ca ..... the website of the Ontario Purple Martin Association, in SW Ontario, Can
LarryMelcher/KY
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:08 pm
Location: Kentucky/Shepherdsville

When I clean out my plastic gourds, all I want is the bulk out. I don't worry about cleaning out any stains inside. From what I have read, Purple Martins prefer a "lived in look". It gives them a sense that the gourd was a safe nest site the previous year..... from what I've read.

Mites. I've got them too. I use sevin dust on the gourds after I have them clean. Any mites that get out and crawl around, get in the dust. I know sevin is controversial. I feel safe using it at the end of the season... and I have sprinkled a very small amount on the interior wall of the gourd. It only takes a small, small amount... about 1/4 a teaspoonfull, and the mites crawl through it. I DO NOT want it where the young nestlings will touch it. Controversal, yes. I can't bear to see them all over the young to the point they jump from the nest way too early.
I manage 2 public sites, and one at home, for a total of 172 cavities. Board Member / Non Profit PMCA.
Find videos that I edit for the PMCA Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/PurpleMartinPMCA
M.Stephens
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:14 pm
Location: Texas/Texarkana

Hey Larry I loved the video of the Lilly Dale roost...it was like being there!!!
I feel like I know all you guys from somewhere????LOL

Oh yeah the cleanout video is super too!!!
Last edited by M.Stephens on Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Malcolm
2015 (110 nesting pair)
2014 (92 nesting pair)
2013 (75 nesting pair)
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2011 (20 pair)
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Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Mary and Larry, thanks so much for the great clean-out tool ideas and mite info.; sorry to be so long in responding...I have been out-of-town all week. Thanks again for the help.
Kathy in VA
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