Plugging vent holes. What do you use?

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Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

Just trying to get an idea of how other landlords are plugging their vent holes for early season arrivals. Pictures, descriptions and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your input.
Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I use 3/4" ells in the back of Troyer Horizintal Gourds for venting.

I just cut a piece of grey Duct Tape and cover the end of the ells in the early season. Then remove after the weather warms later in the spring.

Simple, cheap, & effective.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
C.C.Martins
Posts: 830
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

I use that black pipe insulated foam, get it lowes. Cut just a small piece and when its time to remove just pull it out. I use it for the cap vents. Just about anything that weather's well would work fine.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
tor
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

I got all my horizontals vented in the back too. Using a 3/4" (outside threads) to 1/2" (slick inside, for 1/2" pipe) PVC elbow for vent. Using two on each gourd. One side of the elbow has 3/4' threads (into the back of the gourd) The 1/2" end fits a 1/2 PVC pipe. So I made 1 1/2 " pipe pieces, stuck into the elbow, with a 1/2 cap on the other end of the pipe.So to open the vents, I just take the cap & pipe piece (glued together) off.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2021: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts:
2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 fledged
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
phldave
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

tor wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:41 am
I got all my horizontals vented in the back too. Using a 3/4" (outside threads) to 1/2" (slick inside, for 1/2" pipe) PVC elbow for vent. Using two on each gourd. One side of the elbow has 3/4' threads (into the back of the gourd) The 1/2" end fits a 1/2 PVC pipe. So I made 1 1/2 " pipe pieces, stuck into the elbow, with a 1/2 cap on the other end of the pipe.So to open the vents, I just take the cap & pipe piece (glued together) off.
This is the same method I use. This way you can use your plugs year after year. When I take them out I just store them in a bag in my shed. The only difference is my vents are made out of 1" pipe and elbows, because Menards has contractor packs of 10 that are a little cheaper, and you get more air flow. I have found that the friction fit works just fine, believe me that won't fall out.
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

I use rubber tire valve stems. Just push them in backwards and they pressure fit. When you are ready to remove them, simply pull them out and the valve stem is still good to use.
jhcox
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

I’m not a drinker but I would think wine corks would probably work pretty well if you knew anyone who drank wine. JHCox
Conrad Baker
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

You could use the foam swim tube. They are about a dollar at the dollar store. Cut a piece and tie a piece of string in the middle, letting the string hang down a couple feet. When you want to remove the plug, pull the string (or lower the house and remove if you don't want to leave the string long). I used the foam plugs to plug up a couple compartments on my houses when I first put them up, I guess they would work for what you need.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1796
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

I do as Conrad does, foam swimming tube cut to size. It is cheap and it does a great job of keeping out the bad weather. Once the foam needs to be removed due to increase temps, it is quick and easy. I just extend the foam beyond the opening, so it is easy to pull out or push in.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

How are you cutting the pool noodles to fit? And are we talking about the pool noodles/floaty tubes ?
Conrad Baker
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Fireflyfisherman wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:01 pm
How are you cutting the pool noodles to fit? And are we talking about the pool noodles/floaty tubes ?
Yes, the pool/float tubes. I just cut them in about 1 inch pieces with a pair of scissors. Then I cut the round piece in half, giving me two pieces. I tie a piece of string about three feet long around the middle of each piece, and squeeze it into the opening. When I decide to open the compartment, I just pull on the string and the foam pops out. This works for my S&K Houses with SREH. Your housing might be different, so you will have to experiment with the size of the pieces to make sure they have a snug enough fit to not "pop out" on their own.
One of the float tubes (I think they are called noodles) will be plenty enough for what you need.
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