Helen from Ontario Canada
A: It's common for bees and other insects (including gypsy moths, blow flies, wasps, ants and gnats) to take up residence in birdhouses.
If bees have already built nests in your birdhouses, there is little you can do but have someone take it down for you and destroy the nests that may have been built (maybe an exterminator). Using insecticides will be harmful to the birds.
Depending on the population, bees and wasps can be kept somewhat at bay by rubbing bar soap on the inside roof of the birdhouses or by hanging a bar of soap on a tree branch close to the entrance. You can also try hanging half-full cans of beer (to drown them) or erecting specially designed commercial wasp or bee traps.
Some people have also suggested using left over pieces of fruit to lure bees to other parts of the yard where "bee houses" have been hung especially for them.
By Ellen Brown
We rub the inside of the bird house walls with a bar of mild soap like Dove. This was a tip from a friend who is an avid birder, and has worked for us the last 2 years. Good luck! (11/08/2005)
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