Help needed for a bird box

Has anyone got advice for me re slugs repeatedly getting intro  our bird box?  We had the beginnings of a nest and then all activity ceased.  We didn’t want to disturb the box in case there were late nesters needing it but when I came to clear it out it was full of slugs.  This is the 2nd time this has happened.  Any advice?  I have now put the metal bands I use on my plant pots around some of the rim but am not sure if this is going to work….

Helen Griggs

  • When did you get birds in the box, and where is the box located? Is it possible to post a photo of it?
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Apologies for the delay in replying. No idea why the photos have come in sideways!  The box is north facing.

  • In reply to HelenG-1745904616:

    The birds investigated the box and lined OT for nesting about Feb/March, we think.  It also attracted some Tree bees in the summer (about July) but they didnt stay.

  • Thanks for the photo. It might be misleading, but the three impressions I am getting from it are:-
    1) It appears to be at an angle.
    2) It appears to potentially be damp.
    3) It appears to be easily accessible for mammals like cats.
    My impression might be wrong in any or all of those cases.

    Feb/March is right time for scouting out nest sites, but early to be egg laying (assuming it was blue tits). There would have been quite a bit of time for something to have happened to one of the pair, or for them to be put off and go somewhere else.

    Based on what you have written, I am wondering whether tree bumblebees occupied the box as they do become more obvious when males are loitering about outside a nest site.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Thank you for your helpful comments. It does look at an angle in the picture but isn’t in practice! It has been cleaned out and dried out but it is made of wood so I assume will get damp, on the outside at least, in the bad weather but I am not sure how else to keep it dry? I am not sure where I can put it in the garden that isn’t potentially accessible to cats - have you any suggestions?

    You will see I have put some of the snail deterrent tape round the holes and some of the edges to see if that keeps slugs etc out but will check it again in the Spring and clean it out again. Is January the best time before any nesting begins?
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Thank you for your helpful comments. It does look at an angle in the picture but isn’t in practice! It has been cleaned out and dried out but it is made of wood so I assume will get damp, on the outside at least, in the bad weather but I am not sure how else to keep it dry? I am not sure where I can put it in the garden that isn’t potentially accessible to cats - have you any suggestions?

    You will see I have put some of the snail deterrent tape round the holes and some of the edges to see if that keeps slugs etc out but will check it again in the Spring and clean it out again. Is January the best time before any nesting begins?
  • Ok thanks. If it's dry inside, then that's fine. Just gives the impression to me of being a damp box in general, not just superficially outside. The fact slugs are hiding in it suggests it might be letting water in, or soaking rain up from outside.

    Re sighting, I'd probably have put it on the more vertical trunk, slightly higher up. Photo might be misleading though. If the box is level, maybe the vertical other trunk isn't! Not sure.

    Yes, Jan is best time to finalise cleaning out and sighting the box.