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How to Care for a Wren House

House Wren (troglodytes aedon) image by Steve Byland from

Wrens are a common bird seen nesting in backyard birdhouses. They like small houses with long narrow openings. In addition, they like to have a choice of houses, often setting them all up before settling into one to raise their brood. If you’ve set up your yard to specifically attract wrens you will likely have several birdhouses to clean each year. Cleaning the wren’s house isn’t just about being a good birdhouse keeper; it helps prevent the spread of disease and mites.

Place the wren house in way that will attract wrens. Hang it an area that is safe from predators, out of the sun and about five to 10 feet above the ground.

Leave the box alone from the spring through summer months. Disturbing the box may scare off the wrens.

Clean the box in the fall after the wrens have stopped using it. Remove the top and pull out the nest. Use a scrub brush and soapy water (Simple Green works well) to scrub the inside. Rise well with water and then set it out in the sun to dry.

Soak the wren’s house in a solution of 10 percent bleach in a bucket if you see any mites in the house. Leave the house open and out to air dry for 24 hours after a bleach treatment before setting it back up.

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