We\\'ve all seen the fancy Purple Martin houses all over the internet. Some install on the peak of your roof, some are huge wooden plantation replicas that hearken back to lazy days on the veranda. Unfortunately for Purple Martins they don\\'t care one bit for sipping lemonade on the porch and care less for how outwardly glamorous that martin house appears to our eyes.\\nMany purple martin houses available commercially just won\\'t work well when it comes to martins. Not that you can\\'t attract lots of sparrows in these houses but there are a lot better housing options out there.\\r\\nWhat makes for a purple martin friendly martin house?\\n1. If it refers to being easy to open for \\\'yearly\\\' clean outs, BEWARE! Most Purple Martin landlords and the PMCA (Purple Martin Conservation Association) agree that martin nests need to be checked weekly. Being able to access the nest once a year is just not good enough. Besides being difficult to access, if trapping of non native and invasive birds is needed, you might as well seal the house up. English House Sparrows and European Starlings will easily over run and even kill your martins.\\n2. If it has round holes only and no option for Starling Resistant Entrance Holes (SREH) then you may just be setting your martins up for a starling take over of the violent and deadly kind. Martins have no defense for the non native and invasive starling that has over run most cities. Once a starling has decided to use that nest, it doesn\\'t matter who is in the nest. They easily take over.\\n3. If it makes NO mention of how to lower the housing (via a telescopic pole
, pulley or winch) then you must assume that it is meant to stay put. Remember that martins preferred height of 10 to 15 feet up will make it quite difficult to access that house without using a ladder. So save yourself and your local trauma hospital the trouble and buy a house that can be lowered vertically by one of those methods.\\nAfter becoming almost completely dependent on humans for housing, martins have thrived under our care. That care is easy to provide by following a few simple rules when selecting a martin house.\\n1. Make sure the house refers to being able to access for \\\'\\\'nest checks\\\', not just \\\'clean outs\\\'.\\r\\n2. Plan for the worst and make sure it has SREH (starling resistant entrance holes) as an option. Housing manufacturers that give that option usually know a few things about martins and it shows they are thinking about the birds, not a profit margin.\\r\\n3. It is essential that the housing is easily lowered so look at the pole system used to mount the house. The popular plantation houses and cupola houses are designed to mount either directly on a 4x4 wooden post or on your roof and are more for show than for housing purple martins.\\nThere are a wide variety of martin houses that you can find that DO follow these important points. Made with a wide variety of materials to fit any budget and many (like Sunset Inn houses and Trendsetter houses) made by active Amish purple martin landlords that have perfected the purple martin house into an attractive yet easy to maintain way to bring conservation into your backyard.
I won鈥檛 say that the best way is to call a pro window cleaner, because this would be rather cheesy for me to just advertise the business side of things. So, here is my advice on how best to wash your windows.(But before listing the process step-by-step, here isa short guideI compiled on the topic if you rather read about it in more helpful details.
Assemble the Tools:BucketWindow cleaning solutionSqueegeeTwo sponges (a large one for the outside of your windows and a small one for the inside part)Stepladder/ Telescopic Pole (for high and out of reach windows)Microfibre cleaning cloths/ Soft cotton towelLarge towelsII. Destroy the dirt: (as I鈥檝e explained in the guide)Cleaning Windows on the OutsideThis side of your windows is exposed to the elements, it accumulates the best part of the dirt and grime. If it鈥檚 possible,rinse the outside of your windowswith a hose.
After you have prepared your homemade cleaning solution,dip the large sponge and wring it out.Rub the soaked spongeon the surface of the window. Don鈥檛 forget to scrub the corners and the window frames.
Use a stepladder or a telescopic pole for windows that are hard to reach.Rinse with the hose again.Wipe the windowwith a rubber-bladed squeegee. You can use the top to bottom method or the professional reverse S motion.
Be sure to remember which way you used on the outside, so you don鈥檛 use it on the interior of the windows.Clean the squeegeewith a fresh dry lint-free cotton towel. Use the other lint-free towel to dry the window.
If anyhard-to-remove stainsremain, you can spray them with the washing mixture and leave them for several minutes before rinsing.Use your natural window washing solution tospray the screens, then rinse them with the hose. Be sure to dry the window screens, before replacing them.
Cleaning Windows on the InsidePlace a large towelbeneath your window sill to soak up any spills.Dust off or vacuumthe window frames.Dip the small spongein your homemade cleaning solution and wring it out.Wash the surface of the windows.Don鈥檛 forget to go over the window frames as well.
Also, use the opposite cleaning motions to the ones you鈥檝e used on the outside, in order to see if there are any missed spots.Wipe the mixture with the squeegee.Alternatively, you can use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the solution. Avoid using paper towels and newspaper, because these may leave streaks or ink marks on your windows.
They also build up a charge, which can attract additional dirt to the windows.Clean the squeegeewith a fresh cotton cloth.If the windows are very dirty, you may need to repeat the process.
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