They'll be building their mud nests on your garage, gazebo, patio and home. In fact, the eave of your home offers the perfect nest-building spot for swallows. It protects them from predators and it offers shelter from the elements. So unless you've prepared your property properly with the right bird deterrents, you'll be plagued with swallow nests, the mess and debris.
Swallows prefer to nest in colonies, causing major headaches and thousands of dollars in damage for homeowners. And it's not just the nests; swallow droppings are unsightly and hazardous, carrying diseases that can be transmitted to humans. When swallow nests eventually fall to the ground, the bugs, fleas, ticks and mites harboring inside can spread to dogs, cats and children who may pick them up.
Before you whip out the BB gun or bird poison, you should know that in the United States, all swallows are classified as migratory insectivorous birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The birds are also protected by state regulations. Once the birds have begun to construct their nests, it's too late to get rid of them. Disturb their nests or injure them at this point and you'll pay a fine for your folly.
The secret to avoiding the "swallows problem" is to take action before they arrive. That means using effective non-lethal bird deterrents designed to discourage them from calling your house a home.
Keep in mind that swallows will usually build their nests in a shady area under the eaves of a home, in a gazebo or patio cover, or any other area with right angles to the walls. Another point to remember is that swallows will often build their nests against a textured surface where mud will stick more easily—surfaces like rough-sawn wood, stucco, masonry and concrete.
Once swallows have settled in to build their nests, it's virtually impossible to get rid of them. Hosing down the nests won't discourage them; they'll just keep re-building their nests if they like your particular eave, garage, patio or gazebo.
So what are some ways to discourage swallows from invading your property?
Here are a few humane suggestions:
- Plastic Bird Netting. Use a 3/4-inch mesh and hang it from the outer edge of the eave of your home down to the side of the wall creating a 45-degree angle.
- No Nasty Nest. Block birds from getting to potential nesting sites by installing No Nasty nest under your eaves. Birds will not want to wade through the hanging strings and will move on to a new spot.
- Bird Slope. These slippery PVC panels create a smooth surface under the eave of your home that won't allow mud nests to "stick." Attach them under your eaves with adhesive.