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Anybody have any simple suggestions on how to disuade barn swallows from nesting on my window sills? I've heard that sticking rubber snakes around will make them avoid certain areas, but how close do they have to be? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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The only thing that helped keep the swallows from nesting in our covered deck was knocking down the nests as they built them. I like the swallows in the barn, and let them nest where ever they want, but the mess on the deck was incredible. We now have 3 families of swallows in the barn, and they've been coming back for 3 years. I think they like the horse mane and tail hair to build their nests with...it's kinda funny seeing the hair hang way down from the nests.

Stacy in NY
 

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Ack! How annoying are they? In our area, we have to work hard to stop them from nesting in our goat barn and directly over our kitchen door. The mess is only part of it; once the chicks hatch, the little buggers dive-bomb you when you go anywhere near them. We had to be very consistent about knocking down any nest they started, and also sprayed Pam on the surfaces where they wanted to build. They eventually found it annoying enough that they nested elsewhere. Humans 1, Barn Swallows 0 (at least this year)!
 

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The swallows don't dive bomb us humans, but the cats-wow! They are serious about dive bombing the cats. Actually, it's kinda fun to watch the swallows pin the cats to the ground. One of our cats just keeps on walkin' and ignores them completely.

Stacy in NY
 

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I don't know how close they have to be to the nest but I do know that it works. Had a nest above the door that we kept knocking down and they kept building it back, put a rubber snake on the same ledge and they abandoned the nest....never did come back.
 
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We are so sad that out swallows chose to nest elsewhere. They have nested in our garage for 15 years. When the babies hatch we we place a cardboard "catcher" under the nest to absorb the mess. The fly population plummets. It builds back up again after the nestlings leave, but the second hatch demolishes the flies again. We have scheduled cleaning the garage, etc to avoid disturbing the birds, and keep the door open for them. But the additional cat and bird chasing dog discouraged them :waa: Just can't imagine anyone objecting to sharing space with such beautiful, interesting, and fly eating birds. :(
 
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