swallows building nests on side of house

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by prhamell, May 9, 2005.

  1. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    We have a flock of barn swallows which are building their yearly nests under the eaves on the side of our house. This is the third year that they've been doing it. Last year I was giving birth to my son right around this time of year so we didn't catch them until they already had laid eggs in the nests. I hear they return to the same nesting site every year. I don't want to be mean, but they make a mess and my clothes line is right there which they dive bomb. Every day I've been hosing down the beginning stages of their mud nests. Does anyone know of a better way? I was thinking of hanging strips of Walmart bags from the eaves to scare them away. What better way to use all of those bags, eh?! Becky
     
  2. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Could try spraying the general area they want with ammonia. Most birds seem to avoid the smell. Pigeons are a different story.
     

  3. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    After you wash down area they are trying to build on, spray the eaves down with wd-40 or some other light oil. It should keep the mud from sticking.
     
  4. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) You may also net the area off with netting openings no larger than 3/4 inch. The best success is with just washing the area and repainting if ou can't net. These birds are strongly attracted to remnants of the old nests and as you know are very perisistant in coming back thoughout the spring.

    Just keep at it until the hormones have settled down(theirs, not yours.LOL). DO NOT take the approach that a campgound owners son did though, over on the coast one year when we were camping. We woke up to a loud bang!!!!...he used a 20 GA shotgun! :haha:

    Needless to say the kid was grounded for a long time and had to repair the eves and the wall! We really laughed at that one and had a few discussions about inbreeding. LOL

    LQ
     
  5. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    I love barn swallows! Do you realize how many insects those birds eat and feed their growing babies?!? I have a barn swallow that actually nests in the barn (it came around lastyear right after I opened up the main barn door. Even though there are no animals in the barn, it wanted to build a nest. So I opened the window of the barn and let it build. Yes, it made a mess, but I was still happy to have one.) And it is back again this year.

    But I digress . . . . .

    We have another bird that is somekind of swallow that is building a nest on the top of our window eves. It has been there for several years now, and this year can't seem to decide which window to nest above as it has started nests above 3 windows!

    Why fight it? Put up a temporary clothes line between some trees, and once nesting season is over, you'll have your clothes line back, plus will be able to say that you "helped" create more insect eaters!

    Let us know what you decide and who wins the battle!
     
  6. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    When all else fails ... .22 shotshells work just fine and don't damage buildings.
     
  7. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    we have some who have built on our front porch for the past three years. last year I scraped everything off with a hoe in the fall after they had left and repainted the entire porch. was going to repaint anyway, not because of the birds.

    This year they've come back and are building behind one of the curved areas, away and over from where they've built before but about three feet from the old nesting site.

    My newspaper office overlooks this porch and I've enjoyed watching them....

    And they eat lots of insects so I guess I'll let them be and just clean up their mess every year when they're through....
     
  8. TrailDog

    TrailDog Member

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    You can smear something like Tanglefoot (product name) where they are. It's sticky and the birds don't like to walk through it.
     
  9. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Why not build 'em a box up there in the eaves with sides tall enough to keep the mud and crud and birdie poo from bothering you? Wind in Her Hair reminds me all the time how much "good" the Phoebes and Swallows do and how little they ask in return...and after all, its US who built OUR home in their ecosystem.

    She once had a Roadrunner build its nest on her kitchen window sill back in Texas and she'll never forget watching those babies hatch, grow, and their vigilent mama.
     
  10. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    send them to me!! i love barn swallows! i have a new barn, but alas, no swallows. yet.:)
     
  11. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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    I have read that you can get rid of the ones that nest on top of the window frames, etc. by slathering liquid dish soap on the area (with a paint brush?)! Apparently the birds don't like it!

    If they are on the wall though, maybe after you wash the beginnings of the nest off with the hose, you could spray that area with one of those hornet/wasp sprays that shoots 50 feet or so - they are really stinky - like kerosene - and you can definitely reach up the wall with them! I doubt they will like the smell of that stuff! I used it to get rid of some grackles that were nesting in a vent one year! Guess they didn't like it, because they left!

    Good luck!

    MaryNY
     
  12. starjj

    starjj Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would do the tanglefoot thing. Killing barn swallows is against the law and it should be because they are wonderful insect killers besides it is fun to watch them. I only wish I had some here. We have bluebirds. Why don't you build a few nest boxes they will use them also. Please don't kill them though, now English sparrows are another thing and as they kill a lot of the good birds and are imported from England they are NOT protected the same for English starlings.
     
  13. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We've had a problem with them for years. You do not want them building nests on your house or in our case in our attached garage because they (all birds) carry a mite that can invade your home. Our old house (before the tornado) had a detached garage and we let them nest in it. We do not want them in the attached garage. We have removed nests every year repeatedly since 1978. When I say repeatedly I mean several times a day! We use a hoe to scrape the nests down. If you get them before the mud dries they come down fairly easy. They are back again this year but we so far not building nests in the garage. Self-defense against them dive bombing -- a tennis racket. My dd was walking into the garage after teaching a tennis lesson and they dive bombed her and she put one into orbit.
     
  14. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    "and after all, its US who built OUR home in their ecosystem."

    Hmmm, in what ecosystem do you originate?

    I'm building my home in MY ecosystem. My swallows sensibly build their nests in holes in the levee bank. I've not tried to build my home in a hole in their levee bank.
     
  15. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I realize they eat insects and are a good thing to have around. But like I said before, they dive bomb and poop on everything. I have three small kids under the age of seven. Their swing set is right next to my clothesline. Sure I can just hang a rope between some trees for my clothesline, but I can't really pick up a huge wooden swing set and move it. This is more than just two or three swallows. There are like twenty or thirty this year. I've heard that offspring comes back to the same place to nest. Besides I have two huge barns a short ways away. They are more than welcome to build their nests in there. In fact, another flock does every year. Thanks for all the advice. I plan on just using the hose until this season is over with. Than getting dh up there to scrape, repaint, etc. Next year I'll probably try dish soap, WD 40, Tanglefoot, etc before the season starts. Becky
     
  16. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    We had problems with them dive-bombing us, so they are no longer allowed to build nests: a) above our deck door, or b) above the door to the goat barn. The goats don't appreciate being dive-bombed either. I knocked down any mud building I saw as soon as it appeared and then sprayed the area with cooking spray. They got the idea and gave up. They are welcome anywhere on my property except those two places! Good luck.
     
  17. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    Called dh at work and asked him how many swallow nests were built on the one side (alone) where the clothes line sits last year. He laughed and said he knocked down 22 nests last fall. 22 nests!! Sure, it would neat and interesting if it was just one little swallow mama building her nest. But 22?! I know they eat insects and everything, but it's like a scene out of the movie "Birds" every time I look out the window or the kids venture outside. Sorry, all you swallow lovin' individuals but I think this is one battle which I will win. Becky
     
  18. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I have Phoebe that built a nest on my porch this year and I'm getting a kick out of watching them. They have been paying rent by eating the spiders and wasps from the eaves of my house. It is quite the show to watch them hover in front of a window and snatch a bug. I've welcomed the help as the wasps are simply horrible this year for some reason.

    I'd try putting up a few nesting boxes next year to see if they like those accomodations better then your buildings.
     
  19. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    I think that if you just keep hosing down their nests everyday they will go somewhere else. I had some that tried to build a nest right over my front door & it took about a week to convince them to go away but they finally took the hint. They are capable of nesting without the benefit of buildings;after all , they have been around since before man started building structures. Just keep hosing down the nests, they'll go elsewhere.You do need a good spray nozzle on the hose though. Those mud nests are pretty tough.