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Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11070
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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How to get rid of Barn Swallow nest from my porch?

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How do I get rid of a barn swallow who insists on building a nest on my porch? I've tried mothballs and fake snakes. I live on a farm so there are plenty of other places to nest.


Some additional information may help me to answer your question.
Do you have other barn swallows? If so, where do they nest?
Are there now eggs or babies in the swallow nest, or is it empty?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We have a farm with another large building where they nest. There are plenty of trees and other buildings where in they can nest. I just don't want them nesting on my house porch. I take the nests down (every day) before they have a chance to lay the eggs but the persist in building a new nest.

Thank you for getting back to me. I can certainly understand why you don't want them on your porch. They can be messy, and know how they dive-bomb anyone they view as an intruder. Barn swallows are among the most persistent nest builders. When a nest is destroyed, they just keep rebuilding. The birds that are trying to build on your porch are probably some of last year's young, and they are trying to expand to new territory. Once in a great while, tearing down the nest will work. Most of the time, they'll just keep rebuilding. Bad odors and scary sights don't work on barn swallows. There are only two methods that have been found to discourage them. One is to make the surface where they put their nest slippery. Smooth metal, fibre glass, or slick enamel paint may make it more difficult for nests to adhere to the building.

A better choice is to put up a barrier. Nylon or wire netting with openings from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch work best. It has to be stretched tight to keep the swallows out without them getting tangled in it. It also looks better that way. You can also use smooth metal as a barrier. It will depend on the exact area you need to cover and what you prefer the appearance of. I realize this sounds like a lot of work. However, there are no simple solutions when it comes to swallows. It's important that you exclude them from nesting this year because if they are successful one year, they will certainly be back tot he same site next year. I'm going to give you two sites that have diagrams, specific plans, and ideas for making swallow-excluding barriers. You'll see that they don't have to be unsightly.$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex3504

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on reply. I hope you'll be able to put up an effective barrier.

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