Why Swallows are a Pest Bird

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Why Swallows are a Pest Bird

Posted on February 7, 2016 by Alex Kecskes in Swallow Deterrents

Mud, cliff or barn swallows flock to homes, buildings and structures, building their gourd- or cup-shaped mud nests with a mix of sand, grasses, hair and feathers. Swallow bird nests can be very prolific, with colonies of several hundred nests lined up vertically. Female swallows can lay as many as six eggs at a time, beginning as early as March. The eggs will hatch in 12 to 17 days. 

Here’s how swallows have become such a pest bird.

Swallow Bird - The Image Problem

The Swallow bird create ugly bowl-shaped nests under the overhangs and ledges of a building can create a real distraction. Businesses, especially those that serve food, can lose customers when these nests are scattered overhead and bird droppings cover floors and walkways. Fail to remove these mud nests and they will stain virtually any surface. This defacement and damage can result in costly maintenance and repairs.

Do Swallow Birds Carry Disease?

For businesses that store, process, display or serve food, swallow droppings can easily contaminate these areas, especially if food is served or displayed outdoors. The bacteria, fungal agents and parasites found in swallow droppings and nests can carry such serious diseases as histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more. Health inspectors can shut down a business that suffers from too many bird droppings and nests.

Slip-and-Fall Problem

Another problem with swallows around any building is the dangerous slip-and-fall hazard their droppings create. Besides wet droppings, dried droppings freshened by rain, dew or sprinklers can result in a very slippery surface. Failure to address this issue can create serious legal problems should someone trip, fall and become injured.

Rain Gutter / Airflow Problem

Swallow droppings, nests and feathers can also interfere with the flow of rain in gutters, resulting in roof leaks. This debris can even block a chimney or air vent, creating a potential fire hazard and unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in the home.

Why are Swallow Birds Protected?

As many businesses have discovered, getting rid of migratory birds like swallows can get complicated. Swallows are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which makes it illegal to intentionally capture, kill or disrupt any migratory bird or the nests and eggs of such birds. The goal should always be proactive through humane and effective bird deterrent methods to keep these birds from nesting in the first place.

Other Resources for Swallows: 

Expert Assistance

Bird B Gone offers a number of deterrents for keeping swallow birds away from buildings and structures. If you’re unsure about which product would work best for your specific situation, Bird B Gone has over 80 years of combined experience in the field of bird control. We can help you with product selection, installation and cleanup. Just call us at (888) 570-0360 for a catalog, pricing, or product samples or email us at nobirds@birdbgone.com. We also work with a network of authorized installers, call today for a trained bird control professional in your area.