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swallow control

April 24, 2012

How to Keep Swallows Away from Your Home

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Get rid of swallows with swallow bird control products

by Alex A. Kecskes

Variously known as martins, mud swallows, cliff swallows or barn swallows, these slender, colorful birds are small–just five to eight inches long–yet they often create a big nuisance for homeowners. Only proven effective bird deterrents will keep them away.

More than half a dozen swallow species roam North America. They prefer the safety and security of lofty areas and will build their mud nests under overhangs, beams, window jams and the ledges of homes. They’ll also attach their nests to garages, patio covers, fixed awnings and gazebos—particularly on textured surfaces like rough-sawn wood, stucco, masonry and concrete. They look for mud and drinking water and will mix sand, grasses, hair and feathers with mud to build their vertical clusters of gourd shaped nests. To keep them away from your home, you’ll need an effective bird deterrent strategy.

If you have swallows around your home, you’ll no doubt have encountered mud nests, debris and bird droppings. Like many bird droppings, swallow droppings can carry any of 60 known diseases. Fallen swallow nests can easily be picked up by a curious pet or child.

You may be tempted to remove swallow nests but the birds are classified as migratory and insectivorous under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Swallows are also protected by state regulations, which means you can be fined if you harm them or disturb their nests. The point is, once swallows have staked claim to your home, you’ll have to wait until they leave to remove the nests. And scrapping off mud nests can permanently mar your siding or paint.

Obviously, the strategy to employ is to discourage them from building nests on your property in the first place. And one of the most effective ways to keep swallows away is through the use of Sonic Bird Deterrents.

Sonic bird deterrents use a swallow’s natural fear of predators. They generate distress and predator calls that make swallows too nervous to build nests. One commercially available system can repeat these calls every 10 minutes. Not to worry, the sounds merely resemble natural birdcalls to humans. Unlike other bird sonic devices whose high-pitched ultrasonic noises irritate pets, the best sonic units won’t bother pets. You can set these units’ volume control to generate from 65-105 decibels, and you can program them to turn on or off at night.

The best sound bird deterrents come with a built-in speaker that protects up to an acre of your property. You can add more speakers to protect larger areas (up to 5 full acres). The best bird sonic units are ruggedly constructed with U.V. protected materials to survive harsh sun weather conditions.

For best results, bird sonic units should be installed as close as possible to where swallows normally gather and build their nests. For homeowners that means under eaves, patio covers, gazebos and fixed awnings.

swallow control

January 16, 2012

Prepare Now – Before Swallow Nesting Season

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by Terra Anders

Hirundo rustica! It sounds like a battle cry of a foreign militia group. Actually, it is the scientific name for the common barn swallow. Recognized by its long forked tail, glistening blue top feathers and soft pink breast color, the swallow can be seen flitting about almost endlessly throughout North America. One of the swallow’s most popular spots is California in the spring and summer.

Although these birds are pleasant to watch, they can create a nuisance in homes, structures, barns or stables. Anywhere there are birds there is bird droppings. In the case of swallows, their unique nesting habits add the additional title of pest bird. Of the seven species of swallows that breed in California, the cliff and barn swallows build mud nests on the sides of homes, barns, garden gazebos, or stables. These annoying mud nests often have landowners wondering how to keep these pest birds off their property.

Swallows look for structures that satisfy their four basic needs: an open area for seeking food, clean water for drinking and bathing, a vertical surface sheltered by an overhang for protection and attaching their nest, and, of course, enough good quality mud with which to build their mud nest. Once the birds find this perfect spot, they will come back year after year.

The mud nests, just like the bird droppings can become infested with bugs or disease that can affect human health. It is important to find humane ways to eliminate the nests and prevent the pest birds from returning the next year. During September and through January the swallows are still vacationing in South America, so now is the best time to install bird deterrents. Simply removing the abandoned nest will not deter these pest birds from returning. In fact, removing nests during their “official” nesting season (mid-February to September 1) is not permitted in California without a special permit.

To keep pest birds away from a previously occupied nesting area, bird exclusion methods are required. Once the nest is removed and the area clean from debris, feathers and mud, use the methods suggested below to create a space that is uncomfortable and uninviting. Bird Slopes under overhangs prevent the birds from getting a foothold on the vertical surfaces. The UV protected slopes are a slippery, steeply slanted physical bird deterrent that blocks the overhang of the building. These are ideal for ledges /overhangs that are about six inches wide. They are set in position and held in place with exterior polyurethane adhesive.

Hanging No Nasty Nest strips under eaves or overhangs are another effective way to keep birds away from the underside of overhangs or ledges. These are 3” x 11” strips of plastic that have a cluster of clear nylon strings dangling down. Applying these irritating ticklers where the old nests used to be (or where new nests might be built) will coax pest birds to look elsewhere.

These simple bird control methods are aesthetically appealing and can be easily installed by the homeowner using adhesive, glue or nails.

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