Swallows leave a lot of dirt and droppings in the areas where they nest. This article outlines the three steps you should follow if you need to repel swallows. And what you should not do…
You will also learn about:
- Benefits and Problems of Swallows
- Considerations before removing swallow nests
- What are the nesting and breeding months for swallows
- What you cannot do to get rid of swallows
- How to repel swallows in three easy steps
Swallows: Beneficial in the countryside, a problem in some urban areas
Swallows live in groups and are insectivorous birds, that is, they feed almost exclusively on insects. Swallows not only do not cause damage to crops, but are very beneficial to farmers as they eat insects that could harm crops.
Swallows prefer open fields and wetlands where they find more insects. However, they are very accustomed to the presence of man and do not shy away from inhabited areas.
It is in urban areas: in cities, country houses, barns, tourist complexes, livestock areas,… where swallows can indeed become a problem. Because of the excrement and dirt they leave in the areas where they nest. And because of their constant warbling that begins at dawn, disturbing and preventing neighbors from sleeping.
Can Swallow Nests Be Removed?
Swallows build their nests with mud, dry grass, and straw attached to beams, roofs, or walls of stables, porches, sheds, houses… Swallows are extremely fast at building their nests. They can have them ready in just 24 hours. Swallow nests are bowl-shaped. With an opening at the top, that’s where they enter and feed their chicks.
It is very important to remember that swallows, swifts, and their chicks, nests, and eggs are protected in both Spain and Europe. To remove the swallow nests, you need to request authorization from the regional environment agency. And it can only be done when the breeding season is not taking place.
Swallow Migration and Breeding Months
Most of the swallows migrate to Africa in the months of September / October, thus avoiding the cold winter. In recent years, it has been observed that some stay in Spain, especially in the area of Andalusia: Seville, Cadiz….
As the famous poem by Becquer says, “The dark swallows will return….”, swallows return to Spain with spring, usually in the month of March. Experts from Seo BirdLife have found that the return time of swallows to Spain has advanced in recent years, by at least two weeks.
Spain is part of the migratory route of swallows to Europe and it is possible to see them in our skies, in huge flocks of hundreds and even thousands of specimens.
Swallows return to Spain to breed their chicks. Swallows are not very long-lived birds and have a very high reproduction rate. The females incubate the chicks for a couple of weeks. After hatching, the chicks stay in their nests for about three weeks. Until they start flying.
If swallows are breeding on your porch, house or shed, here we explain what you should and should not do to get rid of swallows.
What not to do to repel swallows
Swallows, their chicks, their nests, and their eggs are protected both nationally and at the European level. Therefore, if you need to repel swallows:
- Do not use poisons or chemical repellents. You should not harm them.
- You should not knock down swallow nests during the breeding season. And you can only do it with authorization from the environment agency.
Three Steps to Repel Swallows
- Request authorization to remove swallow nests
- Thoroughly clean the area to erase any trace of their previous presence. This will discourage swallows from nesting in the same spot again.
- Use an eco-friendly bird repeller that won’t harm the swallows. Choose the right swallow deterrent for your specific situation:
In semi-enclosed areas, where swallow nests are found on balconies, windows, porches, sheds, etc., use a potent Ultrasonic Swallow Repeller. The “UltraSonX” Ultrasonic Repeller has proven to be very effective against swallows. It creates an inhospitable, uncomfortable environment, deterring swallows from nesting in the area.
Also consider installing a Visual Bird Repeller. Within visual bird repellents, we recommend one of the following two options:
- the Falcon Scarecrow Kite, the most effective visual deterrent, or if this is not feasible,
- the Owl Scarecrow that flaps its wings with the wind. This device is a replica of a real owl. Its wings move with a gentle breeze. Keep in mind that the owl is one of the swallows’ predators. Therefore, swallows tend to steer clear of an area as soon as they spot it.
In large open areas, use a Sonic-based Swallow Repeller. Choose a swallow repeller that includes a combination of predator sounds, such as the falcon and the owl, along with the alarm and distress calls of the swallows themselves. We recommend the Bird Gard Pro Repelleer with chip #73. It works!
You can complement the effect of swallow repellers with an anti-perching gel, such as the Avifin Gel. If you’re using Avifin Anti-Perching Bird Gel for swallows, apply one or two lines of Avifin Gel with a silicone gun on the wall, several inches below the angle with the ceiling, so they are approximately in the center of the old nests once they’ve been removed.
These three simple steps will prevent nesting in your house, porch, barn, or factory. In any case, if you are experiencing problems with swallows and have any questions about which products to use, do not hesitate to contact us. One of our experts will recommend the best solution for deterring swallows in your specific situation.