How to Get Rid of Barn Swallows | Top 11 Humane Ways


Birds are fun to watch, and not to mention that they are one of the most beautiful creations on this planet. Barn swallows aren’t any different. They are lovely creatures and often very interactive too. However, that’s where the good about them stops. While entertaining one or two barn swallows might not be too much, things get complicated when they infest in large numbers.

One moment you are having fun sitting around and watching them, and the next, you notice your backyard and patio filled with mud nests and bird droppings. The idea of needing to scrub, clean, and disinfect those spots can be tiring in itself.

So, how to get rid of barn swallows? When looking through the best ways of removing them from your home premises, we wanted every step to be humane. Let us walk you through the most effective routes.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Hawks? | Top 10 Humane Ways

List of Ways to Get Rid of Barn Swallows

1. Try a Nesting Shield

When it comes to barn swallows, the biggest issue or problem is their nesting habits. Not only are they random, but they also dirty the entire space available around the house.

The best way to overcome that issue is by building nesting shields. If you have favorable spots around the house that the barn swallows will enjoy building their nest in, that is where you need to install these shields. The sharp monofilaments make the area inhabitable for the nest, pushing the swallows to find somewhere else to nest.

2. Try Installing Lasers

Now, you must think that integrating lasers as a deterrent might hurt the swallows. Well, that doesn’t necessarily happen. The bright light from the laser keeps the swallows out of your way and helps you deter them from nesting around your home.

Swallows aren’t the biggest fans of the sudden, unpredictable movement of light from these laser devices. When this happens in quick succession, the swallows know not to be around that spot.

3. Get Your Hands on a Fake Kite

Barn swallows are smaller birds, meaning they are easy prey for larger predator birds like hawks and kites. While getting a real kite and leaving it around your house isn’t ideal, you can always opt for a fake one and install it in the visibility range of the barn swallows.

Having them around is an amazing deterrent because the swallows will be afraid of being anywhere around an area with a big kite looming over them.

4. Try High-Pitched Noise

Ultrasonic Repellent

Birds don’t appreciate or enjoy high-pitched or high-frequency noise. Not only is it uncomfortable for them, but it will also eventually push them out of the spot to find somewhere more favorable to live in and infest. This is what you need to take advantage of.

Install an electronic sound deterrent in your backyard that emits high-pitched sounds that keep the barn swallows away from your backyard. You can get your hands on plenty of such elements available in the market. Most of these devices have noise or voices of predators that keep the barn swallows away.

5. Wash Away The Nests

As we mentioned before, barn swallows make mud nests. And, to be fair, they are extremely messy to have around, especially on the roof of your house, the pipelines, or anywhere visible to normal people.

Ideally, no one likes destroying anyone’s nest, but if you want to get rid of barn swallows without hurting them, this is your only choice. However, ensure that when cleaning the mud nests, look for any signs of eggs inside the nest. If there are any, get rid of them before you damage the nest.

6. Install Spikes As Deterrents

If a barn swallow doesn’t find a favorable spot in the house to lay eggs, it will move on to the next house. This is where you need to take advantage of things. When looking for how to get rid of barn swallows, you must find the areas they frequent the most in your home.

Once you shortlist those spots, you can then go ahead and install bird spikes all along those spots to deter the swallows from the area. It will take some time to see notable results, but once you have installed these spikes all around the home, you shouldn’t have to worry any further.

7. Get An Owl

Owl Scarecrow

No, we don’t mean an actual owl. We were talking about a scarecrow to keep the barn swallows out. Like predatory birds like kites and hawks, owls have similar impacts in getting rid of barn swallows without any issues. Simply seeing the scaring and bulging eyes of the owl is enough for the swallows to make a detour and look for some other spots to lay their eggs and make a nest.

If one scarecrow isn’t working, we recommend buying a few different ones and installing them around the house and backyard, where the swallows frequent the most. It might take a few days before you can see notable results.

8. Get Your Hands on an Ultrasonic Bird Repellent

Zovenchi Ultrasonic Animal Repellent

Not just bird swallows; every bird hates ultrasonic devices. This is similar to the noise-deterring devices, but these won’t hurt your ears or disturb your neighbors with the shrill noise. The high-frequency noise or sound that comes from these devices is extremely taxing on the birds and makes the area inhabitable.

Most of these devices have a motion-triggered sensor, which switches on the device whenever a swallow steps into your property. Once it detects movement, it emits those high-frequency sounds, forcing the swallows to fly out.

9. Use Liquid Bird Deterrents

Yes, we mentioned humane ways to get rid of the barn swallows, and we are sticking to it. A range of brands offers good-quality liquid bird deterrents that are safe for barn swallows, for the plants you spray them on, and for pets and children if they accidentally come in contact with it.

Most of these liquid detergents are formulated with methyl anthranilate derived from grapes. So, technically, you have an organic compound with no chemical traces. So, if a barn swallow comes in contact with it, the strong smell drives them out and prevents them from returning.

10. Clean & Eliminate Food Sources

Not just for safety, most barn swallows infest homes with available food sources. It could be a fruit tree outside in the garden or an open trash can that you have outdoors. Whatever the cause is, ideally, you need to find any and every small and big food source around you and then get rid of them completely.

This is crucial if you don’t want the infestation to get out of hand. If you have fallen fruits on the ground or any unnecessary food sources, get rid of them and clean the garden thoroughly.

11. Install Bird Netting

Bird Netting

Barn swallows aren’t that bad at destroying your garden. They tend to isolate themselves in hidden spots to build their mud nests. However, you still can’t be quite sure and ascertain their motives. In such cases, the best thing to do would be to find areas in the garden or backyard that you don’t want to get damaged by the swallows.

It could be the flower bed or the vegetable and herb garden you are growing. The easiest way to protect them would be by installing bird netting. This will keep the swallows and any other birds out of the close vicinity.

If you were wondering how to get rid of barn swallows, we hope this content answers all your questions. All of these tips are humane and doesn’t impose any harm on the bird, so you wouldn’t have to worry about feeling guilty.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Pigeons? | 9 Humane Ways

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Barn Swallows Good To Have Around?

If you have one or two barn swallows visiting, you shouldn’t have to worry much until they start nesting. An occasional swallow in your home is quite good for eliminating the insects and pests in the backyard.

What Do Barn Swallows Hate The Most?

Barn swallows aren’t big fans of high-pitched noise and sudden light movements. So, lasers and ultrasonic devices work the best to keep them out of the house.

How Do I Stop Barn Swallows From Nesting?

The easiest way would be to install nest deterrents. These are sharp spike-like structures that prevent the bird from nesting. You can install them around the backyard for good measure.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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