Cheri Peoples

This Is For The Birds

by CHERI on July 1, 2016

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When we moved in to the new house there were 4 barn swallow nests on the house.  3 were on the back covered porch and one on the front covered porch.

(We had a dead bird on the back patio and one of the nest had eggs that never made it.  A second nest was empty – an old nest.

The third nest on the back porch had 4 babies.  The front porch had 5.)

They are made of mud and we had mud and bird droppings all over.

The babies were fun to watch but boy did they make a mess – everywhere.

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Barn Swallows are federally protected. Once eggs are in the nest you can not take them down.

Once they flew the nest we were able to take the nests down and clean the mess up BUT they started coming back this week and trying to rebuild.  They lay eggs twice a season and can lay eggs through Aug before they fly south for the winter.

They can rebuild a nest in 24 hours so you have to stay on top of it.  I was out checking and spraying down the porch walls front and back- 15-20 times a day.  They spit mud onto the house and keep adding to it so I was cleaning it off all day long. They are relentless but I think they have finally meet their match.

We have researched all kinds of websites and it looks like fake snakes and fake owls will only deter them for a day or two till they figure out it isn’t real.

The sonar noises don’t seem to work either, from the info we read.

We did 3 things and it seems as if we have conquered the bird problem:

1. I painted the ceiling of the back porch a sky blue color- I read that it can deter them because they don’t like to be under open sky.

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I don’t know that it worked because they were still flying in but not as much-but maybe they just didn’t like the smell of the paint.  At least we have a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling.  Did you know it is a Southern tradition to paint your porch ceilings blue.

The rest of the house will be painted this Autumn.

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2. We bought some taupe colored, mesh, kitchen cabinet liner by Contact and we have it hanging in all 4 corners of each of the porch ceilings.

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This was pretty effective.

Is it beautiful – no.  Is it keeping the birds away- yes.  They don’t like that it is loose and blows with the wind.  They were still flying in though and trying.  As a matter of fact we had to put it along one entire wall on the front porch because they started hanging on to the wall and trying to build.
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3. We ordered some bird gel and put it on the ledges, as well as above the windows and doors.  It is supposed to lasts for 6 months.

The combination seems to have worked.  They will fly in but they will not land and they fly right back out.

They DO NOT like the smell.

We may look at screening in both the front and back if we need to but for now it seems like we have deterred the birds and they have started looking for a new place.

I do like that they eat massive amounts of bugs and they make beautiful chirping noises but I did not like the mess and we had read that their bird droppings can cause salmonella poising, the bugs in their nest can find their way into your house and the mud nests have stained the paint on the house.  We do plan on having it painted this Autumn so the staining will be gone.

Since they seem to nest from April-August we can take down the netting once they are gone and put it back up before they arrive next year, along with a new application of the bird gel.

I am looking forward to enjoying a cup of coffee on the covered porch without birds flying at my head.

I hope you found this info to be helpful.

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