Swallows are migratory birds that breed in Washington State starting in the spring and continuing into the fall season. Swallows are about the same size as a sparrow and have long, pointed wings with streamlined bodies. There are a total of 7 different members of swallow family that breed in Washington State every year.
Out of these seven members, the Barn and Cliff swallows will regularly build mud nests alongside buildings resulting in a conflict with humans. These nests are composed of mud pellets that are transported by the bird’s beak. The nests are cup-shaped for barn swallows and gourd-shaped for cliff swallows. The most common places that swallows will nest includes cliffs, walls, vertical banks, eaves, bridges, docks, or other man-made structures that have a ledge.
The time frame from the beginning of the nesting season to when the birds depart is about a 44-58 days. These nesting practices can create a conflict with humans when they decide to nest on the side of a person’s home or business. The amount of nests that accumulate during a typical season can reach into the hundreds. Not only will these birds cover a home with mud nests, but they will also cover the area around the nests with droppings.
The best way to deter swallows from nesting on a structure is by creating a barrier. By placing a physical structure between the swallow and the structure, you will disallow it to start the nesting process. However, you must make sure you do this before the birds arrive. If the birds have arrived any are physically occupying the nest, then they are federally protected by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and you cannot do anything about it at that point. Any permit to lethally control these birds would require a permit by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information on pest bird control please call 877-944-4007