Tips for Preventing and Removing Mud Swallows

While many people think only of smaller critters when they hear the term “pest,” it’s one that can extend to several larger creatures, including birds. At A-1 Exterminators, we’re a proud partner with Bird Barrier, offering quality bird control services for a variety of bird types that may be invading your property and causing issues.

One bird that can deface and damage buildings and other structures on a given property is the nesting swallow, or mud swallow. These birds build mud nests that are not only a hazard on their own, but also attract other insects and can stain the paint or masonry of the building if left untouched. Apart from the use of various Bird Barrier products, such as bird netting or other protective materials, here are some basics for identifying and removing mud swallow nests if these birds have already nested on your property.

preventing removing mud swallows

Identifying Issues

For starters, identify the issue. Swallows are smaller, slender birds that prefer to return to the same nesting site each year, and unfortunately these locations have moved to urban areas as humans have destroyed their natural habitats. They commonly seek out the overhanging eaves of your home or building, which are similar to the cliffs and farm structures they prefer to nest in naturally.

Understanding the Law

Before starting any removal or prevention projects for swallows, you have to be sure you’re obeying the law. We’re mainly speaking here about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which protects swallows and their nests – you cannot intentionally take, injure or kill any migratory bird, swallows included.

You also cannot intentionally damage or destroy the nest, eggs or hatchlings of these birds. Fines or even imprisonment are possible if you disobey these laws.

Humane Removal

If swallows have nests in areas of your property you need removed, it’s important to work humanely. Until swallows have raised their young, you cannot disturb it – you must wait until after the swallows have left the nest to migrate.

Protective Gear and Getting Started

Collect rubber gloves, eye protection and a face mask before beginning with nest removal. You can usually use a hammer and chisel to chip the majority of the nest off the wall, though you may need to call our pros if the nest is inaccessible or in a tough location.

Removing Mud and Preventing Further Invasions

For any remaining mud or residue, wash the exterior walls and eaves of the structure with a pressure washer, which you can rent from many local stores. Let the surface dry, then touch up paint as necessary.

From here, the most important part of this process is ensuring swallows do not return in the future. We recommend installing an owl or hawk decoy, or potentially using wiring or a slant board to block the same site from being accessed (you can do both as well). This is a humane, natural way to prevent these birds from coming back and creating another nest the following season.

For more on removing and preventing mud swallows from nesting on your property, or to learn about any of our anti-bird barrier products or services, speak to the staff at A-1 Exterminators today.