How To Get Rid Of Barn Swallows

How To Get Rid Of Barn Swallows? 5 Natural Ways 

“Barn swallows can be persistent, but you can create an environment that discourages their presence with the right approach.

If you want to keep barn swallows at bay without resorting to harmful chemicals, try the following five options.

Install Nesting Deterrents:

Barn swallows may be deterred from breeding in certain regions by installing nesting deterrents. You may make a less inviting space for these birds by utilizing visual deterrents like reflective tape, fright balloons, or hanging things that move in the wind.

Barn swallows are attracted to areas where they may construct their nests naturally, generally in buildings with eaves, rafters, or ledges. The movement and reflection of light may spook them and alter their flying patterns if reflective tape or other visual deterrents are placed in these locations. Similarly, dangerous things like swaying objects or fright balloons make it difficult for barn swallows to build their nests.

The trick is carefully placing these deterrents where barn swallows often congregate or attempt to establish nests. The efficacy of the deterrents will be increased if they are visible and moving continuously. Regularly check and repair them to ensure the deterrents stay effective in discouraging nesting.

Barn swallows are migratory birds in many areas, so even though nesting deterrents may be successful, it’s crucial to be aware of local laws and any legal protections provided for them. To prevent unforeseen effects, be sure your activities comply with all relevant rules and regulations.

To dissuade barn swallows, combine nesting deterrents with other organic strategies like restricting food supplies or keeping the surroundings clean. Barn swallows play an essential part in the ecosystem; thus, it is possible to encourage them to look for nesting possibilities elsewhere by creating a less appealing environment.

Limit Food Sources:

To deter barn swallows from your property, you can limit their food sources by implementing natural pest control methods. Since barn swallows primarily feed on insects, reducing the insect population can make your property less appealing. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Use Insect-Repelling Plants: Planting insect-repelling herbs and flowers can help deter insects from congregating near your property. Examples include lavender, marigold, basil, and citronella. These plants emit natural scents that repel insects, reducing their presence and decreasing the food source for barn swallows.
  2. Encourage Natural Predators: Attracting natural predators of insects, such as bats or insectivorous birds, can help control the insect population. Installing bat boxes or birdhouses designed for insectivorous species can shelter them and encourage their presence. These predators will help naturally regulate the insect population, indirectly discouraging barn swallows from staying there.
  3. Maintain a Clean Environment: Regularly clean up any potential sources of insects, such as standing water, decaying organic matter, or open garbage containers. By eliminating these attractive habitats, you reduce the available food sources for barn swallows and make your property less appealing to them.
  4. Minimize Outdoor Lighting: Insects are often drawn to bright lights, which can create an abundant food source for barn swallows. Minimize outdoor lighting or use yellow or insect-resistant bulbs to reduce insect activity and decrease the appeal for barn swallows.

By implementing these natural pest control methods, you can create an environment less conducive to insects, ultimately reducing the food sources for barn swallows. It’s important to note that these methods require time and patience as they work to restore balance in the ecosystem rather than providing immediate results.

Block Access to Nesting Sites

One effective method to discourage barn swallows from nesting on your property is blocking access to potential nesting sites. Barn swallows typically build their nests on structures like eaves, rafters, or ledges. Here’s how you can implement this strategy:

  1. Identify Potential Nesting Sites: Look thoroughly around your property and identify areas where barn swallows are likely to build their nests. These can include nooks, ledges, beams, or other elevated spaces.
  2. Install Physical Barriers: Once you’ve identified the potential nesting sites, you can use wire mesh, netting, or other physical barriers to block off these areas. Ensure the material you choose is sturdy enough to withstand the birds’ attempts to access the site. Attach the barrier securely to prevent barn swallows from entering and building their nests.
  3. Time Your Actions: It’s crucial to time your actions appropriately to avoid trapping any barn swallows inside existing nests during the breeding season. Familiarize yourself with the local regulations and legal protections that may be in place for barn swallows, as disturbing their nests during specific periods may be prohibited.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Periodically inspect the barriers and make any necessary repairs or adjustments to ensure they remain effective. Barn swallows are persistent birds, so it’s essential to maintain the integrity of the barriers to prevent them from finding alternative access points.

Check local regulations and legal requirements before implementing any deterrent methods, as barn swallows may be protected in your region. It is essential to find a balance between discouraging barn swallows from nesting and respecting their role in the ecosystem.

Employ Visual Scare Tactics: 

Visual scare tactics can be employed as an effective deterrent to deter barn swallows from gathering or nesting in specific areas. Barn swallows are naturally wary of predators, and the presence of visual deterrents can create the illusion of a potential threat. Here’s how you can utilize visual scare tactics:

  1. Hang Fake Owls or Hawks: Install fake owls or hawks in areas where barn swallows tend to gather or nest. These decoys mimic the appearance of natural predators and can intimidate barn swallows, deterring them from staying in the vicinity. Ensure that the decoys are visible and strategically placed to maximize their effectiveness.
  2. Move the Decoys: To enhance their effectiveness, periodically move the decoys to create the impression of an active predator. Barn swallows may become accustomed to stationary decoys, so changing their position regularly can help maintain the deterrent effect.
  3. Combine with Other Tactics: Visual scare tactics work best with other deterrent methods. By implementing multiple strategies, such as nesting deterrents, limiting food sources, and blocking access to nesting sites, you can create a more comprehensive approach to discouraging barn swallows from the area.
  4. Regular Maintenance: Inspect the decoys regularly to ensure they remain in good condition. Damaged or weather-worn decoys may be less effective in deterring barn swallows. Replace or repair them as needed to maintain their realistic appearance.

Remember that barn swallows are intelligent birds that may become accustomed to visual deterrents. Therefore, it’s vital to combine visual scare tactics with other natural deterrents and regularly rotate or update the scare devices to maximize their effectiveness.

Maintain a Clean Environment

Maintaining a clean environment is crucial to discourage barn swallows from choosing your property as their nesting site. Barn swallows are attracted to open spaces, freshwater sources, and mud for nest-building. Here are some steps you can take to make your property less appealing to barn swallows:

  1. Remove Standing Water: Barn swallows a nearby water source for drinking and bathing. Eliminate standing water on your property, such as in bird baths, buckets, or containers. Regularly empty and clean these areas to prevent barn swallows from congregating.
  2. Clear Debris and Clutter: Barn swallows open areas for their flights and nest-building. Keep your property free of unnecessary clutter, such as piles of branches, unused equipment, or stacks of materials. This reduces potential nesting spots and discourages barn swallows from settling in.
  3. Clean Up Mud and Nesting Material: Barn swallows use mud to construct their nests. Regularly clean up any mud or wet areas on your property, especially near structures where barn swallows may be tempted to build nests. Removing the nesting material makes the area less suitable for their nesting purposes.
  4. Maintain Regular Yard Maintenance: Keep your lawn well-trimmed and regularly maintain your landscaping. A neat environment with minimal vegetation near buildings and structures makes it less attractive for barn swallows to nest.
  5. Install Physical Barriers: If specific areas are prone to barn swallow nesting, consider installing physical barriers, such as bird netting or wire mesh, to prevent access to those spaces. Ensure these barriers are correctly installed and maintained to be effective.

Maintaining a clean and unappealing environment for barn swallows can discourage them from choosing your property for nesting. Implementing these practices alongside other deterrent methods can help create a less inviting environment for these birds.

Final Thought 

Barn swallows, it must be stressed, are migratory birds and, as such, are protected by many nations’ laws and regulations. Therefore, any measures taken to discourage them should be humane and by applicable laws and ordinances. Seek the counsel of local wildlife or bird control authorities if you have ongoing problems with barn swallows; they will be able to provide you with specific information on suitable and legal techniques for controlling barn swallows.

Concerns about these birds should be addressed in a way that does not interfere with their normal behaviors or habitats. Seeking expert advice is the best way to ensure you do things correctly and within the law.


Q1: What are barn swallows, and why do people want to eliminate them? 

A: Barn swallows are small migratory birds known for building their nests in barns, sheds, and houses. While they are beneficial for controlling insect populations, some people may want to remove them due to the mess they create or concerns about potential property damage.

Q2: Are there any natural ways to deter barn swallows without causing harm? 

A: Yes, natural methods are available to discourage barn swallows from nesting without causing harm to the birds. Here are five practical ways:

  1. Install Bird Netting: 
  2. Use Visual Deterrents:
  3. Install Nesting Boxes: 
  4. Create an Unfavorable Environment: 

Q3: How long does it take for these natural methods to work? 

A: The effectiveness of these natural methods may vary depending on the persistence of the barn swallows and the availability of alternative nesting sites in the area. It may take several weeks or even a breeding season for the birds to be deterred completely.

Q4: Is it legal to remove barn swallow nests or disturb their breeding process? 

A: In many countries, barn swallows are protected under wildlife conservation laws, and removing their nests or disturbing their breeding process is illegal. Before taking any action, it is essential to research local laws and regulations or consult with local wildlife authorities to ensure compliance.

Q5: What if the natural methods are ineffective? Can I use chemical deterrents? 

A: If natural methods prove ineffective, it is advisable to consult with professionals, such as wildlife experts or pest control services, who can guide appropriate solutions. It is crucial to prioritize humane and eco-friendly methods and avoid using chemical deterrents that may harm the birds or the environment.

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