How to Get Rid of Barn Swallows

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Things You'll Need

  • Ladder

  • Paint scraper

  • Plastic owl decoy


Plastic snakes or thick, shiny ribbons may be used in place of the plastic owl decoy.

When the weather turns warmer, the sky can be full of barn swallows. While their mid-air antics may be fun to watch, these birds can leave your property looking awful. Swallow droppings speed up the deterioration of outdoor furniture and disfigure lawns. According to United Wildlife Control, these birds can even cause health issues in humans, including salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Because barn swallows are migratory birds, it is illegal to harm them or their eggs. The best way to get rid of barn swallows is to remove their mud nests.


Step 1

Find a barn swallow nest on your property by checking the eaves and siding of your home or other buildings thoroughly.

Step 2

Set up the ladder so that you are level with the nest.

Step 3

Check the nest for eggs. If there are any eggs, you can't legally remove the nest.

Step 4

Scrape away the mud nest with the paint scraper. Remove all of the mud to ensure that the swallows aren't able to rebuild the nest easily.

Step 5

Hang or place the plastic owl decoy near the area. This will act as a deterrent to any returning swallows.


references & resources

Kathryn Perelman

Kathryn Perelman has been a professional writer since 2008. She has been published in and "The Swarthmore University Literary Review." When she isn't writing, Perelman coordinates public relations at a nonprofit community center in New York. She graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English.