In Minnesota, we have two primary swallows. The barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) has cobalt blue feathers on top and tawny feathers on its underside, with a forehead and neck of rusty brown. The cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) has a red, black, and white head, dark brown wings, and a tawny white underside. While both of these swallow species are pretty to look at and fun to watch as they dance, play, and perch, they can present problems for property owners when they establish their mud nests.
WHAT PROBLEMS DO SWALLOWS CAUSE?
- Bird droppings are almost always the biggest concern with birds. Droppings don't just cause a mess that is frustrating to clean up, they can have an impact on human health. There are many pathogens that can breed in the droppings of swallows. And, when droppings become dry, it is possible for particulates to become airborne. This can lead to respiratory ailments.
- When birds are around, contamination is always a concern. Droppings that have been washed away by rainwater can leave harmful residue behind. And direct contact with food can lead to illness.
- Swallows like to build nests under overhangs or up in the high arches of structures. When these nests are over a doorway, a nest (or a few nests) can go unnoticed. But, most of the time, nest are noticed, and many people consider them to be unsightly. The majority of material used to make a swallow's nest is mud, which makes them look a little like wasp nests.
- Swallows are capable of carrying swallow bugs, which are a close relative of the bed bug. When swallows abandon their nests, these bugs are forced to find a blood meal elsewhere. This can bring them into man-made structures.
- Another secondary pest that can be introduced with a swallow infestation is fowl mites. If you think you're dealing with fowl mites in your home or business, proper identification is key. Lay some tape down in areas you're seeing these bugs. Once you've caught one, send it to us and we'll tell you what it is.
ARE SWALLOWS PROTECTED?
Yes. Swallows are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Acts because they are considered "migratory, non-game birds." This can make nest removal a complicated matter. It is illegal to remove an active swallows' nest. This is a nest that has baby swallows or swallow eggs in it. And, since a swallow can establish an active nest in a 24 hour period, getting those nests before they become "active" can be tricky.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CONTROL SWALLOWS?
While nest removal is fine for non-active nests, it is too difficult to stay one step ahead of these birds. That is why we suggestion bird exclusions. An exclusion that we believe works best is bird netting. If you're dealing with a swallow problem, netting will prevent these birds from getting into or onto the places they want to establish their nests. Problem solved.
OTHER FACTS ABOUT SWALLOWS
- These birds love bugs, especially water bugs. They will perch alongside other bird species as they wait for water bugs to appear. They will snatch insects from just above the water to heights of 100 feet and above.
- Cliff swallows are prone to building multiple mud nests in a row and are more likely to be found in large numbers. Barn swallows build a more traditional nest with a mixture of mud, grass, and twigs.
- The barn swallow is the most common swallow in the world.
- A typical swallow is about .7 ounces and between 15-19 cm in length.
- It is not possible for a five-ounce swallow to carry a one pound coconut, even if it grips it by the husk, but of course, that is in regards to African or European swallows, which is another matter, entirely.
If you have a swallow problem that keeps popping up, and you live in our Minnesota service area, let Adam's Pest Control apply strategic netting to keep those birds from nesting. There is no need for ongoing nest removal and no need for harmful chemicals. The QualityPro-certified team here at Adam's Pest Control are industry leaders. You'll always get the most advanced pest control, a competitive price, and friendly service. Every time.