How do you get rid of barn swallows?

   #1  

Glowplug

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I have a rather large (~200' x 40') horse barn. Well, now there's no horses in it. But there are about 2 dozen barn swallows which have made it their home! Admittedly the barn is not in the best shape. One of the doors has basically fallen off as have many of the window shutters so there's plenty of open areas to enter the barn. These birds come around in the spring and nest until the fall. Then they're gone for the winter only to return. I know the best thing would be to just wait until fall and patch up any open access point before next spring but are there any other options? Any advice? I keep my tractor in the barn and these things keep pooping all over it!
 
   #2  

charlz

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Glowplug said:
I have a rather large (~200' x 40') horse barn. Well, now there's no horses in it. But there are about 2 dozen barn swallows which have made it their home! Admittedly the barn is not in the best shape. One of the doors has basically fallen off as have many of the window shutters so there's plenty of open areas to enter the barn. These birds come around in the spring and nest until the fall. Then they're gone for the winter only to return. I know the best thing would be to just wait until fall and patch up any open access point before next spring but are there any other options? Any advice? I keep my tractor in the barn and these things keep pooping all over it!

They eat a lot of mosquitoes ... so maybe a tarp? ;)
 
   #3  

MrJimi

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With 8,000 square feet of barn, how about you move your tractor somewhere else in it or like charlz suggested a tarp or a few sheets of tin would work for you. Did I mention I like birds but not their poop on my stuff.
:)
 
   #6  

PineRidge

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How about a good old fashioned barn cat? He would take care of any chewing by mice or other rodents as well.
 
   #7  

MossRoad

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Barn swallows are tough and mean. Two years ago they built a nest under our back porch roof while we were on vacation. Then they dive-bombed us the rest of the summer any time we came outside. Seemed like their babies would never leave. Last year I took down the thermometer that they had built their nest on, so they tried to build it on the porch light. I hung 1" wide by 10" long strips of aluminum foil around the top of the light. They did not like that. They attempted to build that nest for a few weeks and would dive-bomb us, but they finally gave up and left. This year, they did not return.

However, I cannot see hanging strips around your entire barn. You would go broke. The best thing is to let them live out this year (or shoot them all, your choice) and spend the fall and winter closing up the barn. Use hardware clothe screen on the windows and keep the doors shut. That's about the only way to keep them out.
 
   #8  

rtimgray

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We have an old barn (that I am currently rennovating) and man, the barn swallows don't like me bothering them and their babies!

However, I'm installing dutch-style doors on both ends of the barn so that we can close the bottom and leave the top open so that we can still accomodate them. My wife is a big fan of the barn swallows (she likes seeing and hearing the babies) and we both like the mosquito-eating factor.

I agree with the others - I don't like the poop! However, I adjust my parking habits to dodge their nests. There are about 8 or 10 nests active in the barn right now, so lots of birds - few placees to park.

We also have about 20 to 30 barn cats (strays that come home to freeload). They get frustrated because the bird nests are in the floor joists of the loft - they can't get to them from beneath because the joists are 12' off the floor - and they can't get to them from the top because the gaps in the old plank floor of the loft aren't wide enough to reach through!

In closing, I've just got to accept living with them - but I don't have to like it!
 
  
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Glowplug

Glowplug

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I have used a tarp with success. I guess what I'll just have to do is ride it out this year with the tarp. Then get a bunch of screen and close in all the spaces over the winter. I guess it's good they eat the mosquitoes. But you're talking about dozens of barn swallows here. Their poop gets on absolutely everything in the barn including the walls! They're not really agressive and dive-bombing me. But they are annoying.

One interesting thing is that whenever they hear my mower or rotary cutter they come pouring out of the barn. They swarm all around my tractor whenever I'm mowing so they can scoop up the insects I stir up!
 
 
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