House Maintenance - Other

How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting

Humans have invaded natural spaces to such an extent that some species now live among us, which at times can become a problem, as in the case of swallow's nests. A swallow's nest on our balcony, terrace or window of our room can be very annoying for us. However, when thinking about removing them, the first thing to consider is to avoid harming the animals and their eggs. The aim is not to hurt them but to prevent them from nesting in our spaces. Want to know how to do this? explains how to prevent swallows from nesting on buildings.

Steps to follow:


Swallows are migratory birds, which is why they often appear in large numbers during or at the beginning of spring. Mass migration can become a problem for some people, who find their balcony, roof, windows or terraces are the ideal place for these swallows to nest.

Avoiding this is possible, but we should never hurt birds, their eggs or chicks. The idea is to prevent the nest from being formed without mistreating the animals. In fact, it is important to bear in mind that in some countries, the law prohibits the destruction of nests while swallows are inhabiting them. You must therefore wait for the birds to leave before taking the necessary measures.

How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting - Step 1

One of the most effective ways to prevent swallows from nesting is to protect the area where they usually nest with safety nets. This will make it impossible for them to nest and they'll find a new spot to nest. Due to the size of these animals, meshes of 19 mm are recommended for protecting the most common nesting areas.


Anti-perching spikes are commonly used for pigeons; they are also a very effective solution. However, it is important to install them properly for them to be effective. With swallows, remember that they nest in the wall just underneath the roof, which is where the mesh should be installed.

It is also recommendable to consult the seller of the spikes to purchase the most appropriate model for this purpose.

How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting - Step 3

Is there any solution that involves less investment of money to prevent swallows from nesting? The answer is yes, there is a cheaper alternative that can keep these birds away from buildings - a fishing line or transparent nylon thread.

This thread creates a sense of danger for the swallows, making them feel like they would be trapped if they crossed the barrier it creates. This is a quick and easy solution. It is important that, if placed near roofs or balconies, the thread extends from end to end and is separated from the wall behind, like a sort of barrier. When the bird approaches, it will detect it and will nest elsewhere.


Another very effective solution to prevent swallows from nesting in buildings is by deterring them with shine, something that usually scares many birds. An economical way to do this is with foil. Just cut strips of aluminium foil of 3 centimetres wide and at least 30 centimetres long and distribute them along a rope. Then extend the string from end to end, as explained in the previous step. This will help prevent animals making their nest in areas of your home as they do not like the shine of the reflected sunlight.

You can also use other materials that shine too, e.g. pieces of old CDs and DVDs that you have at home. They're great for deterring birds.

How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting - Step 5

Bird repellent gel, commonly used to prevent pigeons and other birds from perching on the railings of windows and balconies, also works effectively to prevent the swallows from building nests. Just spread the gel with a distance of approximately 8 centimetres below the ceiling - the distance at which swallows tend to make their nests.

This solution prevents the swallows from successfully sticking the mud to the wall and can last for several years.


If none of these alternatives seem suitable to you, consult a specialist shop to purchase an ultrasound device designed to deter swallows from nesting on your property. A professional can inform you about its effectiveness and the best place to put it.


If swallows are not your only problem and you are also looking to control other "home invaders", the following articles may be of interest to you:

If you want to read similar articles to How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting, we recommend you visit our Maintenance and home security category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Reno Lamb
We turned our dual ceiling fans on high speed, blowing air upwards, which then travels along the ceiling and turns downwards right where they are attempting to start nests. This seems to discourage them. For others fortunate enough to have installed ceiling fans outdoors, this tip may be helpful.
Melvyn broch
Is it legal to put up an ultrasonic device before the swallows come to the uk to nest
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How to Prevent Swallows from Nesting