How to Stop Birds From Building Mud Nests on My Front Porch

monicakm_gw

I think these little birds are Swallows. For years they've built mud nests in the corners of my front porch. Nothing I've done has deterred them. We're remodeling the front porch with new pillars, paint and porcelain tile. I just can't let them ruin the eaves with their sloppy muddy nests and the floor with bird poop :( I used to spray the nests down as they were building them but they'd win out every time. They do NOT give up :o Tried putting a rubber snake up there. They laughed! Any tried and true techniques for discouraging them building on my porch?

Thanks,

Monica

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connie_in_western_nc

What a wonderful event... of course, I'm kinda on the side of wildlife whenever it is even remotely feasible. We would tell my boss (who wanted to spray down the nests on the eaves of the front porch of the gift shop) that it was easier to put a few chairs around for viewing and lay a piece of cardboard on the deck floor from the boxes our stock came in. He was always amazed at the entertainment the barn swallows provided and how many people were just enthralled with them. Come late August when they had raised 2 broods and headed south, we'd just clean the mud off the beam and it was good to go for another year. The floor was just fine...

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monicakm_gw

Connie, I like birds. I enjoy their music and their beauty but I don't like how they ruin my porch. Their nests are made of mud. It's splattered all around the nest and it doesn't wash off. It stains the paint. I've lived with this for 20 years (fighting them for half that time). I'm not looking to co-exist with them any longer. I'm looking for a way to discourage their building.
Monica

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laylaa

Perhaps those owl decoys that are used on skyscrapers to deter pigeons might help. I'm not sure about this as I've never done it, but saw it working for deterring other birds.

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laylaa

You also might try providing alternative nesting spots if you have any scrap wood from the remodel. Build a simple shelf that mimics where the barn swallows like to nest on your porch and place it in an area you can live with, just face it the same direction/height they currently select.

I've had pretty good success with alternatives for critter control - except wrens. They still insist my grill is the perfect home. Year after year, grill after grill...

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mulchmamma

Boy, I wish I had your problem. I'm trying to get the swallows to nest. Built some wood shelves with roofing nails sticking out the back to attach the mud nests to. So far, no swallows.

My mom had a nest in the garage and always complained about the "poop" on her car.

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litholad

If you can find a crow decoy, that might work. Crows feed on Swallow young, plucking them right from the nest.
They come back every few days, looking for new-borns. Eventually the Swallows abandon the nest site.

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lisa11310

Really not the right place to come for the advise you seek. I think most of us here would love to have them. Nature should come first, vanity and being concerned with mud and stains does not compute with me and I have a lovely well manicured home. You should feel belssed to have them.

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feather_z9_ncacoast

Since swallows are PERFECT insecticides and ALL natural, to boot, you're fighting a losing battle.

Plus, destroying the nests by washing them down in many states is illegal until after the nesting season is over. Federal law prohibits it.

A way to live *with* it might be to erect a white-washed platform on hinges about ten inches below the nest to keep the droppings from falling onto your porch. After nesting season is over, you can remove the hinged board, re-white wash it and replace it for next season, after removing the nest and white-washing the nest area to clean up the mud. If your porch area is white, using white-wash will not only clean the mud, but will also re-whiten that corner.

Another possibility to *discourage* them would be to put a clean white plastic sheet about 1/16th of an inch thick, into the corner so there is no place for them to get a grip for nesting.

That will effectively deter them.

The only thing that's deterred the Cliff Swallows from nesting at our church in their colonies over the last few years have unfortunately been House Sparrows. . .and the House Sparrows don't last very long because they end up breaking the nests with their idea of what a nest should be. . .too much material inside. *sigh*

Barn Swallows, certain species of Flycatchers, American Robins and others will use mud to build their nests in the eaves, corners and above porch lights on buildings. These birds are extremely valuable in ridding an area of pest-insects.

You might consider that instead of deterring them, offer an alternative *for* them, in a different location of the house or a nearby out building, where they can raise their young in peace. Your porch will be cleaner, your area free of the bad insects (like mosquitoes), and the air filled with the sounds of swallows and wings in flight. . .a sound none of us should *ever* be without.

You are truly blessed to have them nesting on your house. I would love it if they'd nest over here. . .

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jess623

Please help me stop these robins from building a nest on my front porch light

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feather_z9_ncacoast

jess, did you read my post? It has some alternatives to destroying the nests as well as ways to deter them from building.

One area locally, has had problems with Barn Swallows building nests on their porch lights every year. There was a little old lady who lived there and she'd get swooped on every time she opened her door to go outside.

Finally, in the off-season, the owner of the building placed a wire mesh screen in the shape of a can (you know, rounded sides, flat on bottom and top) and wedged it between the ceiling of the porch and the top of the porch light. This has worked.

It might be worth a try once the Robins are gone. Please do wait until they have left before destroying the nest?

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sowngrow (8a)

My dad had the same problem. The swallows were attempting to nest on a small ledge high up on his front porch and were making a mess on the porch. He used a piece of shade cloth that I'd given him to shade his raised bed and stapled it from the edge of the small ledge up to the corner of the top of the porch. It wasn't unsightly and it did the trick. Shade cloth comes in various colors so if this works for you, you could probably find a color that's not too unsightly on your porch. I've read the fake owls do nothing to deter birds.
Robin

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craftytxgirl

Thanks so much for the info (feather_z9) as I believe swallows have made their mud nest on top of my suspended porch light here in Dallas, TX.

Can you tell me when their nesting season will be over? Do you think that your mesh wire idea will work for my situation since my porch light hangs down from the ceiling?

I haven't actually seen the swallows yet, but I do enjoy watching the cardinals who visit my backyard. :)

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deanna_marie

I wish this was my problem!

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pudgeder

Try painting the ceiling of your porch blue. The color of the sky. This has worked for some people.

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monicakm_gw

For all those that wished my problem was theirs...I wish it was too (g) Thanks to those that offered advice on how to discourage them from building their muddy nests on my porch. DH just cleaned the porch this weekend to prepare it for paint. There were no baby birds in the nest. pudgeder, a friend recently told us about painting the porch ceiling blue. I thought he was joking. He's a painter and said they've had the request many times but he didn't know if it actually worked. DH plan on installing a stained v-grove ceiling.
Monica

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ladya0

Well I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you, but I had the same problem and looked on this web site to find no help at all. I decided to spray some Cleaner with Bleach from the Dollar Tree. If you don't have one near you maybe you can mix a little bleach with water I don't know. But I did it a couple of days and the birds decided to move to another spot on top of the roof. I may have to go back every now and then I don't know, but they are gone for now. Hope it work for you. Best wishes.

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monicakm_gw

It's worth a try ladya0. Thanks for the tip.
Monica

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lisa11310

So sad that a perfect white wash job brings more to your life than watching and assisting nature. Funny, if I had visitors that would be upset with something so special as nesting birds and the temp. mess they made I would not want to welcome them into my home. To each his own. Somehow I have a feeling you have a big screen tv too. I have a pond where the birds , frogs, etc. gather and frolic. TV is never on unless it is my nesting box camera. We all have different priorities. You are definatly entitled to yours. May God bless you and I hope you enjoy your tidy porch!

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monicakm_gw

Lucky for me I'm multi-talented and can do both...enjoy the peaceful countryside deep in the heart of the Piney woods of East Texas in which I live AND watch my 65" big screen tv :) And thanks, I do hope to enjoy my tidy porch (provided we find something that works)
Monica

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ladya0

It's amazing how some people can always find a way to be so critical to others. The only question Monica asked is for help dealing with a simple problem that she felt she had. Not a lecture on nature. Now this is what she considered her problem. One day you may come across something that you may consider your problem and someone else may not look at it as a problem. That is why God made all of us different and with different talents. Sweep around your own front door, before you try to sweep around someone elses. If you cant say something kind, dont say anything at all. If you cant help dont hinder. Continue to welcome the birds to your house and be blessed.
CYIPRAY

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terrene

Monica, good luck with deterring the Swallows, hopefully you can provide an alternate nest site for them. It is your prerogative to prefer not to have birds nesting on your porch. As someone who takes care of property for a living, IMO houses are for people, not wildlife!

Houses are often people's most valuable asset, and wildlife is generally destructive to human property, whether it's rodents, insects, bats, birds, etc. I didn't think it was cute when the Downy woodpeckers made holes in the rotting corner boards on my house before they were replaced last fall. The previous owner allowed mice to infest the basement insulation, you couldn't jostle it without getting a shower of seeds and mouse feces, and there are spots where mouse urine was dripping down the joists! Disgusting! It had to be entirely replaced.

The birds and other critters can have the 80% of rest of the yard that is naturalized and managed to provide habitat for them. Such as the dead tree snags I purposely left standing in back that are being used as nest sites for cavity nesting birds (including a pair of Eastern Bluebirds this year, I'm so excited! :).

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sowngrow (8a)

I enjoy birdwatching and bird photography. It doesn't mean I want birds leaving their droppings all over my front porch. It's a shame some people feel the need to post derogatory comments when someone is only asking for help. It's not like she asked what the best ammunition or poison was to use in this case. Get real.

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cybersal

How is a big screen tv anti-nature?
You could hose off what they build every day until they find another spot.
I liked the birds nesting under our porches - but we had way over 1,000 sqft of porches didn't have to walk near. One year, before we removed a west side porch to make way for an addition, I actually went out in the afternoons and hosed down the roof to cool the babies off. I have fibromalgia (sp) and even with my limited energy, by the end of summer the paint would be peeling off the porch floor due to the atempt to stay ahead of the PILES OF POOP.
We let the birds be -for years- until time to sell the house, then the empty nests had to temporarly be hosed away. I'm sure they're back.
I also hung empty planters and those always had regular nests in them but were so messy they had to be dicarded annually. Don't even get me started about the pet peafowl (38-45 of them) who insisted on visiting our porch railings. We had to string a grid of fishing line to remedy that. The mess they left was down-right disqusting. Most of them were named and had different personalities.

I can understand why someone wouldn't want to live up close to the mess nesting birds can cause and that doesn't make them anti-nature, unless of course they have big-screen tv. You can't fault someone for trying to keep their home sanitary. Sorry, sometimes it hard to remain civil but my fingers have a mind of their own and are forcing me to type the words bird-brained.

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ladya0

Hi Monica

Just wondering how things worked out for you. I have been checking back to see if it worked or not. But you haven't written anything. Well, I hope you found something to help you out. I haven't had any more problems so far. Be Blessed CYIPRAY

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monicakm_gw

ladya0, I haven't written because there's been no news/activity to report. We've decided to install a stained v-groove porch ceiling. That requires more time and effort (not to mention money)than just painting the whole thing and DH hasn't gotten started yet. Maybe this weekend if he doesn't have to work. I've saved the various suggestions and most definitely will be trying them when we're ready.
Thanks to those who have offered suggestions (and support) :)
Monica

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ccroho

I had a pair of barn Swallows build a mud nest under my front porch. And for about 3 years they would come back (I enjoyed them being there) Then in the early Spring of the 4 year I rearranged the chairs on my porch and set one right under there nesting spot. I saw then when they can back that spring, it saddened me when they would not have anything to do with there old nesting sight. They ended up choosing a spot on the back of my well house. The chair being there put there nest at danger, animals climbing up to close to there nest and endangering there young. I will never set something close to Swallows nest again.

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soofriver

I, also, have tried to deter birds from building nests on my front porch. Not because of any mess and I love watching the baby birds fledge. However, we have a problem with black snakes coming onto the porch to try to eat the baby birds! Yesterday there was a 6 foot + black snake wrapped around my front door handle and climbing up the glass trying to reach the birds. I am still freaked out about that! Happens every year but first time on front door. Any suggestions for keeping snakes away???

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cjc45

The English birdwatching site, BirdForum, frequently has ads for a product called Bird-Be-Gone. I never followed the link but it claims to get rid of birds safely. I always thought it was a silly place to post an ad like that but maybe not.

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monicakm_gw

ladya0, I was searching for this old thread to send it to someone and thought I'd link to the update since you were wondering if we had any success. We did, but it didn't come till this spring. Hope you're still around :)
Monica

Here is a link that might be useful: Update on Swallow's Mud Nests

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catherinet

We have a phoebe who, for several years, has built a nest between the side of our house and the stone chimney. But this year, she built it over the light by our front door (which we never use).
I like having the phoebes, but I would prefer not to have the poop everywhere on the porch. Maybe she's go back to her old nesting site next year.

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polingosu_yahoo_com

I have a problem with Robins trying to nest on the porch light. Right now I have a plastic bag over the light - held on with a rubber band. So far it has stopped them from building their nest. I hope it works! I tried the bleach/water combo and they kept coming.

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monicakm_gw

How timely. I was about to link to the "Update" I posted last year in case anyone was looking for a solution. There was one that had just purched in the corner. The nails still in place, we just cut a piece of rubber/foam netting and hung in over the nails. SO nice not having to worry about the mess they make and disease they carry.
Monica

Here is a link that might be useful: Update on Swallow's Mud Nests

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DWINN90_HOTMAIL_COM

So thankful to see posts about the birds. Yes, they are beautiful, but I do have a problem with the damage and stains, not to mention huge poop piles and SNAKES. I understand posts about washing, but we have real damage to eaves that is very costly. And.. SNAKES! Last spring two six footers on our deck,which is off my BEDROOM too! One draped over a picnic table and the other climbed in the screen door to my bedroom! If I had opened the door, a snake would be in my bedroom! Like birds, hate snakes! So, I need a way for the birds to go away!

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onlytexansknow_hotmail_com

After washing off the beginnings of a nest on the trim over my front door (for the 3rd time TODAY) I decided to check the internet to see if someone knows of a way to stop birds from building a nest. I love birds and have several feeders in my back yard. I even found a bird nest in one of my ivy plants yesterday, with 6 little white eggs in it, and I have no problem with it. However, I've been plagued with bird nests on my front porch all spring, and I'm fed up. I'm tired of being dive-bombed and pooped on every time I walk in or out my front door. The birds are messy and annoying and I think somewhat unsanitary in such close proximity. I do not appologize for my feelings on this, and sympathize with anyone who is experiencing it and would like to find a way to stop it.

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rrhudson1_gmail_com

Tried rubber snake, built on top of it.
Tried owl, build under it.
Tore it down every day for two weeks, they left for two weeks,
washed porch repainted. I think they hate white paint. To them it looks better with red mud and moss on it.
Been tearing it down for two weeks. I will give them 4 more days, then it will be the pellet gun.
Love birds, but tired of the mess.

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monicakm_gw

rick, did you look at the picture I linked to? This was my own "invention" (g) and we haven't had a bird try to nest in two summers :) It's a cheap, cheap, super simple solution. At the end of the season, we just take down the soft rubber woven backing and leave the tiny finish nails for next year :) I've fought this battle for about 25 years. This is the ONLY thing that has worked, plus it's virtually invisible. We shorted the length this year making them even less conspicuous. I promise you that the pellet gun won't work until you've killed all the Swallows within 200 miles! :o
Monica.

Here is a link that might be useful: 100% Swollow FREE Porches and Patios

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lotsofranchbirds

i had a lot of swallows and sparrows nesting in my barn and shop and tried everything, however the best solution i found was zinc phosphide oats. i put about a half cup in a small dish on a ledge in my building and we haven't had a problem since.

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monicakm_gw

I'm sure you're ready for the onslaught of hate coming your way. I just simply wanted them to go somewhere else to build their sloppy, disease ridden nest and got bombarded with malicious replies. Anywhere from "you should be proud they want to nest on your porch and crap all over the place", to "you probably own a 65" tv!" Which, btw, I do :)
So, you might want to go into hiding or assume a new identity :)

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Dante1709

Buy or make a barn swallow nest cup..It's made out of wood, and they make the mud around and in the cup, so it doesn't make a mess..It's a lot easier for them to make and it can even be used to move the swallows to a better spot.

http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/per/nestord.htm

Also, just a note ; removing a nest with eggs or nestlings is illegal, and can result in penalties amounting to a $15000 fine..

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moshinelle

I have had the same problem on my front porch. They build a mud nest between my light fixture and the house. I tried putting a rubber snake up... they built a nest on top of it! Finally on a whim, I put a few sheets of tin foil up. Just wedged it where they like to nest and they didn't try to build anymore. I saw them fly up there a couple of times when I first put it up, but they didn't like the look or feel of the foil and gave up! Now every season when I see the first signs of a nest I put the foil there. After awhile I can take it down when they are done trying to nest. It could be worth a try... simple and cheap!

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Nanrbe

This is not a very "human" friendly site!! Wow....a woman was simply asking for help as to how to deter these birds from building nests where they are not welcomed. I came here hoping for some for assistance as well. Not only are the birds messy, but they make it hard for anyone to be anywhere near the nesting area!! Adults and children!! So while a lot of you call this a thing of beauty and are envious of the problems some of us are having with these birds, the rest of us are struggling to coexist with them and just need help to discourage nest building. Geez...birds have rights but I don't?? Very selfish and judgmental group on this site.

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MM_gw

This sounds silly but it worked for me. I had birds building their nests under porch roof every year. Tried everything.
Last year in the spring I hung a plastic grocery bag on each porch post. The slightest breeze will catch the bag and inflate it, plus it moves of course. No more birds nests last year. I did the same this spring and no birds on the porch. One had started to nest until I put the bags out. Left and didn't come back. Would windsocks work? I don't know. I think it has something to do with the bags inflating. Or maybe they just decided to move on and it had nothing whatsoever to do with my experiment. Guess I'll never know.

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monicakm_gw

Doesn't sound silly to me. From my 1/4 century of experience with these birds, they don't just decide to move on. I'm sure your plastic bags did the trick :) Good for you!
Monica

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SaBro

I am a little late to the party but here's something I tried and it worked! There is a product called Critter Out which is a repellent for rats and mice. Repellent, not poison. I had the same "you can't get rid of them" problem and when they started making their first dobs of mud this year, I sprayed the wall with the repellent and they left immediately. It's the best for mice I have found too.

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bamachick82

I can't help how bad someone wants these birds to build... no one should want them on their porch... they attract Mosquitos, their feces every where on your porch is not safe at all, and last year, we try to catch them before any eggs are in the nest, last year though, they built so quick and the eggs was in there so I didn't disturb them or touch the nest... but then one day I looked out my front door and a big snake was dangling down from my porch! No, no!! I love nature as much as anyone, but I don't blame anyone for not wanting them to build on to their house. I'm just saying... anything you can do to deter me from that close to your house, especially a high traffic area, because all that will be is a troublesome for the birds, if they're some where they are going to be disturbed 20 times a day.

This post was edited by bamachick82 on Thu, Mar 6, 14 at 22:15

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tdfuture

After tearing their nests down for abut the fifth time and trying a rubber snake and owl, I had finally decided to purchase a 410 shotgun. Then my wife suggested that I try Roach spray. It worked. I could not believe that a $3 can of Hot Shot Ant and Roach killer would eliminate these nasty pests but it did. Make sure that the area is totally clean of past nesting mud and material. Then spray the area every other day for a few days. It is not illegal to tear down their nests before they lay eggs, so be sure to not let them get ahead of you.

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thisisforthebirds

Let me jump right in by saying...if I wanted to live with birds, I could have spent a fraction of what I paid for my home...and lived in a barn. I chose a house, in the city. I chose a home on a paved road, with a concrete driveway, and indoor plumbing...because I don't want to use an outhouse. I don't want birds using my home as an outhouse either! I didn't move to the country...I didn't hang bird feeders, I don't care about watching them, and frankly, if the members who suggest we feel "blessed" that these birds want to crap on our porches, had to duck and run every time 'they' went out the door, just to get the mail, or, let a visitor in, or needed a tissue just to open the door, because the knob is covered in bird crap, they might not find them to be such a blessing at all! AND...can anyone enjoy "bird mites"? Read up on those critters, and then say your lucky to have a nest, at the entrance of where you eat, sleep, and live. Enjoy them? Learn to co-exist? Feel blessed? Please...you feel free to leave an address.... and I'll send these little blessings... nests, crap and all! The shipping is on me! I have no doubt they would find their way back here again next year though...unfortunately.

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Konrad___far_north

Newbie,..you shouldn't even be here!
read the top, it say's..

Bird Watching Forum
This forum is meant as a place for bird watchers to share their knowledge, their sightings and their favorite spots.

You obviously don't care for bird watching, this forum is for passionate birders who care and help our wildlife,..for whatever little we have left.

For people like you and others who don't want to put up with
should be moving into a apartment block.

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

post deleted.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Tue, May 13, 14 at 17:52

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monicakm_gw

thisisforthebirds, you're the first this season to bring this topic alive. Every year since I posted this back in 2009 (I've been a GW member since 2002) people come searching for an answer to the pesky, potentially harmful and downright irksome problem of having these little birds crap all over your house and dive-bomb anyone that walks by their nests. I do live in the country and I do like to feed birds and enjoy photographing them but I draw the line when it comes to them making MY home their home...less of course they want to make my house pymt :) In case you didn't see it in this thread, I posted an update. I solved my problem It has been 100% effective for four years now! Below is the link to my thread describing what I did and showing a picture. It's unbelievably cheap and effective :) Please post back here if it works for you. It should, it's worked for everyone that's tried it :)
Monica

Here is a link that might be useful: Problem SOLVED

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Pyewacket

Claire, Konrad, and all you other people with knots in your knickers - I love birds. I have 4 feeders hanging right outside my bedroom window. I also put sunflower seeds on the windowsill.

That said - my sympathies in this matter are ENTIRELY with the OP. ENTIRELY. It is a fact that birds, as much as we love watching them, are every bit as filthy when they are out of place as any other wild critter. When that happens they are not lovely little birdies, they are rats with wings. And swallows nesting on your porch, dive bombing you, and crapping all over your windows, doors, furniture, and railings are rats with wings.

I already have histoplasmosis from bird droppings. I would just as soon no one else visiting my house ever have to be exposed to similar or worse dangers from bird crap, mites, shed feathers, etc etc etc.

Your inability to wrap your head around the reality of living with/near wild animals doesn't change the facts. If only my grandmother had been aware of these facts, perhaps I wouldn't have contracted histoplasmosis 50 years ago.

Even a few birds positioned right at your entry way, or over commonly used areas such as porches and decks constitute an unwarranted health risk, where the same number out in the yard or away from commonly used areas would be no big deal. But right on the porch this way, and year after year to boot - that is a big deal. Tolerate such incursions at your own risk - but don't expect others to follow you into foolishness.

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

post deleted.

Claire

This post was edited by claire on Tue, May 13, 14 at 17:53

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Pyewacket

Thisisforthebirds is exactly who I thought you were responding to. I'm not sure why you think that would make any difference. It doesn't. It is EXACTLY the attitude you express to which I am referring. It's the "No True Scotsman" argument, which isn't an argument at all.

She signed up to post this because it is a problem for her, that's why!

I'm a "true bird lover" and I wouldn't have birds pooping all over my entryway either. She has the same problem as the OP - bird poop all over - without ANY of the mitigation of being a bird lover to start with.

I'm with her and the OP, and every other poster who has posted looking for an answer to this problem. It doesn't matter whether you like birds or not - having them nest on your porch is nasty.

Also, as Thisisforthebirds so accurately pointed out - letting them nest there is doing them no favors anyway, as the stress from the constant interruptions of human beings coming and going is not a good thing for the birds either.

Not good for people - not good for birds. Encouraging them to find somewhere else to nest (or even providing such places if possible) is a win-win for everybody.

EDIT: I see poster Claire deleted BOTH posts to which I was responding. That's the drawback of allowing edited posts - sometimes people come along and take it back, so that later readers have no idea what follow-on posts to the deleted posts were on about.

This post was edited by zensojourner on Thu, May 15, 14 at 13:47

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monicakm_gw

Why use Roach Spray (eww) when all that is needed is a little piece of webbing that goes under carpets to keep them from slipping? Good grief. I'm 4 years into a 100% effective, non volatile, chemical free solution and no one (lately) has commented that they've tried it. Took all of 5 minutes to cut and hang.

Also, everyone is a newbie at some point. I was a newbie back in June of 2002. I'm glad the folks on the Kitchen forum didn't tell me to scram when I made my first post! I love GW and after hours of looking on line for a solution, I came here thinking maybe the best place to find an answer is a forum where people know a lot about birds. Instead I get hate mail and accused of owning a 65" tv ROLFL. BTW, I do! Life is good. I love my birds but I draw the line with them pooping where I live. Here are a couple of pictures I took a couple weeks ago of my well behaved backyard birds that come here to eat and entertain us but then go off into the trees to sleep and poop :) Hummm, What's the secret to embedding more than one picture?

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Pyewacket

You have to use HTML code - look here:

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_images.asp

I'm with you on the Raid idea - firstly because I'm not all that sure it'll keep working, but also because if you use enough of it, it'll spoil the space not only for the birds, but for the people too.

Still I can understand the desperation that could drive one to such lengths. Particularly when posting for help leads to too many accusatory belittling unhelpful responses, LOL!

This post was edited by zensojourner on Tue, May 13, 14 at 21:24

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Konrad___far_north

It's not the forum to post this here!
As said before, here we help birds and not to get rid of!
You said,...
>>I think these little birds are SwallowsThis tells me that you know very little about birds,..well maybe a little more now.
Many birders wanted to help but you've ignored them.

YOUR POST is of a pest problem and should have posted as such.

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lucybcstx

Hi Monica and all,

My first post here on Gardenweb. Been reading for a long time.

Just wanted to report that Monica's solution worked! At least so far . . .

The netting cost me a whole buck at HEB.

I put it up, I think, mid-March, right after my first sighting of a couple of swallows. I guess I was in time because a couple of days later I came home and got dive-bombed by dozens of the angriest birdies I've ever seen! Gosh, they were mad! MAD, MAD, MAD!! BUT they didn't even try to build.

I'm happy, the mowing guys are happy, my landscaper is happy. He's telling everyone in the big company he works for about it. He was getting dive-bombed too.

Lovely, lovely to have a clean and sanitary front porch and a safe pathway from the house.

Don't know if the swallows leaving had anything to do with it but now there are beautiful cardinals in my yard. They can stay!

Thanks again, Monica!

Lucy

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rambling_rose

Painting your ceiling sky blue works!!! I had the same problem. Tried everything, nothing worked. The birds now fly under my porch and back out. Sounds too easy but it works!!!

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monicakm_gw

lucy, thank you for posting to this thread (last year) and letting everyone know the netting worked for you too. Every year, at this time of the year, I get emails that this topic has been brought back to the top of the page by someone that is looking for a solution. Got 4 such emails today for this thread and the "Revisiting How to Keep Swallows From Building Nests".

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Julia Rupp

We had birds (Phoebes) nest on our new columns last year. My husband kept knocking the nests down each night, and each day they would start to rebuild. I pleaded with him to let them be, as once the nest was built the mess was over. Later, poop became an issue, but I'd just hose the porch down. The little bird family was truly a pleasure to watch. They came back for a second brood which was large-I estimate 5 hatchlings, and they were pushed out of the nest quite early. The 12 foot fall onto bluestone didn't work out so well, and we had these little dying birds on our porch with cats and other birds flying around. Some died and were covered with mites (I discovered this disposing of the bodies as they crawled all over my gloves and I suspect onto me). So this year, as happy as I was to see the birds return initially, I'm letting my husband have his way. He knocked the mud down, and now placed boards with nails on the top of the column, They started on a second column and now that one has a board with nails. I will try the netting next as it probably looks a little better.

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lucybcstx

Success year number two! The darned little devils started swooping and dive-bombing my front yard a few days ago BUT they didn't start any nastiness nest building in my front entry.

AND the cardinals are back! Beautiful birds! I wonder if they were getting run off by the vermin swallows in prior years?

My lawn guy was here aerating the lawn. He commented again how nice it was to not get pecked.

Lucy


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lucybcstx

Edited to add: Thanks again, Monica!


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monicakm_gw

Welcome! So glad people are starting to chime in and say that it's working for them :) Bought new netting last week but it's 2-3 weeks before the swallows show up here.


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rambling_rose

I found an easy way to get rid of them. I painted the ceiling UNDER my porch sky blue. I guess they think it is the sky and isn't "safe". After the ceiling was painted sky blue the birds returned and would fly under the porch and then fly out. This continued for quite some time. A few would perch and then fly off. They didn't build again. After a few years very few would fly under take a look and fly off. I love birds but grew tired of the mess especially by my front door. I had tried everything including removing every decoration so they wouldn't have a place to build a nest. They still built nest of the ledges above doors and windows. I had covered the ledges with foil, plastic snakes...you name it. Nothing worked EXCEPT painting the ceiling sky blue, not a bright blue but a soft blue like the sky. It was a miracle. Hope this helps others!


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Tracey Kelly-Williams

These birds just tried to attack me! I am tired of taking the nests down. The house was pressure washed yesterday. I tried the rubber snake, they knocked them down ( I have 3 posts). Frustrating. I think I twisted my back trying to run from the birds. Ugh!

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monicakm_gw

Why don't you use the mesh backing? It's 100% effective and super cheap. My husband has been very busy with work and the little suckers sneaked up on us yesterday and have started their mess on my lovely front porch! We're fixing to go out there with a hose to wash it down and hang the netting. We keep the tiny finishing nails up year around and take the mesh netting down in the fall. There is mud all over the porch tile, columns, windows, brick (sigh).


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gmaples09

Thank you for all who have given your responses to the swallows building nest in areas that poses problems for your personal property. I washed down the nest and they came right back today! They are beautiful birds and we don't want to hurt them so I placed aluminum foil out on the ledges and they flew up looked at it and have not been back! I hope this helps!

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Jo

This is the first year I've had barn swallows nest on my front porch. I love birds, and have a small birdhouse on my porch with sparrows in it now. I don't mind the swallows nesting on the porch -- the problem is that they are doing it right above the front door! I want to try to get them to build their nest on the other side of the porch, where they will be safe, and we will be "safe" as well. I'm sure I've got some pieces of scrap wood I can put up on the porch, and hopefully they'll migrate to that area instead. They are persistent little buggers though, aren't they? :-)

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Fox Audris Cooper

Same promble here ..... what Im using now is a 6oz cup of bleach. It works perfectly.

The smell of bleach keeps them away. At first I was spaying the area with bleach cleaner ... after it dried they came right back....

Use the 6 oz bleach trick .. It works great...Don't worry it will not kill the birds.

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monicakm_gw

Jo, I hope that works for you but I've found they are a creature of habit. When they pick out a spot, they won't leave it and come back year after year unless you can successfully deter them. I tried every trick in the book, on and off for over 25 years. The rubber carpet mat is the only thing that has been 100% successful. I would guess other material you could drape in the corner or hang over the ledges would work. It's just what came to mind and I had some and it's the same color as the exterior trim...win win! :)


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ymbuilds

Hi Monica, I have some questions for you re:bathroom stuff. The only way I can email you is if you follow me. So could you do that please. I'm new so sorry this isn't the right topic.


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skyboy363

Try moth balls, put them in an old nylon and tack them close to the nest

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lisa11310

Sorry folks, all these years later I still think putting up with a mess for a few weeks to allow baby birds to be hatched and take to the skies is so much more important. I have a Pheobe nest YEA! Over my garage light am I am estatic!

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storm4424

I'm writing from outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa. We have had lesser-striped swallows nesting on our patio for the past 15 years. 4 years ago I started a B&B and put up canvas blinds to enclose the patio (where I serve breakfast) during the cold winter months - May to September here - which coincides with the departure and arrival of the migrating swallows. They have an extraordinary mud nest with a tunnel that has been here all this time so there is no building involved when they return but there is poop from time to time whilst there are babies in there. I just put some newspaper under their nest and replace it every day. Even if it's cold I have to leave the blinds open so they can get in and out freely to feed their babies. I simply tell my guests about the swallows and apologise for it being a little chilly! Most people love the fact that they swoop in and out over the breakfast table right above their heads....... I am honoured that they return here every year. Storm Grainger

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Shelby Bennett
I checked out this thread to get some ideas. I have had a returning family for several years. I love the bird, but they are so aggressive at my front door. I tried hanging a few cd's from thumb tacks around their fave nesting spots. I got the idea from a site that sells large round shiny disks with what appears to be eyes on them. They say is mimics the eyes of the swallows' predators and the sudden movement scares them off. I also tried to make it a bit of an obstacle to get there. So far, it has worked!
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gingrgrl

PAINTING THE CEILING OF THE PORCH SKY BLUE!!!!!!! IT WORKS!!!!!!!

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Pyewacket

Pretty, too.

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Donna Roost

I have the same problem with a nest. I sprayed it down and the corner of my carport where it made a huge mess. I don't mind the swallows. I do mind the mess. It's back of course. I'm going to try the CD method. I love nature. So nice that some don't know how to be anything else but nature and sorry they have to be so snotty about it. Maybe others don't want to visit you, anyway, with your attitude. There is a real world, too,

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cweepers

Try hanging a wooden snake where you don't want the birds to nest. Also, if you park your car under a tree on the street where the birds roost at night, a wooden snake on the roof of your car deters the birds from roosting in the tree. Just don't forget to take it off the roof before you leave in the morning! The clattering of it falling off the car can be a little disconcerting! Most dollar stores sell wooden snakes.

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Brenda Connolly

I knock down the nest (being sure eggs have not been laid). It is a sure giveaway when my porch is full of twigs and bird droppings. After cleaning I spray, believe it or not, WD40. No nest has been build since. I heard about this somewhere, tried it and it works like a charm. Spray it on all your ledges about once a month. It has done the trick for me.

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randwood

John S

I have had a problem with swallows nesting around the house for the last 15 years. After the birds had built there nest , I thought I would spray and saturate their nest with Wasp insect spray. This proved totally successful. I also sprayed petrol onto the nest, this also deterred the birds.They have not been back since.

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darb1001

Laws be damned. When swallows build nests on my property

I tear them down even if there are eggs in them. Swallows are a nuisense and we already have too many.

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barbl900

Swallows are nesting on our boat hoist canopy. They are welcome to stay if they'd like to make the payment on our 50k mastercraft boat....until then I will inundate them with wasp spray, moth balls & our BB gun. Judge me all day. I don't care

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Brenda Connolly

Barb1900 It sounds like they have already made their deposits so you are stuck now. ha ha

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barbl900

I'll keep fighting! Bird droppings are full of disease. Gross

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Brenda Connolly

Barb, use WD 40. I had birds nesting on my patio for a couple of years. I cleaned the ledges and sprayed them liberally with WD 40. I saw where the birds flew near the ledges afterwards but flew away right away. I have not had a problem since. I don't know if it was the smell, the fact that is was slippery or what but my problem is solved.

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barbl900

I'll try that! Thanks

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hlg22

I'm so glad I found this thread...lots of great ideas to try, and the jury's still out on whether the solution I (may have) found this year will work long term. My house is a bungalow with a nice covered front porch. I have been having the worst problem with mourning doves trying to nest in the corners of the porch. The porch is furnished, so I've got rugs, planters, occasional tables, a bistro table and chairs on one side, and a large hanging porch swing with cushions and pillows on the other, plus curtains hanging and tied back around all sides. These freaking birds are the bane of my spring/early summer existence as they like to build nests in the corners where the curtain rods meet. In years past I've successfully used Tanglefoot to deter them, but the problem with that is that it is so sticky it gradually attracts all dirt/bugs/leaves/etc. and makes wherever it's spread look very dirty. I had the house completely repainted this spring and didn't want to spread it on the fresh paint. However...I've basically been removing a nest every day or so for the last two weeks, and then Saturday was the worst - woke up to find new nests in every corner/pillar, and since it rained they were all muddy. The tops of the curtains were caked in mud and droppings, there were droppings on the porch swing cushions and rugs, and there were twigs and debris all over the porch. Incidentally, when I repainted I had the porch ceiling painted sky blue, and so that has not seemed to deter them at all.

Now to the possible solution I've found...while spending the ENTIRE DAY on Saturday removing the nests, washing curtains, washing bird crap and mud off my new paint job, and cleaning rugs and cushions, I got the idea to leave the porch ceiling fan on medium speed 24/7 to see if that would dissuade them. And so far...no nests. I still haven't put the curtains back up...I think I'm going to wait until next weekend just to be safe. I also ordered some rug backing from Amazon and I'll hang that or some cds in the corners as an extra precaution.

Oh, and I do not understand the people who say "oh, just leave them and coexist" - at least not if you expect to actually use your porch. I went to sit out on the porch swing and have my coffee before cleaning up on Saturday morning. Even putting aside the mess, the flies (lots of different types/sizes) were way thicker on the porch than I have ever seen them, and it was so disgusting that I went in after 10 minutes. I also can't afford to replace all of my porch furnishings every year. The birds are welcome to use any of my trees. They're even welcome to build nests on the outside of the porch columns (there's a protected space tucked behind a downspout and under the roof overhang they sometimes use). But on the porch? Nope.

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barbl900

Yard guard worked! Sprayed the nest and surrounding area and they haven't been back!

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Brenda Connolly

So happy you found the solution. These little guys have the entire world. They do not need to invade our happy home.

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Rhonda Morris

Monica, thank you!! I used your idea with the gripper pad and so far it is working. I ended up getting Contact Premium Grip Liner but it is about the same thing. We live in the country so there are plenty of buildings on our property for them to build their mud nests so I don't know why they always choose the overhang right by our back door.

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monicakm_gw

You're so welcome Rhonda! I love hearing that others have been helped using my discovery :) I've had a 100% sucess rate since April of 2009 (7 years!) using the netting/gripper pad. Now, might they go to a section of patio or porch that isn't covered? Yes. They started on an area around back last week where we had taken down the netting cause it was grungy. My husband has been too busy with work and building our daughter's house that he hasn't had time to put up the netting. I washed down about a4 foot wide section of mud and turned the patio ceiling fan on (a tip one person said worked for him). Texas Swallows aren't afraid of no stinkin' fan...boo! So, I washed down the next attempt and sprayed hornet and wasp spray (another remedy someone said worked). They laughed at me! Since the ladder was already out and no one was here to tell me "get off that ladder before you kill yourself", I hosed down the 3rd attempt, climbed the ladder to scrub the ledge, sprayed it again, climbed back on the ladder to hang the netting. The finish nails were already there. 24 hours later we're still bird/mud/mess free.

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lsylvia41

Here I am posting on this site while owning not one but 3 large screen tvs. I had to come out of the closet. I must apologize to those that thought I was a true nature lover.

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barbl900

Ha! Love it! Sitting here now watching 96" screen....plus I keep 3 bird feeders!!

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monicakm_gw

Well ladies, aren't we just uber multi-talented to be able to enjoy our large screen tvs AND nature! And yes, I'm still enjoying my tidy porch seven years later :) I'm also still enjoying my backyard birds.





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mellaniekeever

Monica, can you post instructions and a pic maybe? I am going crazy over here trying to fight these little things off! Don't want to do anything that would harm them so your technique sounds like it may be a winner. Just can't wrap my head around how you have done it and how you attached it? Thanks!

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Barbara McGuire
  • Monica I agree with Mellanie - the birds I have are nesting in an opening that has ceramic tiles on the roof above and I think stucco just below. Do I have to tack the rug backing to the opening or shove it into the opening and what does rug backing look like??? Please need help. Barb
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Jeff Goleno

This is off topic, but maybe someone on here can answer this for me... I have a condo and outside my front door a bluebird built a nest on top of the fire sprinkler that sticks out of the wall a few inches from the ceiling... One night I came home to find that the condo management had removed the nest... A few days later I noticed that one of the birds was back... Every night for the last few months the same bird comes back to where the nest used to be and roosts there all night... Is this normal... I feel bad for it... I can't find any info on bluebird habits... If they build a nest and it gets destroyed before they find a mate do they just stay there until next season? Or could it have been a baby that once lived in that nest? It just really bothers me... I'm not sure if there were already eggs or babies in the nest... All I know is that this sad little bird comes back to the same spot every night and seems pretty lonely... I talk to it and I leave food outside a few times a week, but I really would like to know what has caused this behavior... I would just like to know if this is normal, or if loosing it's nest has confused it or traumatized it in some way... Any thoughts on this would be great... Thanks...

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vic the Baker

Gingrgrl states you should pain the ceiling sky blue. Birds see sky color and won't nest under it. Folks who live by the shore know this.

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emmawilliams1

Hi!!! Had the same problem, as much as I love birds and nature. They nested on front porch and scattered the mud everywhere..I had heard you can affix broken pieces of mirror near their nesting and when they see the reflection, think another bird has built it's nest..I tried it. {was brokenhearted when I accidentally broke my mirror} but did glue the pieces where they were nesting and they have not done so since. good luck! They have now found a place in the carport..and that's okay...

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Marie S

Had the same problem with an eastern phoebe. Cream colored paint on my covered patio with expensive tile below. My solution was to temporarily hang strips of aluminum foil with masking tape in and beside the corners of the roof. They land next to them, watch them blow in the breeze and leave to find more acceptable lodging. I love birds. I feed them and have bluebird boxes as well as other boxes in the yard. I just don't want to clean and repainted each year. Not sure what it would do to the tile.

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G Phillip

The first couple years I allowed them to rear their young under my porch. It was very messy. Then at the end of winter, I hung a long strip of tin foil (about 2.5 in. X 3 ft.) from the ceiling right by where they previously built their nest. I suppose the wind flopping the tin foil was enough to spook them and they never came back. Simple, cheap and humane. No harm done.

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Laura Entzel Fiedler

What is the betting trick?!? Please give details.

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Daniel Baalen

Iv read a lot of the comments and will hopefully get to try a few of the methods of keeping these birds away. bird poo, bird fetuses on the outdoor lounge and coffee table are just unexeptable. So before I use any of these methods, what is the best way to remove the nest while they have babies (who are just learning to fly) in the nest. Can I peel it off and relocate it or will they attack me and make it too difficult to do?

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zerelda

I've had swallow bird build just one mud nest in my front porch 3 years in a row, starts building in March, I used to fight it - now I just put newspapers in the entryway and wrap bricks with newspaper to hold it down, i replace newspapers on weekends; bird mama and I have an 'understanding' she does not divebomb anymore, I say 'Hi' , sometimes I whistle (I used to have an African Grey parrot) or say good day to her, she's perched on a pole that I had my handyman put up as I was going to hang the CDs but beat me to it; so I just wait for the eggs to get hatched, then hear baby birds chirping, then the family eventually leaves and then I take down the nest, clean up and sanitize the wall...until they come back around March. I decided to honor my culture which believe birds who choose your house bring good luck. So I welcome them as guests. Happy Easter to all!!

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Pyewacket

If I did that, my HOA would be fining me up one side and down the other. I'm sorry (actually I'm anything BUT sorry) but I'm not living with filth. They need to nest elsewhere than right on my front stoop where the main door is.

I knock the nests down whenever they show up. I've got one that keeps trying to build a nest on my outside light fixture. Last year I didn't notice it in time and had to leave it until the nestlings had fledged. As soon as they were gone, I knocked it down.

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Maxcine Collier

Robins are birds that I enjoy viewing, but not as they try to build nests under our porch lights which are on both sides of an area right by our front entrance door. For three days my husband has removed the straw, twigs, etc in order to prevent a completed robin's nest. They put the straw, twigs, etc. up, he takes them down immediately. Today after reading these posts, I sprayed the area with ant and roach spray that I use when the ants try to visit too close to our outside walkway. Two robins just came with straw in their mouths, but they flew away. I hope this is a long-term solution. This is the first time that we have had this problem in the nineteen years that we have lived here. I am already tired of the mess on our porch and the potential health hazard presented if the robins succeed in building a permanent nest. We have plenty of trees that the birds usually choose for their nests and are still quite welcome to do so. However, why our porch this year is a puzzle. Thanks to all who have posted for their solutions. To the haters, because one does not want a bird's nest in an area that he/she frequently uses in his/her home, does not label the person as an animal hater. Why should my quality of life be compromised daily upon trying to enter my home for the sake of a bird's nest? The answer is that it shouldn't and will not. We will win this fight and reclaim our safety and keep our good health.

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Pavol Lechman

We have launched environmentally based sale of
protective bands against unwanted nesting of Swallows and Martins on outer
walls of buildings with simultaneous condition of evaluating one's surroundings
in vicinity of the protected property and subsequent setting up of an
alternative place for placid nesting of these useful birds.

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Judy Taya

In my case I MUST stop them from building their nests on my front porch. As the babies grow and begin to leave the nest my 4 farm dogs will find them and kill them and it breaks my heart. This year I put some 2x4's on the porch ceiling ledge and in the corners under the ceiling where they like to build. I also have a fake metal bird that is positioned as though it's flying. They seem to be afraid of it. They keep trying to build along the ledge but can not build the nest up that way. Tomorrow I'm heading to the Dollar Store to get some mirrors to put up there. They are quite relentless for sure.

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Pamela Hudson

I’m sickened by these nuisances! We left the nests to raise their babies. Now twice as many birds and nests. We cannot even walk out on our front porch with our grand babies for them flying fast past our heads and front door and our nice porch furniture is full of sh-t! Plenty of surrounding woods for these pests! Fake owls didn’t work and they land right beside the plastic snakes. Wildlife exterminator can’t help. Guess I’ll try some of the other ideas.

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