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General Swallow Questions

Q. When are swallows a problem?

Q. Why do swallows build their nests under my eaves?

Q. Why should I get rid of swallows?

Q. When is the best time to get rid of swallows?

Q. Where do swallows normally live?

Q. How do I know if the birds I see are swallows?

Q. Where can I get help to solve my swallow problem?


Health & Safety

Q. What are the most common swallow complaints you receive?

Q. What are the health risks of having swallows on my residential or commercial building?

Q. Will the swallows attack me?

Q. Who is responsible for this swallow problem?

Swallow Control Products and Methods

Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill swallows?

Q. Which swallow repellents are the best?

Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate swallows?

Q. Which methods does All State Animal Control use to get rid of swallows?

Q. Who should I call for help?

Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of swallows?

Property Damage

Q. What damage can swallows cause?

Q. What can a swallow infestation do to damage my property value?

Q. How can a wildlife removal technician help me get rid of the swallows?

Costs

Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site swallow inspection?

Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone swallow control consultation?

Q. Who pays to solve my swallow problem?

Q. What free bird control services does your company offer to the public?

Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the swallows?


General Swallow Questions

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Q. When are swallows a problem?

A. Swallows are a problem when they decide to attach their nest to stucco, wood, logs, siding or brick on structures where they are not wanted.  Swallows double or triple in quantity each year-10 this year will return as 30 birds next year, and nearly 100 the year after that.  They come back to the same place year after year unless forced to form new habits. Like a high school reunion. Cliff swallows nest in colonies of up to several hundred pairs.  While barn swallows nest in much smaller groups, they can still be a nuisance. Along with the swallows come their associated pests and parasites; swallow bugs (bloodsucking insects resembling beg bugs or fleas) are a common associated complaint.

Q. Why do swallows build their nests under my eaves?

A. You have an overhanging roof to protect them from hawks, owls or falcons. Swallows choose buildings that have 90-degree soffits above vertical surfaces that their mud nests will adhere to. They make nests in areas near food, mud and water sources, like open fields or parks or agricultural areas.

Q. Why should I get rid of swallows?

A. Their dirty-bird lifestyle brings infestations of swallow bugs, mites and ticks.  They transmit a number of diseases.  They do aesthetic damage to buildings with staining, droppings and mud. They multiply in numbers, which multiplies your problems also. Swallows are insect vacuums and a valuable part of our ecosystem, but when they live on human structures, they do a lot of damage.

Q. When is the best time to get rid of swallows?

A. Get rid of swallows the minute you know they are around-before they lay their eggs. Swallows are fully protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 due to their migratory habits and their avid appetite for insects.  Therefore, they cannot legally be killed. If there are eggs or nestlings in the nest, the nest cannot be knocked down.  The nests must be removed and preventative measures put into place either before there are eggs or after the babies fly.  Don't give up, though, we can provide assistance at any time of the year and prepare for next year to avoid a repeat infestation.  Just because they left this winter, don't make the mistake of thinking your problems are solved.  They return to the same nesting sites year after year.  They will be back unless you do something about it.

Q. Where do swallows normally live?

A.  Swallows look for nesting sites that are sheltered.  They need nearby access to water, mud for nest building, and open space for insect hunting. Cliff swallows, for example, usually seek protected nest sites on cliffs or canyon walls near streams.  Barn swallows also traditionally selected caves or crevices as nest sites and find that walls of buildings or beams of porches or barns are a great alternative. While human activity has caused problems for some animals, it has increased the availability of nest sites and caused swallow populations to increase in many areas.

Q.  How do I know if the birds I see are swallows?

A. You will see swallows flying and building mud nests.  Swallows don't nest in holes or build traditional stick or grass nests. You will quickly notice stained locations on the siding, brick or stucco of your building and may find concentrated areas of droppings under nesting sites. Swallows fly in patterns similar to bats-quick and herky-jerky-but they fly during daylight hours, unlike bats which fly at night.  This flight pattern, with quick, frequent direction changes, is a result of hunting and capturing flying insects. While swallows eat flying insects, sometimes the first thing people notice is an unexplained insect infestation in their home-swallow bugs, which resemble bed bugs.

Q. Where can I get help with my swallow problem?

A. Call Allstate Animal Control. We provide professional swallow solutions and have trained technicians who can help you get rid of the swallows, install block out and repellent products, and clean up the mess.


Health & Safety


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Q. What are the most common swallow complaints you receive?

A. Messes from nesting activity and insect infestations are the most common reasons people call us for help with swallows. Nests on structures, droppings on sidewalks or windows, and insect infestations similar to bed bugs or fleas (swallow bugs) are very common.  Sometimes people enjoy the swallows at first, but they multiply from one year to the next. A single pair was kind of cute or interesting, but 100 birds is a mess.

Q. What are the health risks of having swallows on my residential or commercial building?

A. The primary health risks are from insects and fecal matter. Swallows easily adapt to suburban environments and bring insects and parasites with them.  Parasites can be so bad that the birds that they abandon whole nesting sites and seek new ones.  Unfortunately, the bugs they leave behind can live for up to 3 years in the nests. Swallow droppings, and their fouled nests, contain bacteria, fungus and parasites that can transmit serious diseases including meningitis, encephalitis, toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis and salmonella. Infestations of commercial buildings where food is prepared or stored is particularly dangerous as whole warehouses of foodstuffs can be contaminated.

Q. Will the swallows attack me?

A. Swallows are such tiny birds it is hard to believe they could attack, but they do, or at least they appear to.  When there are babies in a nest, the adult birds are exceptionally protective and will fly straight at intruders (anyone they think is too close) with their wings spread and looking very fierce.  It is unlikely that they will harm you, but it is intimidating.  Some people use tennis rackets to kill the birds, but you don't really need to do that.  They are protected by federal law and there are a lot more swallows out there.  And if you kill the parents you will have a nest full of rotting, dead baby swallows.

Q. Who is responsible for this swallow problem?

A. You, the property owner, are responsible, but that doesn't mean you have to take care of it yourself.  Getting rid of swallows requires knowledge of applicable laws and regulations, proper equipment, comfort with heights, and lots of practice.


Swallow Control Products and Methods

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Q. Which poisons do you recommend to kill swallows?

A. Swallows are protected by federal law and cannot be poisoned.  Likewise, shooting, trapping or harming swallows in any way is illegal.  Only non-lethal repellents or mechanical devices are allowed. Besides, swallows are good for the environment because they eat so many bugs.  You can get rid of swallows without killing them.  Call us for more information.

Q. Which swallow repellents are the best?

A. Ours are. We have a four-step non-lethal process proven to rid your property of nuisance swallows. Hire us and make sure the job is done right, the birds are not harmed, and your building is bird-free.

Q. Which methods do you use to exterminate swallows?

A. We don't exterminate swallows.  It is against federal law.  Swallows are migratory insectivores and protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.  There are additional regulations by state. We can, however, help you with your swallow problems in ways that are within the law.

Q. Which methods does Allstate Animal Control use to get rid of swallows?

A. We use habitat modification to make a building undesirable for swallows.  We have a number of swallow proofing products and techniques that will get rid of the problem without making your building look odd or ugly-great repellents, slip brackets, etc. We can also clean up swallow nests and messes after the swallows have migrated.

Q. Who should I call for help?

A. Call Allstate Animal Control.  We have the most effective types of control available on the market.  We do excellent bird control.

Q. Why should I hire a professional to get rid of swallows?

A.  We know how to solve swallow problems.  We know the legal requirements for swallow removal and understand how to deter the swallows from returning. We have effective products that will protect your building and even enhance its appearance.  We also have equipment and techniques to clean up the mess and protect your health and the health of your family, pets or clients.


Property Damage


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Q. What damage can swallows cause?

A. Swallow droppings are unattractive and cause deterioration of the surfaces of buildings and automobiles.  The droppings can burn lawns and planting areas and damage crops.  When swallows nest on a building the waste of nests-mud, feathers and bugs-can get sucked into the ventilation system, creating health and safety hazards. The mites and other insects carried by swallows often penetrate houses and commercial buildings, biting humans and pets. Swallow droppings around buildings are not only unattractive, but make sidewalks and other areas slick and dangerous for falls and injuries. Birds are not clean and the smell can be very unpleasant. During the natural course of things, birds die either as adults or nestlings and attract parasites, insects and maggots.

Q. What can a swallow infestation do to damage my property value?

A. Swallows leave an ugly mess that makes buildings unattractive.  Clean up of droppings, parasites, nesting residue and other contaminants is often required before selling a building. Property value reduction of 5-10% is common. If you act quickly you may be able to avoid such loss.

Q. How can a wildlife removal technician help me get rid of the swallows?

A. We specialize in getting rid of nuisance swallows on walls or other hard to reach places.  We have block-out and repellent techniques, all of which are humane and do not kill swallows. If you have dead swallows, from being sucked into air vents for example, we can remove bodies and clean up biohazards.  The most difficult part of swallow removal is where the problems are located-usually as high up as the birds can get. We have man lifts, extension ladders and other specialized equipment for accessing high places. We are experienced in dealing with these problems. Call us to discuss your swallow infestation and see what we can do for you: 888-488-7720  


Costs

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Q. What does it cost for an initial on-site swallow inspection?

A. For specific information, see our Pricing Page.

Q. What does it cost for an initial over-the-phone swallow control consultation?

A. FREE!  Send me 5-10 pictures via e-mail and I will review them and call you to recommend a solution and give you an estimate.  Pictures should include possible swallow nest sites, all four sides of building, porches or similar areas and measurements of the building area infested by swallows.

Q. Who pays to solve my swallow problem?

A. Swallows are the responsibility of the property owner.  You can attempt to get rid of them and clean up yourself, but I recommend that you contact us, your swallow removal specialists.  Typically swallow removal starts with an inspection and evaluation which costs $150-250, depending on your location.  You may want to contact your property insurance carrier; your policy may include coverage for removal and clean up of pest animals.

Q. What FREE bird control services does your company offer to the public?

A. If you find a bird or animal problem on your property, take 5-10 digital pictures and e-mail them to us (use the Contact Us page).  We will call you by phone and advise you on federal and state laws pertaining to swallows, discuss your situation for a few minutes and suggest a plan of action, as time allows.

Q. How much will it cost to get rid of the swallows?

A. Prices vary depending on your location, number of birds and nesting sites and severity of the problem. I can give you a FREE estimate over the phone if you e-mail me digital pictures. For additional information, see our Pricing Page.

Common Swallow Myths:


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Myth: Birds are color blind.

Fact: Maybe some are, but swallows don't seem to be.  We have noticed they choose nest sites much more often on homes that are grey or tan than homes that are blue or purple. Perhaps the grey or tan homes more closely resemble their traditional cliffs?

Myth:  Swallows are cool.

Fact: Yes, they are, but the mess multiplies with the swallows and quickly becomes less cool.  You don't need to harm the birds, but you don't have to live with them either.