General Swallow Information
MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS
Swallows, also known as martins, mud swallows, cliff swallows or barn swallows are slender, sleek birds with either deeply forked tails or square tails, and they are quite colorful, with colors ranging from orange-brown, steel blue, rust and white. Swallows measure five to eight inches in length.
Swallows will fly several miles away from their nests to forage. They usually look for food together in a loose unit.
Since swallows are a migratory bird, they are protected by federal and state law. It is illegal to kill or hurt swallows in any way.
Frequently Asked Swallow Questions
|•Where do mud, cliff and barn swallows live?
|•When are mud, cliff and barn swallows most active?
|•What foods do mud, cliff and barn swallows eat?
|•Why should I learn how to get rid of mud, cliff and barn swallows in my walls, stucco, wood siding, eaves or deck?
|•Mud, cliff and barn swallows are on my walls, stucco, eaves, or deck. What other swallow damage is there?
||•I heard mud, cliff and barn swallows carry diseases. Is that true?
|•Do conenose bus and other swallow insects really live on mud, cliff and barn swallows?
|•Why shouldn't I trap or kill the mud, cliff and barn swallows myself?
|• I've had mud, cliff and barn swallows return to my eaves, walls, stucco, and siding for years. How can United Wildlife help me solve my swallow problem?
|•What are United Wildlife's payment options for mud, cliff and barn swallow removal or to get rid of swallows?
|•What should I do after United Wildlife removes the mud, cliff and barn swallows?
Q-1. WHERE DO MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS LIVE?
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A. Eight swallow species (hirundinidae) are found across North America. Mud, cliff or barn swallows naturally nest in cliffs and vertical banks. They are attracted to areas that have 1.) an overhang or ledge under which they can build their nests, 2.) a supply of mud to build nests with, and 3.) some fresh water for drinking. Swallows flock to cities and homes because bridges, buildings and canals fulfil many of these needs. Barn swallows are often found nesting near livestock or power lines.
A swallow nest on a bridge, house or business will be built out of mud and directly attached under an eave or overhang or on a beam, window jamb or corner. Swallow nests are gourd-shaped or cup-shaped with an entrance tunnel that opens downward. Swallows will mix sand, grasses, hair and feathers in with the mud to build their nests. Swallows have been known to build nests in colonies of several hundred pairs, all lined up in a vertical cluster. Any place that provides food and shelter for a swallow may become its new home.
The problem is that many of our homes, walls, ledges, overhangs and offices offer everything needed to sustain swallow flocks. United Wildlife’s swallow controllers know how to effectively remove the swallows and to employ swallow prevention techniques, as well.
Swallows like heights, so buildings and high wires appeal to them. From up high they can see predators below. But swallows also want to be protected from above. So ledges, soffit areas, I-beams, and any other high nook or cranny serves a swallow well. If swallows are nesting on your home or business, they draw other swallows by decoy. Swallows are drawn to other swallows.
Q-2. WHEN ARE MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS MOST ACTIVE?
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A. Mud, cliff and barn swallows spend the winters in South America. In late winter and early spring, swallows travel northward, catching insects on the way and flying during the day. Usually, swallows enter the southern U.S. between March and April, with more northern states seeing swallows in June.
Female swallows will lay between three and six eggs at a time. Swallow egg-laying can start as early as March and in some states begin as late as June. The incubation period for swallow eggs is between 12 and 17 days, depending on the species of swallow. Swallow babies can fly from the nest 17 to 25 days after hatching. By the end of September, all mud swallow nests will usually be empty since the swallows have headed south.
Swallows are very busy nest builders. Mud nest building is a social activity for swallows, and even unmated swallows will build nests. Both male and female swallows construct nests, which can take up to one or two weeks to finish.
Q-3. WHAT FOODS DO MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS EAT?
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A. All swallows are insect eaters. A flock of swallows requires 6,000 flies a day to survive. Mud, cliff and barn swallows love to eat bluebottles, houseflies, bees, hoverflies, mayflies, and sometimes moth caterpillars that hang from trees.
Q-4. WHY SHOULD I LEARN HOW TO GET RID OF MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS THAT ARE ON MY WALLS, STUCCO, WOOD SIDING, EAVES OR DECK?
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A. Mud, cliff and barn swallows can be seen as beautiful, flying, singing beings outside your window. But when they use your home or office as a place to build mud nests, camp out and have babies, you may feel otherwise. Swallow droppings not only look horrible on benches, buildings and cars, but they also speed deterioration. Swallow droppings can damage machinery and contaminate foods. Swallow dung can burn your lawn. Sometimes, swallow droppings can make a surface slick and dangerous to walk on. A large amount of swallow fecal matter may produce a nasty smell and damage plants and crops.
Two swallows can quickly become six; United Wildlife’s swallow experts have sometimes seen swallows in the hundreds on one structure.
Well, the mud, cliff and barn swallows are just on my house, you say. What harm is there? A flock of hundreds of swallows landing and taking off can create a lot of noise on your house, especially at night when you are trying to sleep. Even when swallows are outside of your home or business, droppings, nest paraphernalia and feathers can get sucked into vents and drain pipes and create a fire hazard, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Gutters can also be blocked, causing water to seep indoors and cause flooding. A blocked chimney can lead to a fire hazard and high levels of carbon monoxide can be forced back into the home or business if a vent is blocked with swallow nesting material.
When vents become toilets and garbage cans for swallows, any disease, bug or odor that comes along with swallows can contaminate the air that you breathe and any foods meant for human consumption. Mechanical units found on the roof can be damaged if swallow feathers and nesting get caught in the fans.
Simply due to the natural circle of life, swallows die, and their smells, parasites and diseases are left behind to affect you, your family and employees.
Q-5. MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS ARE ON MY WALLS, STUCCO, SIDING, EAVES OR DECK. WHAT OTHER SWALLOW DAMAGE IS THERE?
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A. Swallow nests are usually quite sturdy, and under the right conditions may last and be used for several years. Mud, cliff and barn swallows have excellent homing capabilities and will return to the same nesting site, even if the nest has been damaged or removed. If a swallow’s mud nest does drop to the ground for any reason, the nest can damage machinery, contaminate food and be a home for swallow bugs.
Cliff swallow nests are often taken over by sparrows, another bird pest. Swallow nests on a house or business will invite sparrows to come set up shop and bring along its own set of damage and health hazards.
Mud swallow nests damage and deface the exteriors of buildings. Swallow droppings usually end up on the side of a building and on the ground below. Leaving a colony of swallows on your property can be a real liability because of slip-and-fall hazards and contamination from droppings and nest materials. Expensive regular cleanup costs would need to be factored into the home or business budget if swallows are left to live on roofs or eaves.
All these swallow pest problems will affect the value of your property. It is difficult to sell a home that has a swallow infestation and actually, it’s required by law that you fix the swallow problem before you sell your home. Property value can decrease between five percent and ten percent due to swallow colony problems.
Q-6. I HEARD MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS CARRY DISEASES. IS THAT TRUE?
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A. Mud, cliff and barn swallows do carry diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, cryptococcosis and toxoplasmosis. These swallow illnesses are spread by contact with swallow poop, nest materials and dead swallows.
Histoplasmosis is a fungus disease contracted through airborne spores in swallow droppings. If swallows have been on your roof for a while, these spores can even infect the soil you garden in down below. Its symptoms may be anything from a mild influenza to blood abnormalities and fever, or even death. An eye condition has been linked to histoplasmosis and it can lead to blindness in those who contract it.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection that invades human tissue and can severely damage the central nervous system, especially in babies. Pregnant women are in extreme danger if infected with toxoplasmosis.
Swallows carry the bacteria salmonella. People who pick up salmonella bacteria can become seriously ill with diarrhea, vomiting, fever and chills. Salmonella can also affect the blood. Swallow salmonella can be spread through swallow fecal matter.
Encephalitis can lead to fever, headache, vomiting and eventually coma, seizures and paralysis. Encephalitis is brain inflammation caused by a virus.
Cryptococcosis, one of the commonly carried swallow diseases, infects the lungs of humans. It is transmitted by inhaling the yeast-like cells of the organism. Cryptococcosis can also cause acne-like ulcers on the skin.
Q-7. DO CONENOSE BUGS AND OTHER SWALLOW INSECTS REALLY LIVE ON BARN, CLIFF AND MUD SWALLOWS?
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A. Little critters can hitch a ride on a mud, cliff or barn swallow’s back and the closer you are to the swallows, the more chance you have of coming into contact with mites, ticks, fleas, lice, conenose bugs and other nibbling insects.
Bed bugs and swallow bugs are closely related parasites that can bite humans, causing itchy red welts all over the body.
Conenose bugs are bloodsucking parasites that can feed off humans. Bites from onenose bugs sometimes produce allergic reactions, which can be cause for concern in certain individuals. A bite may produce itchy welts or swelling of the tongue, larynx and trachea.
Several cases of mites biting humans indoors have been reported.
Ticks are very mobile and have been known to crawl down into buildings that swallows are nesting on, and travel great distances to attach themselves to people.
If a swallow brings fleas near your home, most likely the biting bug will hop onto your house pet’s back. Once inside, large flea populations can build up quickly. Fleas live on the outside of their hosts’ bodies and need to feed on blood in order to produce eggs.
Swallow lice are not capable of living off a human host, but they do bite humans on occasion.
A swallow bug living in a nest can become an infestation in your pantry or carpet in no time. One or two mites may stray from the swallow’s nest and crawl along your kitchen table. But if the swallow abandons its nest for any reason, the whole caboodle of swallow bugs will enter your home, looking for a new host. This is why it’s especially important to have our swallow control experts remove swallow nests and other garbage after all the swallows have been trapped.
Swallows are a liability for businesses and restaurants. Swallow diseases or swallow bugs may infect your employees, guests or food. There are documented cases of illnesses occurring in these situations, and the plaintiff successfully sues the owner of the business. Also, if you are an employer and your workers’ environment is being contaminated by swallows, you will see a drop in productivity due to illness.
Q-8. WHY SHOULDN’T I TRAP OR KILL THE MUD, CLIFF OR BARN SWALLOWS MYSELF?
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A. Anything that involves climbing up and down roofs may put an amateur in physical harm. Simply killing the swallows yourself doesn’t do any good, as more will come back later. Swallow prevention measures have to be taken to make sure they don’t nest there again. The swallow waste and nest materials need to be cleaned up, too. This task requires proper clothing and respiratory gear so that you don’t expose yourself, your family or co-workers to conenose bugs and disease-ridden droppings.
Mud, cliff or barn swallow control is not for the amateur. There are federal laws protecting the swallow. Once they have laid their eggs in the nest, you cannot disturb them. There are large fines associated with touching a mud swallow nest that contains swallow eggs or swallow babies. Through the use of fiber-optic cameras, United Wildlife’s swallow removal specialists know how to identify what stage swallows are in and when is the safe and legal time to get rid of swallows. United Wildlife swallow removers must remove the swallow infestation before there can be a lot of success with swallows. Two swallows are too many to have on one building.
Homeowners may try to take matters into their own hands by shooting or poisoning swallows. First of all, this is illegal activity. Illegal use of poisoning can affect pets and people. Shooting causes even more swallow problems, besides the fact that it’s illegal to shoot swallows. Some homeowners try to get rid of swallows by pressure-washing nests off the walls, eaves or siding. You could do this all day, and it wouldn’t entirely solve the swallow problem.
United Wildlife’s swallow specialists apply a special repellent that drives swallows from their nests. We only use non-lethal swallow control remedies. United Wildlife needs to remedy a swallow problem either prior to swallow egg-laying or after swallow babies have already fled the nest. United Wildlife swallow control is the most successful company in U.S. in its efforts to control and prevent swallow damage and nesting through the use of non-lethal swallow repellents.
Q-9. I’VE HAD MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOWS RETURN TO MY EAVES, WALLS, STUCCO AND SIDING FOR YEARS. HOW CAN UNITED WILDLIFE HELP ME SOLVE MY SWALLOW PROBLEM?
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A. United Wildlife’s specialty is prevention of swallows from walls, stucco, siding and other hard-to-reach locations through special block-out and repellent techniques. The swallows will be treated in a humane manner. We use all live techniques, and most effective is our repellent mixture.
If swallows have already died in your air vents or anywhere else on your living or working space, we have dead swallow removal services and can also help clear odors caused by decomposing swallows.
We’re experienced mud, cliff and barn swallow controllers who will travel any distance to solve your swallow nuisance. We also offer professional phone and Internet coaching for those who live in remote areas. We can ship you the necessary products to control swallows yourself. Either way, we will work with you to solve your swallow infestation. There is not a swallow problem that can’t be solved with United Wildlife’s knowledgeable assistance. We’ll do it safely, humanely and right. Call 1-888-488-1415.
Q-10. WHAT ARE UNITED WILDLIFE’S PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR MUD, CLIFF AND BARN SWALLOW REMOVAL OR TO GET RID OF SWALLOWS?
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A. Call United Wildlife’s swallow removal specialists at 1-888-488-1415 and we’ll give you our rates. We charge incrementally per swallow, time taken, lineal foot and number of service calls. Prices will vary depending on severity of the swallow problem. Depending on the amount of swallows and where they are living, you may be able to assist us with the swallow problem as we are dealing with it. There is no free government service that takes care of mud, cliff or barn swallow control. The good news is, insurance companies will often pay for some, if not all, of the costs incurred to get rid of swallows.
United Wildlife swallow experts accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. We also take purchase orders and cash.
Q-11. WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER UNITED WILDLIFE REMOVES THE MUD, CLIFF OR BARN SWALLOWS?
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A. After removal is complete by repelling the existing population of swallows, our swallow prevention professionals can set up spikes, netting or swallow-repellent systems so the swallows have a hard time getting cozy on your property again. Spikes are strips covered with long needles placed on the surface to keep the swallows from landing there. Elaborate netting systems can be put into place so that swallows can’t land on the roof. United Wildlife can help stop the swallows from nesting on your home or business by preventing them from forming nests in the first place. Our swallow control experts can install such swallow deterrents safely and correctly.
United Wildlife can also do follow-up swallow removal if necessary, and can take care of the swallow clean-up needs you may run into. Swallow waste removal is crucial, even if we have successfully removed the live swallows from your building. The swallows’ fecal matter, even when dry and old, still carries disease. In fact, dry swallow poop can be most dangerous because it easily flakes off into the air, releasing any airborne infections.
Mud, cliff and barn swallow nesting material and feathers will also need to be disposed of to prevent nosecone or swallow bug infestations inside your home or business through the use of safe, effective insecticides.
Do remember that swallows are wild and unpredictable. Though we have years of experience in the swallow removal field, a particular swallow situation may require that we return more than once to get the job done right and to prevent swallows on your home or business in the future.
Our mission at United Wildlife is to help identify your swallow pest damage. We will remove the existing swallow pest and develop a custom wildlife solution to stop or control the swallow problem from occurring again.
In the end, if you’re happy with our experienced, professional swallow control, prevention and cleanup, any referrals are always appreciated.