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Well, it’s that time of year. The birds are returning from wintering in the south, and they’re preparing their nests. Unfortunately, some birds, including swallows, love to build their mud nests under the shelter of our porches. Now, I love birds as much as most of you. I enjoy watching them and hearing them sing. I just don’t like them pooping all over my porch and outdoor furniture. So I wanted to find a way to prevent them from nesting on my porch.

In an effort to prevent this mess last year, I knocked their nest down each time they built it. I thought this would discourage them and cause them to move on. But they are determined little birds. Suddenly, almost overnight, I realized that not only was there a nest, but that momma bird had laid eggs. I was not about to knock down that nest, so I left them alone and put up with the mess for a few months until they moved on.

I was determined that this year would be different. Earlier this week, I noticed the swallows swooping down in the back yard, and finally onto our back porch. I quickly did some research and found a solution that seems to be working (my back porch has been nest free for two days so far.) The solution is simple. I cut some strips of aluminum foil about a foot and a half long and an inch wide and attached them along the upper perimeter of the porch – spaced about every two feet. Apparently, the moving light reflecting off of the strips scares the birds and will keep them away. If you’re having the same problem, give this a try and let me know how it works for you. Hopefully it will prevent swallows from nesting on your porch!

preventing swallows from nesting - foil



When I first wrote this post, it seemed that the idea of the foil strips was working well to keep the birds away, because for a while (a week or two) I did not see the swallows on my porch. Suddenly, they were back and had already built a nest before I even realized they were there. Since the nest was still empty, I removed it and began the battle to keep them off of my porch once again.

Since the aluminum strips were no longer working, I had to find a new solution. I noticed that the birds kept trying to build their nest in the same location every time, so what I did was tape a sheet of aluminum foil in the corner where they kept trying to build. This prevented them from building there anymore. After a couple of weeks, when I thought it was safe, I removed the foil and did not see the swallows on my porch again.

If you’re having swallows trying to build on your porch, give this a try. I would love to get some feedback on how this works for other people as well as other things that you may have tried that did or did not work.

rubber snake- preventing swallows

Internet theory:

One theory that’s been suggested by people is placing rubber snakes around the porch to scare off the swallows. Well, this poor snake never stood a chance…

I saw this at a recent home inspection. It seems as if two mama swallows were showing that they were not scared of the rubber snake that has been placed to keep them away, because they built their nests right over the top of the poor thing.

© 2020 Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan is a Certified Home Inspector in Abilene, San Angelo, and Brownwood TX areas. Please contact at 325-998-4663 or at Morgan Inspection Services‘ website for questions or more information. For more home tips for spring, check out our post on spring home maintenance!

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