As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Saturday 29 March 2014

How to control swallows

By Katie Marks 
Posted Mar. 26, 2014 @ 2:01 am 

The swooping, graceful flight of the swallow is a beautiful thing to watch, especially on a spring evening, and there's something charming about the young birds as they fledge and start learning to fly. What's not so great, however, is the havoc these birds can wreak on your home and garden. Fortunately, you have a number of humane pest control options when it comes to discouraging swallows and helping them settle somewhere more appropriate and healthy for both them and their young families.

Historically, swallows nested in cliffs, which provided ample overhangs and shelter for building their distinctive mud nests. However, buildings offer many of the same functions, as demonstrated by the massive swallow community of San Juan Capistrano, which has become internationally famous. The birds settle in at the eaves of homes and other structures, taking advantage of ample building materials and the perfect shelter to create their homes.

On a basic level, swallows are a nuisance. Their nests can look unsightly, for starters, and they leave long streaks of you-know-what down the outside walls of your home. Swallows also tend to create messes around their nests that can be unpleasant to look at. But the problem doesn't stop there. The birds and their nests can host serious zoonotic diseases that can cross from the birds to people, including salmonella and toxoplasmosis, and their nests become attractive to insects who will settle in and create a secondary problem for you.

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