Cliff Swallows: Know The Law Or It Could Cost You for Bird Control Services !

Bird Control Services – Swallows (or more accurately Cliff Swallows) make their appearance in San Juan Capistrano in March (usually around March 19th) every year amongst great fanfare.  Visitors from all over the world come to this quaint city to welcome the Swallows at the end of their long 6,000 mile flight from Argentina. The bells in the old mission ring out and a huge parade and fiesta are thrown in their honor.  So you should be honored  that Swallows have decided to build a nest under your eaves, right?  Well, that is easy to say unless you are the one that has to live with the downside.

Let’s be honest…regardless of all the fanfare, Swallows are still just birds.  Being birds, they are not too worried about the mites and fleas that inhabit their nests (until there is a complete infestation), how unsightly their nests are, or where their droppings land.  If you suddenly find yourself looking at bird droppings all over the side of your home, or even worse, fleas or mites traveling into your home from the nests, it would seem the easiest and most logical way to deal with this would be to encourage them to go elsewhere by knocking down their nests.

Not so fast!  Swallows are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the state of California.  Under this law, during the nesting season which is February 15th to September 1st, completed nests CANNOT BE KNOCKED DOWN OR TOUCHED without a permit from the Fish and Game Dept.  The Fish and Game Dept. will only issue a permit under extreme circumstances such as health or safety hazards, and the entire process is strictly monitored. Needless to say, these permits are few and far between.

Swallows nests under eaves

Despite the law, the unsightly mess from the bird droppings may cause that little voice in your head to say, “Go ahead, knock it down!  Nobody will know!”  Before you decide that the little voice is ‘the voice of reason’, you may want to consider that if you are caught, THE FINE IS $15,000 OR UP TO 6 MONTHS IN JAIL!  Our advice, grin and bear it and as soon as the swallows leave for their long flight back to Argentina, knock down the nests.  Be aware that swallows are homing birds, so they will probably return next year during nesting season.

If you have any further questions regarding control of Cliff Swallows and removal of Cliff Swallow Nests, give us a call or visit the UC Davis site listed under our Helpful Links.

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