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How to Attract or Deter Barn Swallows

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how to attract barn swallows

Barn swallows are a sight to behold. Their ability to do graceful aerobatic and energetic flights is a joy to watch. In addition, they have a glossy plumage that usually glitters under the sunlight. But how to attract barn swallows in your backyard? These birds are not just your ordinary birds which means attracting them can be challenging. But, check out a few tips below to help you attract this unique bird species.

Give Them Food that They Like

Unfortunately, barn swallows will not be attracted to bird feeders. So, whatever you put on the feeder will not encourage them to be in your backyard. The reason behind it is these birds are insectivores which means they only feed insects as their food.

So, what will you do to attract them? The first step is to preserve a healthy insect population around your backyard. But how do you do it? First, you need to avoid insecticides and pesticides not to eliminate those insects in your area.

Then, you can also allow the grass to grow slightly longer to be able to let the insects thrive in your area. As an alternative, you can offer mealworms to these birds, but it can be challenging to let them adopt a different kind of food. Although, I have seen some birders who have successfully done it over time.

In addition, maintaining a natural habitat in your property, like planting trees, shrubs, and flowers, can also help. A native and biodiverse garden can help attract more insects, which lure barn swallows.

Provide Them with Excellent Water Source

attract barn swallows with birdbath

Naturally, barn swallows are attracted to the natural water resources such as large ponds, lakes, or broad streams of water where they can essentially drink. These birds have the uncanny ability to skim the surface and dip their bills in the surface while they fly.

With that in mind, having moving water around your home or in your backyard is one way to attract these birds. If you can set up a birdbath fountain or a bubbler, these birds really have an excellent chance to visit your backyard.

Also, having a body of water in your backyard also means more insects will come and visit your place. More and more barn swallows will surely visit if this situation happens because of the abundance of insects, which is their primary food.

Providing Them of Adequate Shelter

Typically, natural backyard birds will stay and feel safer in bushes, thickets, and trees, but barn swallows are entirely different. Since they are actually aerial birds, they will feel more secure in open locations.

If you can make an area in your place with open grass, the barn swallows will definitely like it. The birds will need it for food since a place with open grass means more insects will thrive in the area.

Barn swallows are also exceptional flyers known for their flying agility and their ability to soar and dive in the backyards. Making your area with many smooth curves and open spaces will undoubtedly encourage those barn swallows to come immediately.

Providing Them with Nesting Sites

swallows nesting sites

Barn swallows are cavity-nesting birds which means they can nest in birdhouses. If you can provide them with these birdhouses built perfectly for them, then there is an excellent chance that they will come to your place for nesting.

These birds can also nest on specialized gourds. So, if you can leave and maintain dead trees along with the old woodpecker holes, it is likely that they can also nest in this specific location. Sheltered areas like rooflines or under eaves on decks and porches can also be additional nesting sites for these birds.

If you can provide a secure and sheltered location in your backyard, you can probably attract these birds to come to your place. The key is to provide excellent nesting materials that will inspire these birds to raise their families in your backyard.


How to Deter Barn Swallows

how to deter barn swallows

Barn swallows can be a joy to watch in the air, but they also bring a lot of droppings, feathers, and loud chirping for hours. These birds can be a nuisance to some, which mean learning how to deter them is also an excellent skill. The list below are some of the ways to prevent barn swallows in your home.

Establishing Bird Barriers

The good thing about barn swallows is they are building their nest in the exact location each year. This action means you should be able to set up a barrier that will prevent the birds from coming back into your place.

You can make a bird barrier yourself using different types of materials. Using bird netting, sheet metal, or even potted plants are excellent options as barriers. The most important thing is to prevent these birds from coming back and wreaking havoc into your backyard.

Using Liquid Bird Repellent Sprays

swallows bird repellent

Another way to deter barn swallows from coming into your place is to use liquid bird repellent sprays. Using this method is actually a prevention method wherein you try to use the spray to scare the birds away from your place.

The best thing about this method is you will only irritate the bird’s sense of smell to make them walk away from the place. However, it is essential to make sure that the product you will be using is safe to be applied to birds.

Using a Bird Deterrent Kite

A flying kite can also be used to deter barn swallows from coming into your backyard. The kite will be used to scare away the birds when they attemp to go into your place. The best thing about this method is it’s easy to do with you only needed to attach the kite \in any surface while letting it fly when it is windy in your area.

Through the Used of Lasers

A more advanced method is to use lasers to scare away the birds. Lasers have the ability to produce bright laser lights, which is strong enough to scare the annoying birds away. And the upside of using the laser is it can cover a large area to deter a large number of birds when it is needed.


Learning how to attract barn swallows is easy if you will enjoy their flying capabilities and other skills. However, some people are also annoyed by the dirt and noise they bring constantly in a particular place. It is all about doing the methods we presented because they are all effective in attracting or deterring the barn swallows in your place.

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