Not sure if this is the right place to put this but here goes... Does anyone know how to stop house martins from building their nests in my eves? We've moved into a new house and when we looked round there was already a nest there and the mess was awful. There was poo all over the walls, windows and patio. The nest had been removed and everything cleaned up by the time we moved in. I don't want them to come back this year as I don't want all the mess and because I have a bird phobia. So I want to do something to prevent them building before they start. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
I think (may be mistaken) that you can not tamper once nest is underway. Before they come back/start building is the best time to deal with them.
In previous property I used a few strands of shiny metallic curling ribbon, lightly curled, tied in the middle then wrapped a large lump of blutack round knot then dangling out of window shoved it up onto eaves with bamboo cane. This deterred them from nesting. It is tricky to position but once you have it stuck in place you have to twist the cane to loosen cane from blutack without dislodging from the eaves.
Next door used drainage rods out of bathroom window with carrier bags attached (removable), next door other direction used wind chimes (permanent fixture).
I had a house martins nest last year above my upstairs window that became infested with their bird mites which found their way into our bedroom and our bed. Previous to this i looked forward to the martins, now i am really desperate to prevent them from nesting too and have carrier bags up at all the windows. So I would say to the person who thinks it is sad, you have obviously not experienced the poo, mud, noise and worst of all, the parasites that hang around in the debris and the window frames for months even after the birds and their nest have gone, will happily bite humans and are very resilient. The RSPB don't tell us about all that do they!
We had a problem with house martins in our last house. We couldn't sit outside because we were in their flight path and the nest was right above the back door. I bought a wind chime and hung it from the eaves, a gentle breeze provided enough motion to deter them.
I too have had house martins bring bird mites (red poultry mites to be precise) into the bedroom. I was bitten terribly, and was sore and itchy to the point of being sick. My doctor told me that it was flea bites, so I called out pest control who refused to spray my house no matter how much I begged, as I couldn't have fleas because I had no pets. I ripped out my carpets, fitted wardrobes, and chucked my mattress in an attempt to stop being bitten. 2 years later when I started getting bitten again I had pale bedding, and could see mites all over my bed and pillow. I sent samples to the council who said they were red bird mites, but I couldn't touch the nest. Me and my husband had to sleep downstairs for weeks. Nice to know that the birds have rights, whereas we have none.
The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) is conducting a survey this summer on house martin numbers due to concerns about their decline. You could take part - all information received is valuable. survey info here
If you could tolerate a bit of poo then you could maybe learn to enjoy them and their antics as they raise their chicks. If you have children it's a great learning experience for them, and a chance to pass on to them the message that our wildlife is precious.
Please give them a chance to nest. They've flown all the way from Africa to do so, don't deny them the opportunity!