Author Topic: Febreeze and Barn Swallows  (Read 495 times)

Ben

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Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« on: July 03, 2024, 01:26:12 PM »
So for the last three years, I have had a pair of barn swallows insist on trying to build their mud nest under my front porch. The last two years, I would go out every day, for at least a couple of weeks, to knock down whatever they had put up the day before, sweeping up the big mess, etc. Then they would show up ten minutes later and start building the nest again. It would take, as mentioned, up to a couple of weeks of that before they would finally give up and move elsewhere.

They just started building a nest there again a few days ago. I happened to be doing some house cleaning when I saw them swooping in, and was getting cleaning supplies out of the closet when my brain randomly said, "Hey, what if you...?" I grabbed a spray cannister of Febreeze, went out and knocked down what they had up, the sprayed the Febreeze on the spot. They have not been back since.

Anyway, there's your barn swallow tip for the day.  =)
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Kingcreek

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2024, 03:21:46 PM »
Sounds less messy than the balloons and streamers I used to discourage them.
They tried to build on a security camera so I had to set it to flash and whistle when activated.
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K Frame

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2024, 04:32:48 PM »
We had barn swallows nesting in the corners of the huge front porch on our home when I was a kid.

We loved it and let them next. They got really used to us so we'd sit out there a few feet from them as they flew in and out, raising the family.
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HankB

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2024, 11:13:07 PM »
I had swallows start building a nest on top of the porch lamp. Persistent little buggers - until I got a piece of clear plastic from a school folder and taped it to the porch overhead, hanging down in front of the lamp. Pesky little buggers took a couple of days to realize there was something there which they couldn't see which was blocking them.  :rofl:
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230RN

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2024, 02:03:58 AM »
Son1 is a bit of an indoor aviarist and keeps a bunch of birds.  A couple of years ago for some reason I mentioned that Febreze made me gag, and he noted that birds are really sensitive to it and choked up whenever it was used in the house.

I have a vague recollection of them changing the composition to avoid the problem (with people).  I rarely had to use it anyway.

I've been seeing ads for 100% multi-day body odor killer.  I'm suspicious of it just on general principles.  The olfactory function is deep seated and basic and chemical sensitivity is necessary to almost all organisms.  I wouldn't want to screw around with it, cerebral-wise.  I had a really sensitive sense of smell --not so much any more. 

What was the problem with having birds under your porch?  I also had some building a nest on my porch light.  I was sorta concerned with fire danger, so I removed it ASAP and never saw any further evidence of nest-building there.  There are plenty of trees around, I don't know why a porch light was so "location, location, location" attractive.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2024, 02:31:06 AM by 230RN »
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K Frame

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2024, 07:39:49 AM »
"I have a vague recollection of them changing the composition to avoid the problem (with people).  I rarely had to use it anyway."

Years ago there were some claims that Febreeze was toxic to dogs and birds.

Snopes says that it was an unfounded rumor and has a statement from the pet poison control center.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hanging-in-the-febreze/
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Ben

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2024, 07:40:33 AM »

What was the problem with having birds under your porch?

They were building it right next to the front door and dropping mud and debris all over the entryway.
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230RN

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2024, 09:17:04 AM »
They were building it right next to the front door and dropping mud and debris all over the entryway.

Mmmmkay.  I thought you said they were building it under your front porch"

OP: "So for the last three years, I have had a pair of barn swallows insist on trying to build their mud nest under my front porch."

OK, to me a porch is the entire structure, as in "I'll meet you on the porch." So "under" meant the space below the floor,

Gotcha.  Lingo mingle.

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Bogie

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2024, 07:54:44 PM »
Payload?
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230RN

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2024, 08:26:37 PM »
^ Febreze used to annoy birds but the Febreze PR department said that was just a nasty rumor, but now you can use it to annoy birds under your porch again.

I think that sums it up.
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K Frame

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2024, 09:33:51 PM »
"Mmmmkay.  I thought you said they were building it under your front porch"

Colloquialism, although I see the avenue for confusion.

Ben obviously meant under the roofed area of the porch, not literally underneath (as in under the floorboards) of the porch.

Barn swallows are attracted to covered areas that are relatively high off the ground. That's why they nest in barns and other out buildings and why they nested in the corners of the porch of the house where I grew up.
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230RN

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2024, 12:02:25 AM »
^
"Ben obviously meant under the roofed area of the porch, not literally underneath (as in under the floorboards) of the porch."

Yup.  Lingo mingle.  :laugh: :rofl:
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K Frame

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2024, 08:22:58 AM »
TALK BETTER AND LESS CONFUSTICATINGLY, BEN!

 :rofl:
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Ben

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2024, 08:49:30 AM »
TALK BETTER AND LESS CONFUSTICATINGLY, BEN!

 :rofl:

I just figured people talking about "under the floor of the porch" are some kind of back East or South weirdos with some kind of elevated porches or something. Out here in real man land, our porch floors are made of manly concrete. There's no going "under the porch" without a backhoe.  =D

In seriousness, an elevated porch floor here would be called a deck rather than a porch. It was the same in cali, so I assume it's a regional thing.
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K Frame

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2024, 09:23:34 AM »
Ah, the poverty "ground level concrete porch." Yeah, we don't have enough money to build up so we can lord our wealth over our neighbors, so just pour the porch floor on the dirt....  :rofl:

The house I grew up in, and the house my Dad grew up in, and where Mom was living when she died, both had elevated porches.

The porch on the house I grew up in was only elevated maybe 2 feet, and when I was a kid the decking was in pretty bad shape in a couple of places, so in 1972 Mom and Dad pulled it all out and poured a new concrete front porch. That was a pretty monumental undertaking because the porch was 10 feet deep, 32 feet long across the front of the house, and turned the corner and went back along the side of the house for another 15 feet or so.

It was really nice because the porch didn't take a lot of sun during the day in summer because of the mature maple trees on the street (hence the name, Maple Avenue), so on hot days when we were sitting out there the concrete would still be fairly cool.

Mom's house had two elevated porches -- front and side. They were maybe 4 feet elevated. I rebuilt the side porch around 2014 because the under structure on the end (where the steps were) had started to go. The fir decking I pulled off (house was built in 1903) had ring structure so tight it was amazing. It was, for the most part, still in pretty good shape. By contrast, the pine decking I replaced it with had ring structure you could drive a car through. I triple primed those boards, and they still started rotting out within 2 years.

The reason houses in the east tended to have elevated porches (and the houses themselves were elevated above ground level)? Snow. It was an attempt to keep the wood above ground level to keep it from being rotted out by snow.

Oddly enough, though, many of the houses in the town where my Dad grew up had elevated porches made of... concrete. The one builder in town (late 1800/early 1900s) was really well known for building a series of brick piers and then pouring a concrete slab on top of them as the porch deck.
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230RN

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2024, 10:02:00 AM »
TALK BETTER AND LESS CONFUSTICATINGLY, BEN!

 :rofl:

I've commented a time or two about precision of expression and presumption of readers' telepathic abilities.

Terry, 230RN
« Last Edit: July 07, 2024, 10:21:01 AM by 230RN »
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Ben

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2024, 10:35:57 AM »
Ah, the poverty "ground level concrete porch." Yeah, we don't have enough money to build up so we can lord our wealth over our neighbors, so just pour the porch floor on the dirt....  :rofl:

That's how us hillabillies do it!  :laugh:

Quote
The reason houses in the east tended to have elevated porches (and the houses themselves were elevated above ground level)? Snow. It was an attempt to keep the wood above ground level to keep it from being rotted out by snow.

Yeah, my porches are actually "below" house level. I have concrete steps going up to both the front and back doors, for I suspect as you say, snow. Though the garage is ground level. I've actually been thinking about doing something elevated at the front, as the former owners made ridiculously narrow steps, and I once had an old Jehovah's Witness lady nearly fall off them. The way the front is set up it wouldn't be cheap to do properly, but it would make a nice evening rocking chair location, as it has a much better view, including my pond, than the larger back porch.
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JTHunter

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2024, 11:55:27 PM »
As swallows are insectivores, they are good to have around.  They eat all kinds of insects, esp. flies and mosquitos.  You should have left them alone.  :facepalm:
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K Frame

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2024, 07:03:50 AM »
As swallows are insectivores, they are good to have around.  They eat all kinds of insects, esp. flies and mosquitos.  You should have left them alone.  :facepalm:

That's why we allowed them to nest under our front porch.
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Kingcreek

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2024, 08:59:46 AM »
Yeah I’ve got the buggers in my 1909 barn. When the young ones leave the nest there might be a hundred or more in the air hunting bugs.
Flies and mosquitoes are still pretty numerous right now.
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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2024, 12:36:47 PM »
Payload?


African or European barn swallow?
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230RN

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2024, 03:14:21 PM »
Well, we had Barn Cats for little four legged pests, But we never had Barn Swallows.  I guess the pigeons took care of the little six and eight legged critters and discouraged any illegal immigration of Barn Swallow migrants..

There was a hoisting track under the peak of the the barn roof on which they roosted.  There was a 6" high linear (length of the barn roof) pile of pigeon poop right along under it.  I left it there, figuring if I ever needed to make saltpeter, there was the raw material.  (I lie; actually it wasn't in the way and I was just too lazy and Wife1 never went up there to see it and demand that it be cleaned up.)

At one point there got to be too many of them (and me in a sporting mood)...

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« Last Edit: July 10, 2024, 03:37:45 PM by 230RN »
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WLJ

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Re: Febreeze and Barn Swallows
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2024, 09:47:22 AM »
African or European barn swallow?

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