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NCLaker

Keeping Swallows from nesting under the boatlift canopy

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For the past few summers I have been having issues with swallows nesting underneath the boatlift canopy. I don't mind the nests, but when the chicks get bigger, they jump out of the nest, perch on my runabout windshield, then drop a huge crappy mess all over the inside. Very frustrating since I am pretty anal about keeping it clean.

I have had good success with putting one of those mesh canopies at the front of the lift that is used to store water toys, etc under the canopy - very slick but the are spendy. But this did not solve the problem with them nesting on the back end of the canopy.

This year I came up with the idea to hang a tinsel skirt around the inside part of the canopy that hung down to bottom of the canopy frame (so it was not visible from the outside). So far seems to be working GREAT! But it has only been a week.

Just before I installed this you could see the swallows flying around waiting for me to put on the canopy cover, as soon as I put the cover on and was under it doing some work, they were already flying up under it looking to start their nesting. Since I put this up, I have not been seeing them. This is a much better solution then some of the extreme attempts I have seen some people use. I saw a lift last year that hung fine netting from the canopy down to the water around the entire perimeter of his lift.

If this works, it will be the best $4 I have ever spent. Only problem left is if they still try to fly under it to perch on my windshield. If anyone has any suggestions on that fix, let me know.

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Tried that, but it is amazing how quickly they can rebuild them things, and mine are pretty persistent.

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You will laugh at this - but it works.

Go buy a rubber snake from a toy store. Just a plain ordinary 2 foot long or so, rubber snake. Maybe even two.

Hang them with fishing line from the canopy . Probably one will do - but two would probably solve it even better.

It works for my dad's awning on his house - it should work for the boat lift canopy.

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The snakes might even keep my daughters out of their - may save me on prop rebuilds.

I've heard about people using the owl statue trick, but heard that it was pretty unreliable. May have to try the snake thing if this does not work. Thanks.

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My parents had the same problem on their pontoon lift. They went to Fleet Farm and bought a plastic owl, one with a "bobbing head" and when the pontoon is on the lift which is usually is, they simply set the owl on the table in the pontoon and there hasn't been a nest in there since. It's kind of funny to watch the swallows the first time they go under there after you put it in there, they fly out about 4 times faster than they did when they flew under it.

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I am putting my pontoon lift canopy on later this week - I might have to try the owl or snake trick to compare results.

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Another solution is to put a bunch of sharp objects up not allowing them to land. Could be dangerous though, but that is what is used in European train stations.

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Hang a plastic owl from one of the beams. We did this for years at our cabin and never had a problem with birds and/or bird [PoorWordUsage].

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The owls only work for so long. We had 2 owls and after a year or 2 the nest returned. We may have to try the snakes or tinsel. Thanks for the additional ideas.

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My dad put an owl under his canopy, then it fell down once and one of it's ears broke off. The swallows proceeded to build a nest in it's head.

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They were building a nest every year in mine too. All their droppings landed in the water, nothing in the boat, so I didn't disturb it. One year I put the canopy on backwards and they built the nest in the opposite corner. They apparently leave their scent on the tarp because the nest was relative to that corner of the tarp. I'm thinking of spraying on some kind of unpleasant scent-- anybody got any ideas about that? Mosquitoes are supposed to be repelled by some dryer sheets, vanilla extract, etc. would swallows also not like them?

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We have the same issue on our canopy. One thing that works is stuffing panty-hose with moth balls and hanging one in each corner of the canopy. It doesn't smell all that great for the first week or two but it seems to work well.

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They do not like movement. I have this happen at my townhouse every spring. The owl does deter some for awhile. Busting up the nest works too(if you do it every day). They make a horrible mess. They also attack you if you fail to keep them from nesting. Try hanging a couple of streamers from the corners. A wind sock may work as well. Those little spinners on a stick (I can't remember what they are called) will do the trick as long as they are exposed to air flow.

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Are they really that big of a problem. I have a nest every year and think it is kind of cool. what harm do they really do? I am as far as you can get from a tree hugger but I don't get the problem with a few swallows.

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The owl doesn't work, I hang one in my shop and now it's full of P00p since they land on it.

Maybe the one with bobble head is a better solution.

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Try this..From Eddy's "It worked for me file"

If your not applying to canvas, just metal or wood what works is to spray WD-40 on the areas they try to built there nests.

Either the mud does not stick or they don't like the smell...either way...they abandon the nesting site.

I figured this out when a pair of swallows insisted on building there nest right on the door top of my front entrance to my house. I would knock it down, they came back next day with a new plan...same spot. They never gave up..I did..for a while anyway. Than I came up with the WD-40 plan, and they gave in.

"Eddy out-smarts bird"...News at 11:00!

I really didn't care if they nested anywhere else, just not there. They could have invited all the friends to nest all around the whole house..but not on my doors or porch light, and I would not have got uptight. So I'm not a bird hater...no bird hater emails please. ;\)

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Are they really that big of a problem. I have a nest every year and think it is kind of cool. what harm do they really do? I am as far as you can get from a tree hugger but I don't get the problem with a few swallows.

I don't mind the the nests & swallows .... its all the crapping they & their little ones do in the boat when they nest under my canopy. If they did this in the water, I would just leave them alone.

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Hang a crow decoy or two under the canopy and they will not return. They will even leave a nest full of young ones so play nice if you use that option.

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Hang a crow decoy or two under the canopy and they will not return. They will even leave a nest full of young ones so play nice if you use that option.

We did this one year with an owl decoy. Believe it or not, the Swallows made a nest RIGHT on his face, literally so the eyes of the owl were perfectly peering into the nest.

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We did this one year with an owl decoy. Believe it or not, the Swallows made a nest RIGHT on his face, literally so the eyes of the owl were perfectly peering into the nest.

You sir have some possessed swallows! I feel bad for you, maybe consider investing in a starving cat?

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