Housemartin and Swallow Proofing

Netting to prevent housemartins from nesting in eaves.
Housemartins and Swallows nest in the eaves and gable ends of houses and outbuildings during the summer months.

While many people welcome the sight of martins nesting on their property, they can cause problems, especially when they nest directly above a doorway or window. This can lead to a build up of droppings outside your doorway or on your window cills. As with all bird droppings, this can potentially be hazardous. They can also lead to insect infestations.

With Housemartins being amber listed due to their declining numbers, it wouldn’t be ethical to prevent them from nesting completely, therefore we generally only proof the areas that are a real problem and leave an area unproofed so they can continue nesting.

Please note that destroying an active nest or preventing a house martin from accessing a nest is illegal and carries a very severe penalty. We therefore only undertake this work during the times when the nests are empty - generally September till early May - though we always confirm the nests are empty before starting work.

Housemartin and Swallow proofing consists of a 19mm polyethylene netting which is available in a choice of colours to match the paintwork. The netting is attached to the edge of the wooden eaves using steel staples on one side while the other side is attached to a tensioned steel wire which is fixed to the brickwork.

This system keeps the net taught and square which both improves the appearance of the netting and also ensures there is no chance of birds becoming entangled in it.

If you feel uncomfortable with the idea of proofing against them at all, we can also install shelving under the nests which will catch the droppings before they reach the ground. These shelves will periodically need to be cleaned before the build up of droppings becomes too large.


19mm netting to prevent Housemartins and Swallows from nesting in the eaves of this house in the New Forest.
The netting comes in a choice of colours to match the paintwork

Case Study

Please read our case study on how we used Housemartin Proofing on a stables in Wiltshire.