How to Get Rid of Chimney Swift Birds?

October 23, 2023
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Chimney swifts are small, aerial birds that are native to North America. They are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so it is illegal to harm or disturb them. However, chimney swifts can sometimes become a nuisance if they nest in your chimney.

There are a few reasons why you might want to get rid of chimney swifts. First, they can be noisy. Their chirping and squawking can be disruptive, especially at night. Second, chimney swifts can produce a lot of droppings, which can be unsightly and messy. Third, chimney swifts can attract other pests, such as mites and lice.

If you have chimney swifts nesting in your chimney, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. However, it is important to note that you cannot remove the nest or the birds until the young have fledged. This usually happens in late summer or early fall.

In this blog post, we will discuss the different ways to get rid of chimney swifts. We will also provide tips for preventing them from nesting in your chimney in the first place.

What are Chimney Swifts?

Chimney swifts are named after their habit of nesting and roosting in chimneys. Chimney swifts were originally known as chimney swallows, but they were officially renamed chimney swifts in 1957. This was because scientists discovered that chimney swifts are more closely related to other swifts than they are to swallows. 

They also roost in chimneys in large flocks, especially during migration. Chimney swifts are migratory birds, and they spend the winter in Central America and Mexico.

Chimney swifts are insectivores, and they play an important role in controlling insect populations.

Chimney swifts are declining in number due to a number of factors, including habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change. If you have chimney swifts in your area, you can help them by providing them with a safe nesting place. You can do this by installing a chimney cap with a mesh screen that is small enough to prevent them from entering, or by placing bird spikes around the top of your chimney.

You can also help chimney swifts by attracting insects to your yard. This can be done by planting native flowers and shrubs, and by providing a water source.

Here are some interesting facts about chimney swifts:

1. Chimney swifts can fly up to 100 miles per hour.

2. Chimney swifts can eat up to 1,000 insects per day.

3. Chimney swifts can live for up to 10 years.

How to get rid of chimney swift birds? With Prevention

There is no way to get rid of swift in chimney once they have taken up residence in your chimney during the nesting season, as they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The nesting season for chimney swifts typically runs from April to August, but can vary depending on the location.

If you have chimney swifts in your chimney during the nesting season, the best thing to do is to wait until the young birds have fledged (left the nest) before taking any action. This can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. 

When the swifts have left, you should remove the nest and call Air Duct Now to inspect your chimney. We will install a chimney cap to prevent chimney swifts from returning in the future.

You can also use natural deterrents such as crushed garlic, mothballs, or ammonia-soaked rags to create an unpleasant scent for the swifts

When you find chimney swifts nesting in your chimney, be patient and understanding. Chimney swifts are protected by law, and you cannot remove them or their nests during the nesting season. Once the young birds have fledged, you can remove the nest and take steps to prevent chimney swifts from returning next year.

How do you prevent chimney swifts?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent chimney swifts from returning:

Install a Chimney Cap

One of the most effective ways to prevent chimney swifts from entering your chimney is to install a chimney cap or a chimney screen. A chimney cap is a metal or wire mesh screen that fits over the top of your chimney. 

It prevents birds, bats, and other animals from entering your chimney and nesting inside. Chimney caps come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can choose one that fits your chimney perfectly. If you want to install a cap on your chimney, you should contact a professional.

Regular Chimney Maintenance

A well-maintained chimney is less likely to attract birds seeking a nesting site. Chimney maintenance should include regular cleaning and inspection.

Chimney cleaning should be done by a professional chimney sweep. Chimney sweeps use special tools and techniques to remove creosote and other debris from the chimney. Creosote is a flammable substance that can build up in the chimney over time and increase the risk of chimney fire.

Chimney inspection should also be done by a professional. Chimney inspectors can identify any damage or defects in the chimney that could be attracting birds. They can also recommend repairs or modifications to make the chimney less attractive to birds.

Chimney Cleaning

Before swifts start nesting, it is important to have your chimney professionally cleaned. This will remove any lingering odors or traces of previous swift activity, which can make your chimney less attractive to birds.

When having your chimney cleaned, be sure to ask the chimney sweep to pay particular attention to any areas where swifts may have nested in the past. The chimney sweep should also remove any twigs, leaves, or other materials that swifts could use to build a new nest.

Timely Inspection

Periodically inspect your chimney, especially in late winter or early spring before swifts return to their nesting grounds. Check for signs of swift activity, nests, or any attempts at nesting.

If you see any signs of swifts in your chimney, it is important to take action to prevent them from nesting. This may involve installing a chimney cap, cleaning the chimney, or making other modifications to the chimney to make it less attractive to birds.

Dangers of a Chimney Swift

Chimney swifts are not dangerous to humans or pets in any way. They are beneficial birds that eat insects, including mosquitoes. However, there are a few potential dangers associated with chimney swifts, mainly related to their nesting habits.

Can Create a Mess

Chimney swifts build their nests out of twigs and leaves, which they glue together with saliva. These nests can fall down the chimney and into the fireplace or onto the hearth, creating a mess that can be difficult to clean up. The debris from swift nests can also create a fire hazard if it ignites.

Chimney Blockage 

If a chimney swift nest is built too far down the chimney, it can block the flue and prevent smoke and other gases from escaping. This can create a carbon monoxide hazard in the home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled.


Finally, chimney swift nests can attract insects, such as mites and beetles. These pests can then migrate into the home, causing a nuisance and potentially spreading disease. For example, mites can cause itchy skin and allergic reactions, while beetles can damage furniture and other household items.

In addition to the dangers listed above, chimney swift nests can also make it difficult to inspect and clean your chimney. This can lead to other problems, such as creosote buildup, which can increase your risk of a chimney fire.

Final Words

Removing chimney swift birds can be difficult, but it’s important to do it in a way that is kind, ethical, and legal. Remember that these birds are important to the environment because they eat insects. If possible, try to live with these amazing creatures by providing them with other places to nest or by putting a chimney cap on your chimney to keep them out.

At our company, we offer professional chimney inspection and installation services for chimney caps and screens. Our certified technicians will recommend the best cap for your chimney and properly mount and install it. We also provide chimney cleaning and repair services, as well as humane removal of birds and other animals from inside your chimney.

Don’t let pesky birds ruin your peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!


How long will chimney swifts stay in my chimney?

Chimney swifts will typically stay in your chimney for about 6 weeks, from the time the eggs are laid to the time the young birds fledge (leave the nest). However, they may stay for longer if the weather is bad or if there is a shortage of food.

Do chimney swifts come back every year?

Yes, chimney swifts typically come back to the same nesting site every year, if it is available. They are very loyal to their nesting sites and may even reuse the same nest.

Are chimney swifts aggressive?

Chimney swifts are not aggressive birds. They are generally shy and timid, and they are unlikely to attack humans or other animals. However, they may become defensive if they feel threatened, such as when their nest is being disturbed.

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