Image of a Swallow

The Swallow Diet

Barn, cliff, and tree swallows have similar diets. For the most part, their feeding habits benefit humans because they prey on a number of insects. However, the swallow diet can result in large populations of these birds near homes.

What Do Barn Swallows Eat?

Various fly species make up the majority of the barn swallow diet. The pests also consume beetles, wasps, and ants. To help with digestion, barn swallows eat small pebbles and eggshells as well.

What Do Cliff Swallows Eat?

Foraging for food in groups of two to over a thousand birds, cliff swallows eat mostly flying insects. Their feeding is helpful in controlling pests but also loud and frustrating for nearby residents.

What Do Tree Swallows Eat?

A tree swallow's diet contains insects as well as spiders, mollusks, and roundworms. Unlike other common swallows, these birds consume a fair amount of vegetation in the winter. Berries and seeds are favorites, so the pests may cause issues in gardens.

The Problem

The swallow diet poses a dilemma for homeowners. Since it's hard to regulate how many insects are on a property, it's equally challenging to manage populations of swallows. The pests go where the food is, so infestations can get out of hand.


The best way to deal with swallows is to contact the team at Critter Control. Specialists can work to keep the birds away from properties.

Get them out.
Keep them out.®

Experience wildlife or pest issue? We can help! Complete this form and your local Critter Control® office will contact you to assist.


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