Starlings

Actual Size: 6-14 inches, depending on species

Characteristics: Coloration can vary dramatically among different species, though the plumage of many species is dark, with metallic overtones.

Behavior: 

  • Starlings are considered an invasive species in North America.
  • These birds are typically gregarious, with complex vocalizations, including mimicry.
  • Starlings eat primarily fruit and insects, being omnivorous.
  • Their flight patterns tend to be short and direct.
Category:

Pest Description

Starling Behavior

Starlings are generally social birds, travelling in groups. They also use mimic sounds they hear in their environment, including bells and electronic sounds. Starlings prefer nesting in empty holes, such as inside residential heating vents, empty church towers, and under-utilized areas in commercial buildings. Any area that provides protection from humans, harsh weather, and predators is a preferred nesting location for starling.

Problems Caused by Starlings

Starlings can cause a lot of structural damages. The most common damage to residential homes is inside heating or cooling vents. Once inside, starling will nest and raise their young, seeking protection from predators. Fowl mites can infest these sites, eventually travelling down into the building, biting human inhabitants. Starlings will contaminate a vent with their droppings as well, which can be more than a nuisance, as their excrement can carry various diseases. These birds have been known to carry gastroenteritis, and a fungal respiratory fungus called histoplamosis. Starlings will also pull out insulation and peck at structural elements.

Preventing and Controlling Starlings

Because they are not migratory birds , starlings, pigeons, and sparrows are not federally protected. When controlling starlings becomes necessary, a professional should still be called, depending on the state regulations in effect. Small exclusionary netting can be used to seal off areas where starlings might attempt to nest, and ledge deterrents may be employed as well. Spikes or electrical shock systems can be useful to prevent any attempted roosting. Repellents are also available for starlings, and fowl mites can be eliminated through various products that can be applied around the nesting area. If starlings have become an issue in a residential or commercial building, contact a professional company to devise a bird control strategy. At Pest Control Inc, we use a variety of different treatment techniques, including surveillance, baiting, and exclusion solutions.