The European Starling is a species that has become invasive in the United States. Each year it causes $800 million in damage to crops. Starlings travel in large flocks and can cause disturbances in public places like water towers and corn fields, even when there are few people around. They are also aggressive to other birds and can drive them out of the region.
Starlings can also carry diseases that are harmful to humans and other animals. Many starlings may carry common diseases, such as Chlamydiosis, Mycoplasmosis, Salmonellosis, and Trichomoniasis - all of which can jump from animals to humans.
Wondering how to get rid of starlings? Let's jump into it.
The first starling scenario we'll review is a heavy starling problem or a bird infestation. In this scenario, an entire flock of birds is present, and the birds are nesting nearby.
There are three steps to solve a bird infestation: removing the birds' food sources, relocating the birds, and blocking off the bird nesting grounds, so they don't return next season.
For starling problems, food sources come in two varieties: urban situations and rural agricultural situations.
In urban situations, starlings eat from trash containers, discarded food on the ground, and food intentionally fed to the birds. Each of these food sources should be removed as much as possible. Open trash containers should be replaced with closed trash containers (including dumpsters, which should be shut when not in use), discarded food should be kept off the ground, and people should be reminded not to feed the birds.
In agricultural situations, birds eat the crops grown for human consumption. In these situations, the best way to block out birds is to apply methyl anthranilate to crops. Methyl anthranilate is the grape flavoring agent found in candies and sodas. It is harmless to humans, birds, and crops, but birds cannot stand the taste of it and will avoid crops treated with it.
Methyl anthranilate is non-toxic and washes off crops being treated with it. It is purchasable at an online bird control retailer or sourced through a bird control company as part of a bird control plan to get rid of starlings.
The next step after blocking off the birds' food sources is to relocate the nesting birds. Birds tend to nest in enclosed, covered places that protect them from predators and the elements. Once birds nest, they are more difficult to make to leave. They become attached to the area and need to tend to the nest, defending it against intruders.
A bird control company can inspect your bird problem and devise a solution to remove the nesting birds. Although starlings are not protected under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918 like most other bird species are, starling nests are still host to disease, parasites, and territorial birds that only experienced bird control professionals have the equipment to deal with.
If you have a bird infestation problem where the birds have nested, your best bet is to call in a bird control company like AviAway to remove the nesting birds. AviAway has 30+ years of experience handling bird control situations like this and can remove your nesting bird problem without a hiccup. Click here to request a free bird control quote and get started getting rid of starlings today.
After you've removed the nesting birds, the last step in solving a bird infestation is blocking off their nesting grounds with bird netting so the birds don't come back next season. Birds tend to nest in the same nesting grounds every season. Bird netting can be applied over the enclosed, covered places that starlings like to nest in.
Bird netting is our top-recommended bird control method overall. Installed properly, it excludes birds with 100% effectiveness. Bird netting lasts 20+ years and endures all weather conditions. No other bird control method excludes birds as completely and consistently as bird netting.
We recommend having a bird control company install bird netting over the former birds' nesting grounds after they remove the birds. Bird netting can be tricky to install yourself and a bird control company will be able to do it for you properly and without a hitch, letting you enjoy the 100% protection from birds that bird netting provides.
By removing starling food sources, relocating the birds, and installing bird netting over the birds' nesting grounds, your starling infestation will be solved.
The other starling situation that can occur is a light-to-moderate starling problem (as opposed to a full-scale bird infestation). In these scenarios, birds are in the area, but they have not yet nested.
In a light-to-moderate starling problem, we still recommend removing the starlings' food sources. The protocol is the same as in a starling infestation. In urban areas, cover up trash containers, keep discarded food off the ground, and don't feed the birds. If birds are eating from agriculture, apply methyl anthranilate over the crops. Most of the time, the food is why the birds are there in the first place.
Bird netting is also still recommended for blocking out starlings in lighter situations. It is the most effective bird control method overall and if bird netting can be used to block out starlings, then it is usually the right solution. Bird netting can be used to block off the rafters of canopies, docking bays, parking garages, and other places the birds can get into and nest. It is better to stop a bird problem when it is light and before the birds get a chance to nest.
Some lighter starling problems, such as birds perching on a roof or business sign, can be solved by using ledge deterrent devices like bird spikes to block birds out from perching.
Bird spikes are one commonly used method to prevent starlings from perching on ledges, rooflines, business signs, fences, and other surfaces. Bird spikes physically block birds from landing on the surfaces they are protecting. They are easy to install and will start blocking birds instantly. Bird spikes are a great way to block birds from perching on business signs, roof ledges, or any other place the birds are congregating.
Bird wire is a bird control device similar to bird spikes. Bird wire is a wire strung across raised poles which creates a surface that birds cannot land on. It works on the same areas that bird spikes does, blocking bird from perching on ledges, rooflines, business signs, and more. Bird wire is a low-visibility option for keeping out perching birds.
Electric shock tracks are another method for keeping starlings away. Electric shock tracks send out a small electric jolt if birds attempt to land on them. Birds learn not to land on the surface. Electric shock tracks work well for blocking starlings from perching on roofs and ledges on commercial buildings.
Benefits Of Getting Rid Of Starlings:
Remove Flocking Birds
Reduce Bird Droppings
Eliminate Bird Nest Disease Risk
Stop Bird Nest Fire Hazard
Keep Birds Away
Summary: To get rid of starlings, remove their food sources, relocate the birds, and install bird netting over their nesting grounds. A bird control company can relocate the birds for you and install bird netting over their nesting grounds afterwards.
If you have a lighter starling problem, you should also remove their food sources and consider installing bird netting to block the birds out. Some lighter starling problems, such as birds perching on a roof or business sign, can be solved using a ledge deterrent method like bird spikes, bird wire, or electric shock tracks.
If you are experiencing a bird problem, AviAway can help. AviAway has 30+ years of experience servicing bird control problems and has performed work for companies like Amazon, Rite Aid, and the U.S. Postal Service. We offer services throughout the United States and Canada. We service all types of bird species, from pigeons and sparrows to geese and turkey vultures. Click here or call 844-247-3373 to request a free bird control quote and start getting rid of starlings today.
We also offer free bird control consultations. Click here to set up a free consultation and speak with one of our bird control experts about how we can help solve your starling problem.