The Pacific Northwest is a mecca for Starlings. These birds typically emerge in the spring and are arguably the most disliked nuisance bird in North America. In addition to being loud and obnoxious, Starlings are known to ravage crops and create nests in homes.
Keep reading to learn more about these non-native birds and what you can to keep them away from your property.
What Are Starlings?
Starlings are a non-native bird introduced from Europe in the 1800’s by a group of passionate William Shakespeare enthusiasts. Starlings reproduce and invade new areas very rapidly and they eat a variety of things including seeds, grains, fruits, nuts, and insects.
Where do Starlings Nest?
The Starling is a “crevice” nester. This means they build their nests in holes and crevices, including inside tree hollows, cracked utility pipes, and unfortunately homes.
Starlings are very clever when it comes to selecting a nest site. In fact, vent covers and dryer flaps are no match for these birds. While they will easily take advantage of broken attic vents, they will also tactfully use their beaks to breach dryer vents and exhaust vents.
Their nests can also become significantly large. One of the largest nests we’ve ever removed was roughly 7 feet long and made up of multiple nests over the course of several years.
The Problems Starling Present to Homes
A big problem with Starling nests is bird mites. Bird mites will build up in your vents as their babies are born. And eventually, those hundreds and thousands of parasites can migrate inside of the home, leading to sanitation issues.
Fortunately, the bird mite has a very short life and is typically not an issue for a homeowner other than the stress of just seeing this mass migration enter the home.
How to Protect Your Home from Starlings
As with most wildlife issues, prevention is key. Below are some ways you can help prevent Starlings and other birds from building nests in your home.
- Seal gaps with metal flashing, strong cloths or secure vent covers
- Install netting, fixing wire or plastic over vulnerable areas to help deter Starlings
- Seal cracks and crevices with sealant
- Remove bird feeders from your property
- Eliminate water sources
- Try a visual deterrent like a fake owl
- Cover crops and orchards with netting
If you’ve tried everything and nesting Starlings still will not leave, contact your local pest control company, like Pioneer Pest Management. We’ll safely remove existing Starlings nests and help prevent future problems from occurring.