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.
This article will cover the problems Starlings can cause and how you can help prevent these unwanted pests.
What Are Starlings?
While there are millions of Starlings in the U.S., they’re not native birds. They originated from Europe and were brought over to New York by a group of passionate William Shakespeare fans in the late 1800s. Starlings reproduce and invade new areas very rapidly and they eat a variety of foods. Starlings eat seeds, grains, fruits, nuts, and insects such as centipedes, moths, and spiders.
Where do Starlings Nest?
Starlings are cavity-nesting birds. This means they build their nests in holes and crevices including in cracked utility poles, inside tree hollows, and unfortunately in homes.
Starlings are very clever when it comes to selecting a nest site. They will use their beaks to flip up louvered vents, soffit vents, and gable vents to build nests in attics and vent duct lines. In addition to blocking airflow in vents, nests can also be a potential fire hazard or contain mites.
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. They’ll safely remove existing Starlings nests you have and help prevent future problems.