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Starlings: A Spring Bird Control Nightmare

West Seattle: 2007-12-21 Starling Frenzy

When it comes to bird control, Seattle faces a serious starling problem. Starlings are birds that have iridescent, speckled coats; short tails; and slender yellow beaks. Having adapted to urban life, they gain strength in numbers and act as bullies in the bird world. Starlings don’t think twice about driving out native bird species or taking over existing nests. Because the starling is protected in the state of Washington, however, bird abatement must generally take the form of prevention. 

Problems Starlings Cause

  • Flocks can overwhelm trees or buildings.
  • The spray of bird droppings can turn the exterior of a building white and can make sidewalks slippery.
  • Their droppings contain uric acid, which can corrode metal, masonry and stone.
  • Droppings in gutter systems can cause drainage problems.
  • Droppings can contain dangerous bacteria, fungus and ectoparasites that can cause meningitis, toxoplasmosis, salmonella or encephalitis.
  • Larger quantities of starlings can overwhelm the food sources of other bird species.
  • It can be expensive to clean up after starlings.
  • Flocks can damage crops by eating small seedlings.

Bird Abatement Methods for Starlings

  • Install 1/8-inch durable bird netting, a humane bird abatement product that is nearly invisible when used on the exterior of buildings and can help permanently keep starlings away.
  • Place electrical wires or tracks that deliver harmless, pulsating shocks along ledges or anywhere starlings may roost.
  • On the low-tech end of the scale, scare starlings away with frightening noises that sound like predators or thunder.

If you’re interested in learning more about starling bird control, Seattle pest experts are ready to step in! We can help you deal with your starling problem in a manner that’s both effective and humane.

[ Photo by: orcmid, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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