Starlings are nuisance birds with distractive habits. Starlings may nest and roost in close proximity to people and leave behind unsightly nests, feathers, and droppings. Like other birds, starlings’ droppings can be corrosive to different materials and vectors for several disease-causing pathogens, such as the fungi that cause histoplasmosis. In addition, a number of ectoparasites, such as bird mites and ticks can be linked with starlings. 

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Non-Lethal Control Of Starlings

Adam’s Pest Control can live-trap European starlings, depending on the location and the level of the infestation. We will place traps which allow the European starlings to enter but not to exit in areas where the starlings are known to feed. Certain traps can catch several European starlings in one setting. Bird netting, electric tracks, sharp-tipped spikes, porcupine wires can also be used to exclude starlings from roosting or nesting on particular areas. These non-lethal control methods require periodic inspection to keep them free of leaf litter, or the starlings will build a protective layer of twigs, sticks or straws right on top of them.

Lethal Control Of Starlings

The European starling is not federally protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Starlings are considered an invasive, pest bird. Therefore, no special permit is required to remove or destroy them. Adam’s pest management professionals will use an EPA-approved avicide (chemical) to exterminate starlings. Before treatments, your Adam’s professional will conduct a thorough survey to record non-target birds that may be present in the area to be treated. Pre-baiting with non-toxic materials for several days is critical to condition the starlings – and not non-target birds -- to accept the bait before replacing it with the avicide. Baiting with avicide may require successive applications for few days until control is obtained.





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A Closer Look

Known Issues

  • Damages Landscapes
  • Spreads Illness

Active Seasons

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • Winter

Pest Overview

Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are regarded as one of the most disruptive species of birds in North America. Since its arrival in 1890, the starling has spread to most of the continent and is now abundant in many parts of North America.

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • Starling appear to be black from a distance, however, they have dark feathers with a greenish sheen and white spots in the winter that might be difficult to see on cloudy days.

  • In the summer, Starlings are an iridescent purplish-green and their spots turn dark and glossy.

  • Adult Starlings have yellow bills from January to June (their breeding season) and dark brown bills the rest of the year.

  • Adult Starlings are about 8.5” in length and weigh approximately 3.2 oz.

  • When in flight, their wings are short and pointed and give the silhouette of a star; hence their name.


  • Yes. Starlings are unhealthy, disease carrying birds. Their droppings are dangerous and should not be handled or moved without protective gear.

  • Many diseases can be transmitted through Starlings to livestock and some diseases can infect humans.

  • A variety of infectious diseases can be contributed to Starlings that include: bacterial diseases, fungal diseases, protozoan diseases, pulmonary diseases and even E. Coli and Salmonella can be passed to humans indirectly from Starlings through livestock contamination.


Yes. Starlings can damage property in a variety of ways:

  • Fecal matter from Starlings, their noise, and their odor can create safety hazards

  • The acidity from Starling droppings can corrode metals

  • Starlings can damage a variety of fruit crops affecting both the amount and the quality of the produce.

  • Starlings will also compete for nesting sites with native cavity-nesting birds including Bluebirds, Purple Martins, and Wood Ducks.


  • Starlings prefer grassy areas that enable foraging, trees or buildings that provide suitable cavities for nesting, and water sources to support feeding.

  • Starlings tend to live around people in order to be near mowed lawns, city streets, and agricultural fields for nesting and nourishment.

Why are Aphids in my garden?

  • Aphids are looking for food as they feed on fruit and plants. Aphids are also attracted trees and shrubs.


  • The eating habits of Starlings vary. For example, they may feed on fruit from the trees, flying insects caught in the air, or insects, berries, and seeds that they forage from the ground in open areas.

  • If available, Starlings primarily eat insects including beetles, grasshoppers, flies, caterpillars, spiders, snails, earthworms, and other invertebrates.


  • Both Male and Female Starlings are involved with nesting and incubation of bluish or greenish white eggs.

  • The incubation period for Starlings is 12 days and the nesting period is 21-23 days.

  • Young Starlings usually leave the nest 21 days after hatching.

  • Starlings have been known to live 15 years and often return to the same nest every year.


  • Starlings are great imitators and can learn the calls of up to 20 different bird species.

  • Starlings are fast and strong fliers with speeds up to 48 mph.

  • Scientists have found that Starlings can taste salt, sugars, citric acid, and tannins which can explain their varied eating habits.

  • Starlings are aggressive birds and compete for the nest sites of other birds. They have been known to chase off a variety of less-aggressive birds such as Wood Ducks, Tree Swallows, Buffleheads, Northern Flickers, and Eastern Bluebirds.

  • The Starling population in the United States is estimated at 140 million birds. Fifty pairs of Starlings were originally released on the streets of New York City in 1890 by a group called the American Acclimatization Society who intended to populate the U.S. with familiar European species.

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