How to Identify Starlings

The European starling is an invasive species that was first introduced to North America in 1890. The hardy pests now thrive from Alaska to Mexico, with over 150 million of the birds found across the continent. Starlings are small, stocky, and black with short tails and pointed, yellow bills. Iridescent green feathers shimmer across their backs in the summer and are replaced in winter with white spots. When seen from below, the triangular wings of the starling look like a star-shaped silhouette that distinguishes them from similar-looking birds such as blackbirds, grackles, and crows.

image of a starlingHabitat & Behavior

Starlings are scarce in wild forests and rural areas. Instead, they prefer places inhabited by people like cities, suburbs, parks, and farms. The pests nest in the cavities of trees, buildings, and utility poles and are notorious for evicting native bird species. Homeowners are likely to find starling nests under eaves and in gutters, vents, and attics. Preferring to forage on the ground rather than from above, they are often seen in mowed plots of grass and open fields. The birds eat berries, seeds, and insects.

Problems & Prevention

Starlings are considered pests because of the incessant noise they make. They are also known carriers of pathogens that cause influenza, histoplasmosis, and cryptococcosis. If the pests infest an attic, their excrement can accumulate to dangerous levels and is difficult to clean up. Sealing cracks in walls and screening windows is a good way to keep starlings from entering homes. Additionally, netting on eaves and open-frame porches can prevent nesting. However, because of their habit of gathering in large flocks, it's best to let the trained wildlife specialists at Critter Control identify and remove starling infestations.

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Brandon was out to please and make out lives easier with out bat situation. Above and beyond of the call of duty and got the job done. Thank you!
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Squirrels and chipmunks were in our attic. So we called Critter Control to do an inspection. Their representative climbed all over our very steep roof and found several places where squirrels had entered our attic.

Upon inspection of the attic, evidence of bats was also found. The Critter Control team came on time to completely caulk the entire perimeter of the house and create an exit strategy for the squirrels and bats.

Because bat droppings can cause histoplasmosis, this also required total removal and replacement of our attic insulation and sanitizing the space. Not a small job in a 1,300 sq. ft. attic! While Critter Control’s cost was high, our homeowners insurance covered most of it. Everyone representing Critter Control was professional, courteous and timely. I would highly recommend them to anyone who thinks they might have unwelcome guests living in their attic
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On recommendations from a nearby pest control company, I called Critter Control for suspicious bat droppings.

Madison came out the same day to do an inspection. She was knowledgeable, thorough, and highly professional. She examined the ‘matter’ that had been scattered on my threshold and thought it was foliage. But she then asked to go up to my attic space where the bats could be roosting. She had to walk up 3 flights of stairs with a heavy ladder. She again spent some time searching all the nooks and crannies and found nothing.

She seemed so interested in her craft, it was truly inspiring to see! She reassured me and is writing up a prevention strategy for my appraisal. She charged me NOTHING!! I am so impressed. We need more Madisons in this world!

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