Many people don't think of birds as pests, but some types of birds can cause major problems for homeowners. European Starlings are one of these nuisance bird species; here are four things you need to know about them.
What do European Starlings look like?
These birds have a distinctive appearance and are fairly easy to identify. European Starlings are fairly large birds and can reach lengths of about 8.5 inches when fully grown. Their feathers are iridescent green over most of their bodies, though the feathers on their wings are black, sometimes with a purple sheen. Their average wingspan is 15.75 inches.
Where are they found?
European Starlings were introduced to New York City back in 1890, according to Animal Diversity, and since then, they've expanded their range significantly. They're very adaptable to different climates, so they can now be found across the entire continental United States, as well as into southern Canada and northern Mexico.
What problems can they cause?
These birds may look fairly harmless, but looks can be deceiving. European Starlings are considered the worst nuisance bird species in the country. They can cause a huge range of problems for homeowners. They feed on fruits and can decimate your backyard garden in no time, and if they take up residence in your house, your home will be contaminated with their feces, which can lead to histoplasmosis and other serious diseases.
How can you keep them away?
European Starlings make their nests in cavities, so if you deny them access to cavities in and around your house, they'll need to live somewhere else. Common locations for nests include the vents for your dryer, stove, and other appliances, but they can also move into your attic. To keep the birds out, cover your vents with either commercial vent covers or hardware cloth. Make sure that your dryer vent is protected by a removable cover so that you can clean out lint periodically.
To keep the birds out of your attic, ensure that there are no gaps in the exterior of your home. Gaps may be found where your eaves meet your roof or in other locations on your roof. These gaps need to be sealed with caulk to prevent the birds from flying inside. The birds won't peck their way into your home, so as long as there are no pre-existing gaps, they won't be able to get inside.
If you're having trouble keeping European Starlings away from your home and property, contact a pest control company, such as pest control by Peninsula Pest Control, for more information.