Often mistaken for blackbirds, European starlings can pose serious challenges for pest bird control. Knowing a little about the animals and the signs they may have taken up residence, can help you keep your commercial property clear of infestation.
Starlings are approximately eight inches in length with dark black and/or dark brown plumage with a metallic sheen. They can occasionally feature white speckles on their feathers. Their tails are short, and they possess a triangular wingspan. One of the more intriguing features of the European starling however, is its beak, which changes colour with the seasons, becoming yellow during the summer months, but turning black in the winter.
Due to their migration patterns, starling numbers are highest in the autumn, where flock populations can reach 100,000 birds. The birds have a very distinct and loud birdsong, which can disrupt business and domestic lives, as they tend to move into more densely populated areas during the winter, when countryside food supplies are scarcer.
Starling Infestation. What to look for
Starling infestations can cause several issues for any commercial premises they decide to take up residence in.
European starlings go through a process of moulting once per year in the summer. Needless to say, up to 100,000 birds moulting is going to make quite a significant mess, and this should be taken as a clear sign of infestation. Starling feathers, as with all wild birds, can also carry diseases which can be communicated to humans via bodily contact, inhalation, or food contamination.
However, given that this process only occurs once per year, it may not be the most reliable barometer of a starling infestation near to, or in your commercial property. Thankfully it is not the only available sign.
#2 Damage to Property
Starlings can cause significant damage to property as they attempt to gain access to food, shelter and gather materials for building their nests. They will tear at roof felt to gain ingress to loft areas where they can keep warm and dry. They will also destroy cardboard and paper stocks as they shred materials for their nests.
Any areas of an office or commercial property where food is stored, is likely to become a target for infesting starlings as they attempt to scavenge supplies to feed themselves and their young. Any unexplained damage to food packaging, or missing food should be attended to immediately, as food contamination can occur, which can rapidly spread through to humans, potentially costing the business money due to staff absences.
Due to their large population numbers, starlings bring with them a significant number of droppings. Bird faeces is acidic and can cause irreparable damage to stone, wood, brick, and paintwork, as well as ruining clothing and vehicles. Large unattended areas of fouled ground also present a significant slipping hazard – again opening up the business to staff absence through injury, or even the possibility of litigation.
Human contact with starling droppings also carries a significant disease risk.
Repeated and significantly large occurrences of bird fouling should be considered a sign of a potential pest bird infestation.
As previously mentioned, starlings have a very distinct and loud call.
Multiply this noise by up to 100,000 and starlings have the potential to cause severe disruption to any working day. The distraction of the noise may see productivity levels drop significantly and may even result in dissatisfied clients who are visiting the premises.
If there are large numbers of starlings gathering near your commercial premises, this can be a clear indicator of infestation.
They will normally begin gathering at dusk as they return to their shelters and nests, accompanied by the dreadful cacophony of noise. You are more likely to become aware of this sign in autumn and winter, when the sun sets during the working day, than you are during the spring and summer months.
A Professional Pest bird Control Solution
Once you are confident that your commercial property is dealing with a starling infestation, then it’s crucial that you get it addressed with an effective pest bird control solution as quickly as possible. Once these animals have taken up residence in a location they can multiply rapidly and attract other birds to their flock.
That’s why it is important to employ the services of a qualified and experienced pest control experts. With over 30 years’ experience, Safeguard Pest Control is expert in dealing with pest bird infestations and will be able to design a bespoke solution which will deal with the problem efficiently and effectively, with the minimum amount of disruption to your day to day business operations.
In addition, they will also be able to give you advice on reducing the chances of future infestation.
Please get in touch today.