Ron J. Johnson Fig.1. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)
Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68583-0819

James F. Glahn
Research Wildlife Biologist
Denver Wildlife Research Center
USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services
Mississippi Research Station
Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762-6099

Fig. 1. Starlings, Sturnus vulgaris

Damage Prevention and Control Methods


Close all openings larger than 1 inch (2.5 cm).

Place covering at 45o angle on ledges.

Porcupine wires on ledges or rafters.

Netting to prevent roosting on building beams or to protect fruit crops.

PVC or rubber strips to cover door openings; netting where frequent access is not needed.

Change angle of roosting ledge to 45o or more.

Cultural Methods and Habitat Modification

Reduce availability of food and water at livestock facilities: remove spilled grain and standing water; use birdproof feeders and storage facilities; feed livestock in open sheds; where appropriate, feed in late afternoon or at night; lower water level in waterers.

Modify roost sites by closing buildings; exclude from roost areas with netting (for example, under roof beams); modify specific perch sites. For tree roosts, prune branches of specific trees or thin trees from groves.


Frightening devices include recorded distress or alarm calls, various sound-producing devices, chemical frightening agents (Avitrol®), lights, and bright objects. Use with fruit crops and starling roosts. Also useful at livestock facilities in warm climates and at facilities located near major roosts.


Soft sticky materials (polybutenes) discourage roosting on ledges.

 Starling repellent is currently under development: methyl anthranilate (grape flavoring). If successful, it may be useful for protecting fruit and as a livestock feed additive.


Starlicide: toxic bait for use around livestock facilities and, in some situations, at roost sites.

Toxic perches: can be useful for certain industrial and other structural roost situations. (Editor's Note: This method is no longer available)


None are registered.


Nest-box traps, for use during nesting season.

Decoy traps may be useful around orchards or livestock facilities. Proper care for trap and decoy birds is necessary.


Helpful as a dispersal or frightening technique. Not effective in reducing overall starling numbers.


Scott E. Hygnstrom; Robert M. Timm; Gary E. Larson

Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage Logo 1994


Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska -Lincoln

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control

Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee

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