How to Get Rid of Starlings? (15 Easy and Harmless Ways)

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by Lily Aldrin

It’s well knowledge that Starlings spread rapidly over North America. It does more damage than good because of its aggressive nature against other birds.

Have some rest and enjoy the great outdoors by using our collection of the most effective and compassionate starling removal strategies.

This guide on How to Get Rid of Starlings will help you immensely.

Here are the 15 Best ways to get rid of starlings. 

Best Ways to Get Rid of Starlings

1. Try a New Bird Feeder

feeder

Feeding the birds you wish to entice in the yard food that these violent tiny birds do not even enjoy is another phase in a starling eradication method.

Starlings’ softer bills are anatomically necessary adaptations that set them apart from other seed feeders.

Consequently, foods such as sunflower seeds and peanuts in their shells are off-limits to them. You may also offer safflower to the other birds to prevent grackles and starlings from settling in.

Though many bird species, from cardinals to chickadees, like this diet, starlings are among the few who do not.

It’s likely you’re familiar with a starling’s beak if you’ve ever seen one in person. Because of its length and sharp tip, they will then have trouble snatching tiny seeds like nyjer.

While woodpeckers tend to avoid towhees, finches, nyjer, quail, doves, buntings, and even the rare woodpecker finds it irresistible.

2. Startle Starlings by Glancing in their Direction

Frightened tape designed to dissuade birds is yet another option for keeping starlings away from bird feeders, but it won’t work as well since it will chase away all birds, not just starlings.

This solution, however, is effective in protecting fruit plants and trees, and the cool thing about many of the reflecting tapes is that they are easily fastened to any surface.

You can install them everywhere, from railings and decks to garden fences as well as the trees themself, if you want to display your product.

Most reflective strips are metal and strong; therefore, even if the birds get to contact them, they may still be scared off by the tiny noise they generate.

You won’t have to worry about seeing or seeing a starling birdhouse or any starling noises in your yard ever again with this strategy.

Starlings, eagles, gulls, geese, pigeons, and even woodpeckers and raccoons may all be deterred from your bird feeders with the use of a product of this sort.

Obviously, for a farmer who relies on their harvest for sustenance, bird-repellant fright tape is a godsend.

3. Use Feeders that are Impenetrable by Starlings

Starling

What can I do to prevent starlings from swarming my bird feeder? This is a frequent concern, but rather than constructing anything yourself to keep the starlings out, it’s preferable to just invest in a feeder that is designed to keep them out.

However, by adding an on-guard to your tube feeders, you may make them almost impenetrable to starlings.

The guard has to be fashioned of wire so that smaller birds can get in, but the starlings’ large beaks can’t get to the seeds. Given that they are capable of intimidating other birds, you may get a squirrel-proof version with a movable baffle if you choose.

If the guard is positioned directly above the openings via which the seeds are accessed, even young starlings will have a difficult time obtaining food.

For more success in warding off starlings at feeders, consider constructing or purchasing an inverted suet feeder. Designing for an exotic species in this way is not foolproof, but it will render it harder for them to find food.

When it senses a greater weight, including that of a squirrel or a larger bird like a starling, certain goods come with a motorized perch circle that begins rotating. Less starlings will visit your bird feeders if you take this route.

4. Catch and Let Loose

The answer to the issue of nuisance starlings, in the eyes of most individuals who care about the environment, isn’t to kill the birds, no regardless of the harm they may do.

To add insult to injury, it may be against the law in certain places to attempt to reduce the starling population.

However, if you’ve just seen a few starlings on your land, you may try catching them. This technique isn’t foolproof, and it won’t help if there’s a big flock in the area.

In addition, if you use humane starling traps, you’ll have to find a way to get rid of the bird, later on, ideally somewhere that’s very far away from the rest of the flock.

The interior spring-loaded system of a standard bird trap makes it possible to capture birds such as starlings, little woodpeckers, sparrows, bluebirds, and many more.

The door will shut as soon as a bird enters. If you listen to the trap daily, you’ll learn to recognize the starling’s call as a signal that it’s time to relocate the bird.

Typically, you’ll have had to remove the bottom of the cage and catch the bird in a pouch in order to get it out of the trap.

5. Protect Starling Nests with Spikes

Starling Eggs

Putting spikes on the limbs, the edges of your rooftop, and other similar areas may be quite an appropriate method of discouraging this aggressive species. This is something you should understand before you start looking for ways to entice starling hunters to the house.

The spikes will not only repel bigger birds like pigeons or predators like raccoons and rats, but they’ll also eliminate the nuisance of smaller birds like starlings.

Most commercially available spike structures nowadays are composed of stainless steel so that they won’t leave rust marks after installation.

Furthermore, the spikes are so closely spaced that even a rat would have a difficult time escaping the maze once it entered.

Smaller birds may benefit from bird spikes because they provide access to food sources at higher levels. It won’t stop them from reaching the seed they require; however, they’ll just fly around or through the building.

In addition, often, these bird spikes come with sticky tape, so you won’t have to make any cracks in your roof or even the trees in the orchard to install them.

6. Put Up a Sprinkler System with Motion Sensors

sprinkler system

Sprinklers set up strategically around a yard or garden may also deter starlings from settling there. However, they must be motion-activated so that they may begin functioning only when they sense the presence of an animal.

This approach will not only get rid of your starling infestation but will also automatically water your plants and flowers as needed.

Since starlings are cavity nesters, this method won’t eradicate any existing nests, but it will discourage the adults from settling in further areas of your land.

To top it all off, this alternative is safe for the birds and won’t harm them. European starlings may be deterred using any of a number of motion-activated sprinklers already on the market.

Most provide continuous coverage for an area of over 3,000 sq ft (at a radius of 70 to 100 feet) and are operational around the clock.

You may be certain they’ll be triggered each instant a critter comes within their operational range since most versions aren’t triggered by high gusts. Because of this, they won’t have a major impact on your water bill.

7. Attempt a Falcon Bird-Repelling Kite

Hawks and falcons are among the most common predators of starlings. Use this data to your benefit by purchasing a falcon bird kite and using it to scare away starlings and grackles.

A bird-repellent kite, which mimics the physical features of the predator, is a clever approach to discourage starlings from settling in a particular area.

You might say that it scares off birds of prey in a similar way as a scarecrow would; however, the kite, if set up correctly, really mimics the flight patterns of a hawk or falcon.

The majority of the models you’ll see are colored in neutral tones, so these bird scarers are quite harmless to humans.

The item’s authenticity is enhanced by the talons and wings, making it an ideal decoy for protecting your yard and orchard.

If you desire to use your falcon kite year-round, you should choose the sturdiest one you can buy, as this will ensure that it can weather the elements and wear and tear.

Having many units installed around your house will provide the greatest results. They will offer you peace of mind that starlings won’t nest near your house or crops.

The falcon kite is not only a great addition to a day of family fun in the garden but it can also be used by all members of the family.

8. Cut Down on Tree Growth

Pruning trees, whether they’re ornamental or fruiting, may deter starlings from making a nest in the yard.

Since starlings are naturally wary of open spaces that can expose them to predators, cutting down on the number of branches in the region is the best course of action.

However, many species of birds that roost alone or in small groups may safely use this strategy. A trimmed tree will nevertheless provide them with shelter.

It’s important to keep in mind that this strategy may not be effective if your starling population is very low.

In contrast, it’s very efficient for bigger flocks since, in the absence of food, they’ll naturally disperse to find it elsewhere and roost within open areas.

The starlings will become resourceful and attempt to sleep in your thick bushes and shrubs if they can’t locate a suitable tree.

Even if they need to, birds will utilize them for nesting, so it’s best to be ahead of the game and do all your pruning before nesting season begins.

9. Put Up a Scarecrow

scarecrow

Scarecrows have been used for decades as a tried-and-true method of controlling starling populations. There is, however, a catch to utilizing this technique to exclude starlings.

Common scarecrows in fields, such as those used to deter birds, have no effect on the black starling or certain other subspecies of this bird.

For this reason, it’s not as efficient to use one that looks like a human as you would expect.

However, a “scarecrow” resembling one of the species’ natural enemies is effective. If you want to keep the starlings away from your bird home, you may use a decoy of an owl.

Our research has shown that most decoys are effective when used in tandem with moving and/or making noise.

It’s for this reason that some models have a mechanism inside that makes the faux owl’s arms move as if it were a genuine one.

You should try to get a disguise that has a little solar panel built into its design to ensure that the battery doesn’t drain over time.

Scarecrows that can mimic predator calls are so unusual that they should be used in conjunction with an ultrasonic bird repeller.

10. Set Up a Mesh of Wire

Use metal mesh to protect your fruit trees as well as other crops from starlings.

Even if you’ve been around farms before, you may not realize that wire mesh is an excellent tool for keeping out pests of all shapes and sizes, from opossums and raccoons to gophers and starling birds.

Since insects make up a significant portion of both the European and American starling’s diet, removing them would be as simple as using mesh and a pesticide.

Wire mesh, with its somewhat larger openings, may also be used to make your starling-proof suet feeders accessible to smaller birds.

Galvanized and rust-proof, the excellent starling deterrent mesh leaves no marks wherever it is installed.

Wire mesh, as simple as it may appear, may assist you in keeping rats, who gnaw on parts of the plant as well as the roots, out of your flowering and vegetable gardens.

The latter, together with the rhizomes and bulbs of all other crops, will be protected from animals that like to dig underground.

11. Repelling Starlings using Ultrasonic Sound Waves

starling

However, in order for the ultrasonic starling repellant to be effective, the correct audio frequency must be selected.

However, a wide variety of styles are available. Some devices will broadcast a certain frequency, confusing and even frightening the birds. A number of different noises, in addition to the first jolt of sound, might be used with some of the others.

Also, bear in mind that you may be scaring away more than just grackles and starlings if you use a really high-pitched or otherwise harmful sound. In addition to a useful range, these repellents are effective against a variety of different threats.

The most powerful ones can cover approximately 6500 sq ft, the ones in the middle can cover about 3500 sq ft, and the ones at the bottom (often the cheapest) can reach up to 800 to 900 square feet.

If you want to get rid of starlings but don’t have access to an ultrasonic repellant, you may purchase a device that plays one of two sorts of sounds: a distress cry from the same species or the cry of a particular bird’s most frequent predators.

For instance, starlings are vulnerable to predators like falcons and hawks, but also eagles and, at nighttime, owls. Starlings are much less prone to rest or breed in your home if they encounter these noises.

12. Getting Rid of All Food Sources

Even if you have a soft spot for winged creatures, effective starling management is essential for the health of your yard and orchard.

Because of its adaptability and versatility, this species may even find its way to the dog’s leftovers if you leave it outdoors.

If you want to get rid of starlings, you must pick up any fallen fruits and throw them away before they can eat them. Put up netting to prevent birds from pecking at your fruit plants.

Starlings will even resort to eating the leftovers in your compost heap if there is nothing better to eat, so it’s important to keep them out or at least keep them covered.

Rather than giving up on feeding other birds, invest in many starling-proof bird feeders and keep the ground underneath them clear of debris on a routine basis.

Since starlings are often found in large groups, it is important to take immediate action upon hearing even a single starling bird cry.

Take away any food sources they may have, such as millet, split corn, mealworms, sunflower kernels, and shelled peanuts (including bread).

In a pinch, they can subsist on suet and table leftovers. Get the greatest outcomes by getting rid of all of them.

13. Taking Away Places Where Starlings May Nest

starling nest

The problem of starlings and the difficulty of eliminating them begs the question: why are they bad?

Since starlings are cavity nesters, you may not know they’ve set up shop in a vent or other tiny hole on your property until it’s too late to prevent an infestation.

You’ll have a flock of starlings on your land before you know it. To keep starlings at bay, seal any holes and vents on your home’s exterior that are more than 1.5 inches wide.

Even the birdhouses ought to have entry holes smaller than 1.5 inches if you don’t want these hostile birds in your orchard, backyard, or garden.

Taking active measures against starlings on one’s own, such as dismantling nests and even killing eggs, is an option, but we wouldn’t exactly advise it.

Tape above any openings in your house bigger than 1.5 inches that may be utilized as nesting spots, such as open pipes, vents, and other similar openings.

Another approach is to cover the holes with mesh wire to prevent starlings from using them as nests.

14. Prove the Effectiveness of a Bird Shock Tape

Starling exclusion options include bird fences and shocking bird tapes. These two starling preventative measures are very useful since they may be set up in close proximity to a person’s residence.

Parapets, windows, beams, ledges, signs, and even pipes are all suitable placements for them.

Though they may keep starlings away from your suet feeder, we can’t say for sure that they won’t also scare away other types of birds.

Shock strips often include a peel-and-stick backing, making it simple to apply them to any surface. They give out an electric shock that causes the birds to take off immediately.

Also, bird shock film may be used on PVC pipes for electrified perches for grapes and berries, which is great news when you have fruit shrubs or trees in the yard and would like to safeguard them from blackbirds, starlings, crows, pigeons, or gulls.

If you use silicone ties to fasten the adhesive to your higher trees, you could even keep the birds from building starling nests there.

To charge the tapes, you may choose between a rechargeable battery or a regular bird shock charger. Also, most shock tape is transparent, making it invisible to distant birds.

15. Make an Appointment with an Expert

Hiring a professional will conserve you a significant amount of time and effort if you do not want to cope with the annoyance of having to deal with the existence of starling bird buildings in your yard, witnessing starlings roosting in the trees, or seeing any starling bird noises.

If you’ve exhausted all of the options discussed in this post, you may have finally succeeded in ridding your home of the invading starlings.

However, if you have a big flock on your land, it’s also feasible that nothing of them will work.

Your preferred approach may be used by professional pest control services.

Some can kill the birds by the hundreds with poisons, but if you prefer a no-kill policy, you may have them trapped and relocated far from your house or farm.

If your home is built with a lot of nooks and crevices where birds would want to nest, hiring an expert can help you avoid future invasions.

Professional pest control firms may also advise you on how to best exclude starlings from your house.

Conclusion

European starlings are a non-native invasive species here in the United States. Even while they might be stunning to look at in the correct setting and season, these birds are aggressive pests all year round.

Don’t give up hope just yet if starlings have taken control of your bird feeders and you’re seeking ways to get rid of them. However, occasionally it is unavoidable to eat the good with the bad.

FAQ

How about starlings? Do you think their decent pets to have?

Blue-eared starlings are a charming exception to the rule; European starlings, in general, and the blue-eared variety in particular, may be pleasant to watch, but they can also rapidly become a nuisance if they overrun bird feeders and endanger local species. It is feasible to enjoy backyard birdwatching without the presence of starlings by adopting measures to deter them.

Do you know what odor starlings find most repulsive?

When exposed to OpticalGel, starlings will mistake it for real fire or smoke, and the peppermint oil aroma will drive them away (which they hate).

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.