Starlings Control & Humane Bird Pest Services


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Identify your Pests > Starlings (Sturmus vulgaris)

Birds: Starlings (Sturmus vulgaris)

PESTThese birds are able to defecate one-third of their body weight during roosting. Solitary birds are no problem, however, starlings live in pairs during the early summer months and in the late summer. During the autumn and winter months they congregate into flocks at which point they become dangerous pests. The feeding flocks which separate away from the roosting flock will feed at different locations covering as many as 30-50 miles in distance from one another. Early evening will see the merging of the smaller flocks (100-300 birds) into the roosting flock with numbers amassing into tens of thousands. Quite a sight! Considering each bird may weight 250 grams it's a lot of excrement to wake up to should your house, crane or building be home to the roosting flock. These birds are now protected in England and Scotland but may be able to controlled under special licence

Starlings (Sturmus vulgaris): Treatment & Prevention

Eradication of the roosting flock is extremely difficult and control can only be achieved by breaking their roosting habits. This bird is protected in England and Scotland and can only be controled under special license. A thorough site survey will provide the correct advice and procedure to follow.

Bird Droppings: Health Hazards

Psittacosis (Ornithosis)
An infectious disease usually transmitted through inhalation of dust or airborne particles contaminated by bird faeces or nasal discharge or from contaminated feathers. The organism can survive many months in dry dust. The symptoms of human infection range from a flu-like illness with fever, joint and muscle pains of a few days (in about 25% of cases) to pneumonia (in about 60% of cases) and possible endocarditis (inflammation of the Heart) and hepatitis (inflammation of the Liver). REPORTED NUMBERS OF INFECTIONS IN THE UK AVERAGE AROUND 500 PER YEAR, AND HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED SINCE THE EARLY 80s.

Bird Lung (Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis)
This is an allergic disease. Inhalation of bird droppings may cause acute disease with symptoms of fever and chest tightness with cough. The disease may also manifest itself in chronic form with shortness of breath on exertion. Such is the importance and danger now associated with the disposal of nesting and guano the HSE have issued guidance for removal and, states the following precautions are recommended:

1. Personal protective equipment in the form of a disposable one-piece boiler suit with close fitting hood should be worn.
2. Respiratory protective equipment in the form of a ventilated helmet ('airfed') with RPE to asbestos standards is advised.
3. Good personal hygiene measures are essential and should include adequate washing facilities and separate eating facilities.
4. The offending material should be removed in such a way as to minimise the amount of dust generated.
5. The bulk of the material should be placed in plastic sacks and disposal by incineration arranged.
6. The contaminated surfaces should be treated to eradicate bacteria.

It is also recommended that employees who are exposed to this hazard carry a letter from the company that will alert their GP to their occupational risk in the event of ill-health.

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