How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Citrus

European Starlings

Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris

(Reviewed 9/08, updated 9/08)

In this Guideline:


Description of the Pest

Starlings are dark colored birds with light speckling on the feathers and about the size of a robin. They have a wide habitat range but prefer areas with trees.

Damage

Large flocks of starlings may choose to roost in citrus orchards. If their excrement or droppings contact the fruit, it will cause unsightly blemishes and may transmit diseases.

Management

Frightening devices can be used successfully, especially when several techniques are used in combination that make noise and are visual. Start using these tools early, before the birds become "attached" to the site. Then, keep using the tools until the birds leave. These devices include shooting, pyrotechnics (such as shellcrackers), recorded distress calls, cannons or noise-makers, sprays of water, etc. Starlings may also be trapped using a modified Australian crow trap.

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Citrus
UC ANR Publication 3441

Vertebrates

  • R. E. Marsh (emeritus), Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, UC Davis
  • T. P. Salmon (emeritus), UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Vertebrates:
  • M. W. Freeman, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County

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