What is kindest way to stop starlings occupying in the roof-space of my house?

I have lived here 12 years and over last 6 years there has been a variation in the starling population in the "soffings" (eaves or whatever). It is a modern house (1998) and the roof space is well ventilated (not used but lagged). This year I heard a lot of scratching actually in the ceiling area above my home office (now working at home) and think they are inside.

A pest controller visited (i had thought it was mice) and they have told me  there is evidence the starlings are inside the roof space. I have some wire mesh that can "block" the airspace they use to enter but worry about when it is best to do that. Displacing in this cold snap (west yorkshire) feels unkind.

Cheers for any advice,

Mark

  • In my opinion you need to block their entry off as soon as possible because once they start nesting it will be illegal to disturb the nest

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Ditto Pete's post, Dr. Be cruel to be kind.

    But ensure that there are no birds inside.

    And check and double and triple check once the mesh block is in place. Over a period of days.

    A tip on mice: If droppings cannot be crushed between your fingers, mice. If they crush to powder, most likely bats, although the little pellets look the same.

    (Don't forget to wash your hands after.)

    All the best -
    Dave
  • Thank you both for your kind advice. I do wonder though what constitutes "nesting". i.e. if there are nests from previous years, does that count or is there a specific time of year (e.g. march) when they are readying the nests for eggs?

    The pest controller commented that the starling droppings will build up and potentially "rot" the ceiling plaster. I can already feel cold spots where maybe the lagging is compromised at points he indicated.

    I will do I my best to clear the birds before closing off access.
  • In reply to dr_skids:

    Good luck Dr.
  • As the others have said, as soon as possible to stop the starlings.

    If you still have the problem, then mice or other rodents, that will include squirrels, could also be getting into the loft space.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler