Economic damages from starlings are widespread. Damage or consumption of crops, including fruits and grains, totals millions of dollars annually. Where livestock is fed outdoors, starlings take feed and deposit feces in feeding troughs. While we know little about their impacts, starlings are vectors for parasites, plus bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens.
Because they flock to human-made structures, starlings may create unsanitary or unpleasant conditions wherever humans occur and can affect safety when their nests block airflow or when their feces corrode support structures. Starlings carry toxins that are dangerous to humans, including the bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella. Starlings also carry spores of the soil fungus Histoplasma capsulatum, which is particularly dangerous to people with compromised immune systems. Like many flocking birds, starlings can be hazardous around airports, where they may be attracted to the open spaces or surrounding trees.