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April 4, 2019
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Seagull Pests

Seagulls are pests

Seagulls are pests – we don’t treat them as serious pests, but we should do! Recently when I was on holiday in sunny Scarborough, we were plagued with seagulls, screaming all day long. So the noise was terrible all day. They only became quiet late in the evening.

The problem was that the hotel opposite had loads of places for seagulls to land and nest – and they took full advantage!  Every available spot was filled with nests and young seagulls.

I saw people in the check-in queue for the hotel narrowly miss being hit by seagull droppings. That wouldn’t have been nice!  And I dread to think what the noise was like inside that hotel, with seagulls sitting on your window all night. Because it was really hot I would want open windows except I wouldn’t want to have seagulls in my room!

Seagulls were nesting everywhere and seagull droppings were all over. This wouldn’t create a good impression of a business and your hygiene standards.  And this was on the path to the beach. So people were very reluctant to go down it because of the mess and the danger of being dive bombed!

Seagulls can be dangerous!

Seagulls are pests on the beach. They can be very aggressive and can attack people. This is especially when they think their young are under threat. This can be very scary. My children were scared of going near them and I wasn’t so keen either! They can start aggressive calling and flying overhead, and then that turns into ‘mobbing’. This is where the gulls swoop down on people, either getting very close to scare them or even attacking them.

Since the virus began, the problems were improving. But since the tourists have come back with their food rubbish and overflowing bins, this has encouraged them back again. I even saw some people start throwing chips out for them – which you can be fined for. But they ended up with about 20 big seagulls swooping on them and following them, looking for more food. So that family had to run away!  People like that only encourage birds to attack people for food.

Seagulls are pests who are quite dangerous as they can pick up harmful bacteria which can lead to some nasty and potentially dangerous infections, like E. coli, salmonella and listeria. Also thousands of mites can be found in their empty nests and this can be passed on and lead to infections and severe skin irritation.

How to treat the problem

There are government restrictions on what we can do, as gulls are protected. So the most obvious thing is not to feed them and not to leave food lying around. Seagulls are pests but sometimes people make the problem worse.

Pest control companies also can use predator birds.  This is where a trained hawker will use a predator bird, to fly in the area where the pest seagulls are. So the gulls see it and feel under threat and be less likely to stay there.

Property owners can install anti-seagull measures.  In the hotel we stayed they weren’t nesting on windowsills. They had installed spikes and wires on all the windows where seagulls would nest. So these measures made it uncomfortable for the seagulls who avoid nesting there.

Scarborough Borough Council knows seagulls are pests. It has now got a funding scheme to help building owners and tenants. It gives help with the cost of purchasing and installing gull proofing measures.  And as the gull breeding season is closing with autumn coming, now is the time to start planning gull proofing measures ahead of 2021.  The council will contribute 50%, up to a maximum of £2,000, towards the costs of gull proofing any private buildings in certain areas of Filey, Scarborough and Whitby.  What a great idea!

You would always expect to find seagulls at the seaside; they are part of the seaside experience. They will always be there but they do cause problems.  Seagulls are pests but they can be discouraged. Just remember to do your bit and don’t feed them!

If you need any help with bird problems, please contact us – https://www.nationalpestcontrol.co.uk/contact/

For more information see this link – https://bpca.org.uk/pest-aware/bird-and-gull-control-get-rid-of-birds-and-gulls-bpca-a-z-of-pests/189183

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