The media has been brimming with stories after a number of seagull attacks have been reported along the British coastline. These brash birds are scaring off locals with their opportunistic and at times aggressive behaviour.
So is this just a repeat of the press and their scare mongering over mutant rats invading towns and cities or do we need to address that the seagull population are genuinely an issue?
Let’s Look At Some Facts About Seagulls
All gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is illegal to injure any species of gull. Damaging an active nest is also a criminal offence.
The Larus argentatus or British herring gull are commonly seen around coastal regions however are happy to inhabit inland areas too they roost on the roofs of private homes, hotels and large warehouses. Being omnivores, rubbish tips, playgrounds with regular food sources are a common home for the seagull. 140,000 pairs of breeding seagull are believed to populate the UK although this is considered to be on the decline.
The RSPB believe that Seagull behaviour is simply misunderstood by the people of the UK. Aggressive territorial behaviour from Seagulls is usually related to a bird fiercely protecting their nest and young from what they consider predators. Changes to their habitat through building etc have forced the birds to come inland.
These vicious attacks are doing nothing for the popularity of the sea bird. A far cry from the picture perfect postcard image, Seagulls recently have attacked young children whilst they were enjoying eating picnics and were responsible for a girl falling from a cliff edge and being hospitalised. As well as many attacks on pets even within our own homes with one small dog being killed whilst in his own back garden!
Coastal business fear that aggressive gulls are scaring off trade with territorial gull playing doorman! One shop owner even described seagulls entering their bakery and stealing food scaring off their lunch time trade!
The nuisance of gulls go further than just intimidating humans! Seagulls cause damage to properties. Guttering and gas flues becomes blocked with nesting materials and paintwork is eroded and defaced by their droppings with a hygiene risk of the transmission of Salmonella SPP to boot. This is not to mention the noise created by nesting gulls!
So It Is Illegal To Kill The Gulls So What Can We Do?
There are a variety of methods to control gulls while proofing measures such as cages on chimneys or nets above flat roofs work very well, scaring devices can also be effective. You can take steps to prevent them flocking around your home. Don’t feed gulls at home or areas such as parks and other open spaces. This just encourages them further. Dispose of rubbish and food waste properly as not to encourage them to scavenge your bins.
Before implementing any form of Bird Control, a thorough survey of the property should be carried out.
Do you have a bird problem? To discuss your specific bird control requirements in more detail call us on: 0800 158 3885.