Seagulls have put themselves in the spotlight over the summer with their brazen quest for food, throwing up the question again of what is the best form of seagull control.
Most shockingly a national news story detailed how a Chihuahua dog was snatched from its Devon garden by a seagull, which serves to demonstrate how intimidating these large birds can be.
Seagulls are a particular problem in coastal towns and cities with the ease with which food can be obtained from visiting tourists resulting in a confidence that has become a real problem.
Often not intimidated by humans, stories are plentiful of seagulls swooping down and stealing chips, ice creams and sandwiches from unsuspecting members of the public.
Need for strong seagull control
This presents a real problem for food businesses in coastal towns and a need for strong seagull control to try to deter the birds from targeting customers.
With laws in place to protect gulls and seagulls, as well as other birds, seagull control needs to be implemented carefully. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981makes it illegal to kill or deliberately injure a wild bird, including seagulls.
Yet with pub tables being an open target to these sky-borne raiders, and take away customers failing to get more than a few hundred yards without their snack being snatched, seagull control is certainly needed.
Some business owners have taken to putting up signs to warn customers of the threat to their food while one pub has even employed a falcon for seagull control.
The best approach, however, is to deter seagulls. A major problem is having an endless food source from tourists throwing away unwanted chips or bread.
In a bid at seagull control some councils have passed a by-law making it illegal to feed seagulls, although members of the public will frequently ignore this. Then there is the problem of waste food in general as food thrown into a bin is again rich pickings for seagulls.
Combining an effort to cut access to waste food with seagull control deterrents is the obvious way to tackle the problem.
Seagull control deterrents
And while you cannot control the behaviour of your customers your business can help to fend off the problem of greedy gulls with seagull control measures including:
The use of spikes and netting will deter seagulls from roosting on your property or lying in wait to sneak up and steal a customer’s food.
This needs to be used in combination with measures to cut down on exposed food, which means properly covering bins and adding seagull control measures if necessary.
Make sure any outside tables are cleared quickly and that waste is sealed as soon as possible.
The final step is to encourage members of the public not to feed seagulls through gentle reminders, signs and combined community action.
If you need advice on seagull control measures for your business contact with Total Bird Control.