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Aggressive Gulls, it’s that time of year again!

By 24th March 2017Blog, Pest Control

Gulls can be the neighbours from hell, swooping and attacking to protect their nests and young. When present in sufficient numbers, gulls can also cause a lot of problems from blocking your gutters to spreading disease, creating foul odours to causing unsightly stains on your car or building’s exterior. As well as causing disruption and damage to your building, they can be aggressive during the breeding season or when they feel threatened, and have been known to swoop at perceived predators, causing passers-by to trip or fall while trying to avoid a confrontation.

During the spring and summer months, you will frequently read in the newspapers about families or beloved pets being attacked by aggressive gulls. To overcome this threat, Servest Technicians up and down the country are busy helping business’s combat the pesky birds to limit or prevent their nuisance and now is the perfect time to call in the experts for a free assessment.

Gulls and disease

A lot of people do not realise that gulls carry and transmit far more diseases than rats and mice. Some of the most common are Ornithosis, Escherichia coli (E.Coli), and Salmonellosis (Salmonella). Their nests also provide the perfect environments for a variety of insects and parasites including blow flies, house flies, fleas, mites and mealworm beetles that can transmit various other bacteria and viruses. What’s more, gulls’ excreta contains a type of fungi that deposits acidic secretion. This can lead to a number of decorative issues and possible structural problems.

Aggressive behaviour

Once gulls (mainly herring gulls and lesser black backed gulls) have made themselves at home, they can become very defensive, especially when nesting. To protect their young they adopt very aggressive and intimidating behaviours. This often includes swooping and excessive squawking which can be disruptive, unnerving and potentially dangerous. Although gulls can be very evocative of trips to the seaside, if you have been on the receiving end of this “mob like” behaviour, it is certainly not pleasant.

Seagull skwarking

Finding the right solution

If gulls are established in a location, removing them or minimising their presence requires an aspect of control. The method your pest control professional uses will depend on the type of birds that have taken up residence. All birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), although a number of birds are recognised as public health or agricultural pests and may be removed under the terms of a ‘general licence’.
However, some birds have more protection than others. Take for example the Herring gull. The adults are completely protected and cannot be culled. Therefore, the skill of knowing when to remove eggs and nesting materials can be more than enough to deter gulls from nesting overtime.

How to get rid of gulls

Various methods can be used to prevent gulls coming back to your building. Common proofing methods, such as UV stabilised polythene netting can be installed to prevent birds settling down. However, this isn’t always practical or cost effective. Falconry, an age-old technique, is an incredibly effective and environmentally friendly technique of moving pest birds away from specific areas. Utilising specifically trained birds of prey can help to make an area undesirable to other birds to occupy or nest in. Follow up treatments and a seasonal falconry schedule, combined with deterring nesting is commonly recommended to prevent re-infestation and achieve the best possible results.

Pest Controller with a bird of prey

The gull breeding season varies dependent on weather and surrounding environments, but by mid-March through to early September you may find your property affected by nesting gulls. To find out more, or to arrange a free assessment, call Servest Pest Control on 01223 836 086 today.

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