Dont be Held Hostage By Territorial Seagulls This Summer

It may still be winter, but we just wanted to give you a heads up. 

It won’t be long until spring arrives, and with it, the return of hundreds of seagulls potentially causing a menace to the people of Blackpool, not only on the beach,  but also in residential areas.

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Last year, there were many reports of locals feeling as though they were being held hostage by aggressive nesting gulls so if you want to reduce your risks of having aggressive gulls hanging around on your property, now is the time to be putting some deterrents in place.

Despite seagull numbers in Blackpool doubling over the past 20 years, seagulls are actually a protected species.  This is because they are migratory and so a 102 year old act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, ensures their protection.  For that reason, it is illegal to hunt, kill or injure seagulls as well as being illegal to move or destroy their nests.  

The penalty for breaching the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is up to a £5000 fine and 

The problem is though, that these are big birds that are quite capable of causing injury to people.  The simple task of putting the bin out or even leaving the house to get in the car can put you at risk of attack from a swooping gull.



Why Do Gulls Attack?

The most common reason why seagulls attack people is because they believe that their young are in danger.  These are fiercely protective parents and so if they think their babies are going to get hurt, the mama gull instinct kicks in and they aren’t afraid of attacking anyone who approaches their babies.  Simply having a nest in a tree in your garden, or on your roof is enough for a mother gull to see you as a threat to her young.

You should always be very careful if you see an injured baby seagull.  There have been countless reports of people being attacked by protective adult seagulls when they have been trying to help an injured baby gull.

Another reason why gulls attack is simply because they are hungry.  If you have food out in the open and near a group of seagulls, they are going to try to take your food.  As bird numbers increase, demand for food goes up and it’s survival of the fittest. These birds are intelligent and getting more confident with each generation.

If you want to avoid problems with gulls, you need to be one step ahead of them.  Before they start building their nests, you’ll need to install deterrents so that you avoid breaching laws.

Top Tips for Preventing seagulls from nesting

Seagulls may seem intelligent, but in actual fact, most can be fooled pretty easily.  They don’t like bright owl faces.

Owls are a predator to gulls and so they will normally stay away.  Use garden decorations that incorporate bright owl faces, wooden owls or even hawks.  

“Terror eyes” confuse and scare seagulls and make for great decoys.

Bird netting is great for preventing the nesting and roosting of birds.  It’s affordable and cruelty free. If you have a flat roof, you’ll find that this is ideal for nesting birds and so the bird netting would ensure that the birds stay off your roof.

Ultrasonic bird deterrents will not harm the birds, but will keep them away from your property and therefore preventing  nesting and roosting.

Bird spikes are really easy to install and will stop the birds from roosting.  They are stuck to surfaces with a silicone adhesive and are simply uncomfortable for the seagulls to roost.

Similar to bird spikes, chimney spikes can be attached to the chimney stack to stop seagulls from roosting on your roof. 

Whatever you try to deter seagulls just be mindful that they are a protected species and as a result, you must make sure that you are sticking to the law to avoid penalties.

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Low Tech tip from the Editor

In my personal opinion – the safest way to get into and out of a house that has an aggressive family of seagulls on it’s roof is – an ancient device used by millions of people throughout history.

The Umbrella

Not only will the Umbrella protect you from the bird droppings that your dive bombing chimney dweller will fling at you from the skies – If you have a particularly aggressive bird that swoops to make contact – the umbrella can be enough of a barrier to dissuade the gull from getting too close.

If not – Put on an old army helmet and deal with the issue like I do… RUN!!