Squawking Seagulls and What to Do
Ah, seagulls. Probably one of the most hated birds on the British coastline. Their familiar and particularly jarring shrills can be heard throughout coastal areas of Britain and have been waking residents at the break of dawn for generations. Remember those pictures of you with your family at the seaside? Well, that simply doesn’t happen in Britain. While posing for a photo, families smile nervously, wary of the birds flocking above their heads. The result? A not so picturesque photo. Mum’s hair is tangled in the bird’s foot, dad is aggressively fighting a bird off while another steals the chips right from under his nose. And the baby crying because he dropped his ice cream in a moment of terror.
Only the dog is happy, finally able to prove his usefulness by going mental at the flocking birds.
Caught in one glorious holiday snap.
And yet, it is oh so familiar to many of us. So, what can we do about it? Surely there must be some solution to getting rid of seagulls.
Gulls are at their noisiest during the nesting season (April – July). Once they have found a nesting site and they are established they can be extremely hard to get rid of and they will return year after year to the same place. Unfortunately, seagulls can live up to 40 years, during which time they can keep on breeding.
That’s right, 40 years.
That’s around half of your life being bothered by seagulls, oh and then their kids if they decide not to ‘leave the nest’ in a manner of speaking. So, below are some solutions for getting rid of these pests from your home, garden and public spaces.
Seagulls don’t like bright, scary owl faces. I guess many of us would feel the same. However, if you don’t mind a few lawn ornaments, you can keep the birds out of your garden with some ‘Terror Eyes’. These inflatable, bird-scaring products that scare away seagulls and other pests are a particularly common sight in both agricultural and urban environments. ‘Terror Eyes’ is a predator balloon which is inflated and installed on a pole, or hung from a vantage point, overlooking the area to be protected. It is suspended by an optional spring, helping to ensure that the balloon moves erratically in the wind, giving the impression that this is a real live bird. ‘Terror Eyes’ is scientifically designed from extensive experience and research on predator and bird behaviour.
We have all had the euphoric feeling of snuggling into bed on a Friday night, knowing that we can sleep-in for as long as we like on Saturday morning because…it’s Saturday and we have no plans.
The seagulls start squawking at some ungodly hour of the morning and do not desist. All. Day.
We’ve all been there. So, why not protect your roof from these landing pests? Seagulls seek out high points on roofs and chimneys to nest. You can install a number of things to prevent this from happening, such as parallel wires, plastic or steel spikes, or polyurethane netting that can help prevent birds from perching. A simple system of wires on a frame can also be fitted into the area the birds are using, for example, between the chimney pots. This prevents gulls from landing and folding their wings.
Problem solved. Unless they decide to move next door…
Reflective material seems to be a universal dislike amongst humans and animals alike. It is disturbing on clothing, frustratingly bright in the sun and horrible to look in when you wake up in the morning. However, reflective material is perfect for baffling seagulls. They stay away from any mirrored or shiny material, so shiny tape or streamers are an inexpensive solution. They may make your garden look tacky but at least you can step outside without being attacked by that over-protective mother living on your roof.
Irri-tape is another beautifully shiny and tacky looking product and yet, it is extremely effective at deterring birds from nosing around your property. This tape is not only a shiny bird repellent but it makes a clacking noise when the wind blows, scaring birds away with the sound. It is far more effective than you standing in the garden, clapping your hands at the creatures, frustrated when they simply stare back at you.
It is best to avoid feeding seagulls. However, it seems that is easier said than done. Whether you offer or not, seagulls seem to feed themselves, snatching your food as you are strolling along the promenade. The best solution is to eat inside. And if you have to eat outside, keep your food hidden as well as you possibly can. In fact, go to the effort of hiding your food from the seagulls as if you are trying to hide that one remaining chocolate bar from your chocolate-guzzling teenager. No matter how hard you hide it, they always seem to find it!
If you want to go all out, buy yourself a ‘Gator Guard’. This magnificent invention is a plastic alligator head with eyes that seem to follow the seagull wherever it goes. Beware, these gators don’t just scare the birds. Your guests can also get quite a surprise when they spot an alligator lurking amongst the reeds in your garden pond.
We certainly hope we have given you some ideas that will help you get rid of your seagulls. But we would love to hear your thoughts, so what are some methods you have tried to get rid of the seagulls bothering you?