As the UK’s gull control experts and have been providing advice and gull control solutions since 1993. There are a number of gull control measures to mitigate urban gull problems which may include:
- Falconry using hawks or falcons as a natural deterrent
- Egg and nest removal
- Gull proofing which may include netting, spiking or a bird gel
- Audio distress broadcasts
- The use of a laser deterrent
An effective programme is likely to use a combination of the above methods, however we will complete a bird survey before making gull mitigation recommendations.
Gull Mitigation and the Law
All birds are protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and different birds have different levels of protection.
Understanding bird behaviour and implementing an effective control method can be complex. It is essential that anyone looking to remove nests and/or deal with nuisance birds obtains advice from an experienced ‘bird’ expert rather than a general pest controller.
In some situations it is possible to carry out bird control operations under an exemption, the ‘General Licence’ which can be relied upon if the following criterion is observed;
- Good reason. Preserve Public Health or Public Safety, Prevent serious damage or disease or flight safety.
- You are authorized to do so by the owner or occupier of the land or property.
- The owner or occupier is satisfied that appropriate legal methods of resolving the problem such as scaring and proofing are either ineffective or impracticable.
Whether intentional or unintentional you can be liable and fined if you do not adhere to legislation. It is essential that if you believe there is a risk bird nesting could impact your business you seek expert advice.
Common gull problems we deal with include:
- Noise – Gull noise can be irritating and deafening especially during nesting season (Mar to Sept)
- Rooftop nesting – Gull nesting debris can block downpipes and guttering as well as attracting parasites and nuisance insects
- Gull menace – Gulls can often attack people during nesting season to protect their nests. Seagulls are known to swoop at people to steal food
- Gull fouling – Seagull guano is not only unsightly but a potential health risk especially near ventilation systems and rooftop plant machinery
- Vehicle or building damage – caused by acidic nature of seagull guano
- Raised costs – Increased building maintenance and cleaning costs
When in the laying phase, Herring Gulls will attempt to lay a complete clutch (typically 3 eggs) with each egg being laid at 48 hour intervals. If the adult bird hasn’t progressed onto the incubation phase (identified by the adult siting the eggs for at least 7 days) if any eggs are removed the adult will simply lay more. If however the adult has progressed to the incubation phase if eggs are removed the adult will need to recycle. The recycling process will take approximately 14 days and a great many will not recycle and those that do will only be able to do so once.
If timings are not carefully planned there is also a risk that eggs may hatch and once Herring Gull eggs hatch a special licence will be required to take or remove the young which is unlikely to be granted.
So you can see the timing and frequency of visits is vitally important to ensure you minimise the number of birds and the length of time they are on your property.
Working with the Community
If a gull problem is present it will need everyone affected to work together for a successful outcome. We may find the need to survey neighboring premises too; often they will be affected by the same nuisance urban gulls or could even be the source which is attracting the gull problem. We will work with you and the surrounding community to ensure that the final outcome is the dispersal of the nuisance gulls.
Call us today for advice or to arrange a bird control survey by calling 0333 567 2020.