Gull Deterrent Solutions
Gulls are a high profile issue and increasingly urban property and areas need to be protected from the disruption and menace that gulls bring.
Effective gull control may involve the use of one or a combination of control or deterrent methods. The choice of an effective gull deterrent will depend on the environment, business and population size but most crucially timing. Due to legal requirements, measures should be in place before the gull breeding season begins in March each year or after the nesting season finishes in September.
Legislation & Gull Control
Whichever gull deterrent method is used it must be done legally. Gulls, like all UK birds, are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to remove their eggs and nests or disturb them once they have begun nesting. There are exceptions however, so gull control is possible under certain licence conditions depending on the risk, the gull species, and the timing of the gull management plan.
Gull Control Methods
There are a number of gull control solutions that can be effective and will safeguard your property, staff, visitors and the public.
• Falconry Gull Deterrent Programme
• Egg & Nest Removal
• Gull Proofing
• Laser Dispersal
• Audio Deterrent System
For gull control to be effective, it should be planned around the gull breeding season to ensure gull problems are prevented before property damage, injury or health and safety issues occur.
Talk to our gull deterrent experts for advice or to arrange a survey by calling 0333 567 2020.
How to Deter Gulls? (Seagulls)
Exclusion is the best gull control solution to prevent gulls nesting or creating problems. There are, however, some gull control or deterrent solutions including gull spiking, gull netting, bird wire, an electric bird deterrent system, bird gel, falconry response, kites or audio deterrents.
It may also be possible to complete an egg and nest removal programme but, as with all gull control methods, timing is crucial for effective and legal control.
Are gulls a protected species?
All birds are protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. The control of birds in the UK is permitted but is governed by the UK ‘General Licences’. There are four versions – one each for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as terms vary.
Management of any birds under the licences can only be completed where the species is causing conflict with conservation or public safety.
How can I get rid of gulls?
We do not recommend that you attempt to clear a gull’s nest by yourself. You may injure yourself or be attacked by angry gulls and if you remove a nest of a different species by accident, you may face prosecution.
There are deterrent or gull proofing control solutions that can be implemented depending on the time of year. The most effective measures are implemented before the gull breeding season commences in March each year. If gull control measures are not permanent (gull proofing) then the deterrent programme will need to be repeated each year. Gulls will return to a successful breeding site year after year and also young gulls will return to the site at which they were reared to feed, roost and after 3 years breed themselves.
When is the gull breeding season?
The gull breeding season is generally from March to September. Urban gulls can be a particular nuisance or threat during this time.
Rooftops are an ideal replacement to replace their natural nesting habitat and urban areas often inadvertently provide a regular food source. Once a gull has nested they will return each year to the same area unless they are prevented access.
Can I scare seagulls away?
There are some measures that are designed to deter or disperse gulls from a property or area. It is important the right method is selected for the right situation. Methods may include a bio-acoustic dispersal system, laser dispersal system, falconry response or even kites.
It is best to have a site risk assessment to understand the most effective method of control.
How can I discourage gulls?
Gulls are expert scavengers and have probably moved to urban areas due to waste and litter being a readily available food source. Urban rooftops are an ideal replacement for their natural nesting habitat so gull proofing likely nesting points will prevent your property being used. Using a specially trained bird of prey as a deterrent is also an effective means to deter gulls.
In addition to this, good housekeeping practices will discourage gulls so disposal of waste in securely lidded bins will prevent your property being attractive. Disposing of litter and encouraging your neighbours to do the same will help the area around your business also.
What to do if you see a gull chick?
A gull chick is mottled brown in colour and if you see one, you should leave it alone as its parents will be vigilant and be looking after it. If it looks ill or injured, then you can take it to the nearest RSPCA wildlife centre.
Why are gulls aggressive?
Gulls tend to be aggressive during the breeding season. This behaviour occurs as they are protecting their nest or young and once chicks have hatched it is not possible to tackle the issue until the breeding season is over. The breeding season runs from late March through to September so measures can be installed then.
What can I do about the noise from gulls?
Gulls are noisy during the breeding season when they have a nest or young to protect. There is no legislation that enables our teams to deal with noise and usually by the time you are subjected to the noise there is little that can be done.
You can however, prevent it being an issue next year by installing appropriate gull proofing or deterrents.