Birds

How to Get Rid of Seagulls

There are easier ways to get rid of seagulls then you might think! You don’t need to spend time and patience swatting at them constantly every time they come within a few feet of your food. Keep your outdoor event clean for everyone by getting rid of the seagulls that are bothering you! There are plenty of solutions to keep the gulls at bay, which range from netting to blunt ‘spikes’ on the roof. Continue reading to get the specifics on each method!

1. Set up a net.

Bird nets go a long way toward preventing the winged ones from nesting on your building. Birds love to perch on beams, roof edges, balconies, and window ledges. They don’t want to be near the ground. Instead, they want to away from the potential predators that lurk on the ground.

Nets protect these high points on your home. They can cover large areas of space to prevent anything from landing. Older homes usually feature more of these spaces than newer ones. Upper-level balconies, arches, overhangs, and stylish support beams become liabilities when seagulls are involved. You need to protect them in order to keep your building clean. If not your lunch, seagull droppings will certainly ruin your paint job.

Nets can endure the elements for a long time; they can last up to a decade! They are made with a strong synthetic material to avoid being ripped or torn apart. They also don’t tarnish the look of your building, provided that you purchase the net in the appropriate color.

Nets become invisible to the human eye from a distance. Don’t just throw a huge piece of netting over your entire house, obviously! Get a professional to place small sections of the net in strategic points around the building to prevent the gulls from landing on the high perches.

2. Install bird spikes.

Don’t be alarmed at the word ‘spike’—these bird spikes are actually blunt metal that won’t hurt the seagulls. The spikes are anything but dangerous. They look like small tree branches with twigs jutting out of them. They come in long strips that line a specific ledge or perch on your building. Most are too short or thin to catch the notice of the human eye. These will probably stay out of sight even more effectively than netting at close range!

The spikes work by creating a severely uneven surface that gives seagulls a hard time while landing. They can try to land on the spikes, but they’ll struggle to remain upright or maintain their balance. Eventually the gulls will just find another place to set up camp. Remember that seagulls are creatures of habit—they won’t return after failing to make a certain place their home for a modest period of time.

3. Employ a sound device.

You can purchase devices that emit sounds that are unpleasant to seagulls’ ears. These devices tend to mimic natural sounds produced by predatory birds. These sounds can also mimic the sounds of other grounded scavengers, such as raccoons. Seagulls don’t generally have natural predators above them on the food chain, so you’ll want to make sure that you don’t get scammed.

For reference, owls sometimes take seagull chicks as snacks. Rodent scavengers such as foxes and skunks have also been known to walk off with their young. Other birds can be naturally territorial, making their sounds viable signals to emit from such a device as well.

Using sound will undoubtedly work best as a preventative measure, but you can probably drive off a number of seagulls by playing the sounds once they’ve made themselves comfortable. Eventually they’ll learn to avoid your building’s general vicinity through adaptation, just as the bird spikes have been designed to do.

4. Don’t feed them.

Don’t feed a single bird, not even once! This is why seagulls usually congregate around public spaces. People feed one or two because they think that it’s cute. Seagulls are creatures of habit, which means that they’ll come back for food after finding success with a family throwing breadcrumbs around for their annual family photos. You didn’t want to receive family photos of your third cousins’ kids in your next holiday card anyway—admit it.

5. Don’t litter.

This one ties directly to the previous point. Seagulls love garbage because it contains leftover bits of food. Recall that seagulls are scavengers; they will go through open garbage containers or abandoned food in order to get a quick bite. They also gather in groups quite quickly, so shoo away seagulls as soon as you see one moving for the garbage can.

6. Remove the nest.

This is difficult to do, so it should be one of your last options. Most birds have some sort of legal protection, making nest removal a tricky business. Fortunately, services do exist to undertake the task if it can be done legally. Identifying the bird should be the first order of business with this tactic; many chicks look identical to the untrained eye, and you could land yourself in trouble with the law if you guess incorrectly.

Even some ornithologists have trouble identifying certain species’ new-borns from one another. It’s important to remember that no amount of seagull droppings will be worth facing a legal fine. With that said, some birds’ nests can be removed without notifying anyone. These tend to include: the American crow, brown-headed cowbirds, common grackles, house sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, and European starlings. Check with your local environmental agency first, but start with those. Migratory birds usually have much more protection than other types of birds.

That’s how to get rid of seagulls. Avoid feeding them, don’t let them near the trash, and don’t facilitate their presence by littering! Keep food inside and away from hungry beaks. Employ tools that force them to change their habits. Use bird nets to prevent them from perching on your home, or install bird spikes to prevent them from remaining comfortable if they do land on your building. Purchase a device that emits sounds of territorial birds or scavengers that threaten their young. It’s just not worth the time or patience to chase them off whenever they come near.

About the author

Nicole Harding

6 Comments

  • If you are looking for a way to to get rid of Seagulls on you boat, then we have a seagull deterrent for you. Scaregull is a seagull deterrent for boats.

  • I live in the Algarve on a very attractive resort near the ocean. We have a communal swimming pool and 10-20 seagulls arrive every evening to swim in the pool and disgorge pieces of fish around the pool area and on the sunbeds.The pool area is too large for netting and spikes would not work because there are young children in the pool during the day.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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