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The RSPB have more proofing ideas and contractor details on 01392 432691. Three suppliers of perching deterrents are: Network Pest Control Systems Ltd 01514 224838 Birdscarer Products & Net Supplies Ltd 02392 363208

J & S Spike People 01626 835055

Avoid getting into a flap....

over seagulls and pigeons

If seagull chicks fall off the roof, the RSPCA suggest that they should be left on the ground for parents to feed. To report injured or distressed gulls call the RSPCA on 0870 5555 999 orTorbay Wildlife Rescue 01803 557624. For further Pest Control Advice call:

Environmental Protection Team, Roebuck House, Abbey Road, Torquay TQ2 5EJ Telephone (01803) 208091 Torbay Council, Town Hall, Torquay, TQ1 3DR Telephone: (01803) 201201 8.40am - 5.15pm Monday - Thursday 8.40am - 4.15pm Friday

Seagulls and pigeons

Bird control and the law

Gulls in the nesting season can become a pest, particularly for builders and roofers. However, the solution one firm hit upon to stop them swooping made the roofers' lives even more difficult. They hung dead gulls around their working area, but instead of deterring other birds, they attracted the attention of the Police Wildlife Liason Officer. Telephone 08705 777444. Herring Gulls and feral pigeons are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Birds cannot be taken or their eggs or nests destroyed unless there is a serious hazard to public health, and such cases are rare. These measures are available to owners, occupiers and their agents. Less serious but still annoying issues such as fouling or noise nuisance can lead to calls for a cull. It is however generally acknowledged that culling is ineffective as outside populations of birds soon move in to fill the vacuum left by culling. Prevention is better than such drastic cures. This means encouraging gulls back to the cliffs and away from residential areas or public places by storing refuse safely, and denying them FOOD and PERCHING SPACE.

Apart from this, rats will attack birds and their young feeding on the ground. Except perhaps in the bleakest winter, there are strong arguments that by feeding gulls and pigeons , we may be causing them harm. Feeding attracts birds away from natural food which is more nutritious and spilled food encourages moulds and algae which are harmful to birds. Regular feeding can also lead to dependence and tameness which is dangerous for wild animals.

How can I proof my roof?

Pest control companies and specialist bird proofers offer an arsenal of deterrent measures to stop gulls perching or nesting on ledges and roofs. These include 100mm mesh polyethylene netting for gulls and 50mm mesh for pigeons, orange day-glow strips and rows of taut parallel wires pinned above roof surfaces. There are point systems, sticky strips and wire baskets to guard chimneys and the gully behind, a favoured nesting site of gulls. Mini windmills and plastic hawks have been used with limited success.

Feeding facts

There is no law against feeding gulls or pigeons unless the spilled or untouched food attracts vermin. This would contravene the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949.



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