How to get rid of Seagulls
Seagulls leaving a mess on your pier?
Seagulls are looking for a place to rest at the same time as your dock is being installed. Once they get into the habit of eating or sleeping on your dock, getting rid of them is very difficult.
Are seagulls leaving the “leftovers” from their meals on your dock? What about the other harmful “deposits” they leave behind?
PWS has some suggestions to get rid of them.
When should you start to rid yourself of the seagulls?
Start in Early Spring!
Don’t allow seagulls to roust on your dock. Once established, they will habitually return to the same place each night.
Adding deterrents later will have minimal to no effect on them.
What Problems do Seagulls Cause?
Seagulls are noisy, aggressive, and a health hazard to humans. Despite this, the US government has enacted legislation to protect seagulls.
You are not allowed to harass, kill or destroy their nesting areas.
Are Seagulls always coming back to your pier?
If the answer is yes – they found a source of food nearby.
Seagulls are territorial and aggressive when it comes to food. Under no circumstances should you feed them. They will return time and time again. They are like a friend who wanted to stay for just a day or two and never left. The difference is they are not your friend.
Remind your visitors not to feed them. Once a seagull finds a source of food, other seagulls will appear.
Don’t leave food containers outside after your parties. Seagulls will return if you do.
What do Seagulls eat?
A seagull’s diet consists of fish, rodents, insects, eggs, earthworms, reptiles, plant items, and even other birds. The seagull is an intelligent bird and very versatile in how they get prey.
The food you leave behind is an easy source for them. The gulls don’t have to scrounge around looking for food if you provide it for them.
When is their nesting season?
Seagulls enter nesting season once per year, and the season lasts for 3 to 5 months. They are highly aggressive during this time. Stay clear of their nests.
These large and noisy birds defend their territories from rivals through aerial attacks and calls. Nesting season is when they are the most boisterous and the most aggressive.
Seagulls are ground-nesting birds taking live food – crabs, small fish – or scavenge as it becomes available. They historically pose control problems near sources of water or food.
Seagulls are intelligent and resourceful birds too. They have a highly developed social structure and a complicated communication method.
They even display mobbing behavior. Seagulls attack would-be intruders (like you) and predators when anything threatens their nest.
How do you get rid of Seagulls humanely?
There are many products on the market that you can use to deter seagulls. See this article for a list of products and where to get them.
Unfortunately, many of these products are ineffective.
Remember this when considering a seagull deterrent. Seagulls do not like anything that disrupts their flight patterns. Simply put, they do not want to get tangled in anything.
Bird wire or something as simple as a fishing line is a humane, discreet, and highly effective control solution for docks.
How does it work? A stainless steel wire or a simple fishing line is reported to be a deterrent to gulls. The wire prevents gulls from landing on docks, boats, and other long surfaces that attract pesky birds.
Check this link for a source for bird wire.
Why are seagulls afraid of wires?
There is another way. Seagulls use a higher UV range than humans to see what’s around them. As a result, they can see underwater without the use of sunglasses like humans require.
They also “see” a metal or nylon fishing line as a bright line, day or night. That line potentially interferes with their flight, plus it alarms them as it moves in the wind.
Seagulls are heavy birds compared to most birds. As a result, they require a clear path to take off. Stringing a fishing line horizontally along your dock can be very effective and inexpensive. Commercial products recommend stringing the line about 7-8 feet above the pier.
It works the same as bird wire and costs much less. The downside to the fishing line is that it needs to be replaced each year and possibly more than once. Hint: string the fishing line from leg to leg and tie it off rather than stringing it the full length in one piece. This way, if one section breaks, it does not take the entire line down. Allow it to move in the wind.
Daddi Long Legs is another deterrent. It prevents gulls and other large birds from landing in open spaces. Where can you buy this product? Try www.Bird Barrier.com.
How it works: Thin, stainless steel rods wave menacingly in the breeze. Any breeze causes the rods to move and interferes with the seagull’s flight as they attempt to land. Benefits: It is a humane product with plastic tips to prevent injury to humans.
It’s best to use more than one means to get rid of seagulls. Seagulls don’t like to be disturbed while they eat or sleep, but they can see a single device as non-threatening over time. We recommend that you change or move your devices from time to time. They will adapt over time.
Where can I find Pier & Waterfront Solutions?
Pier & Waterfront Solutions, 7325 St. Hwy 57, is located 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay. Go 1 mile PAST the intersection with County MM (heading north). Look on the right at the next corner – Idlewild Road and Hwy 57.
Pier & Waterfront Solutions remains “open” year-round.
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Site visits continue as usual. When making in-person contacts, we follow “social distancing” guidelines when possible.
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