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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Question

I have a small but lucrative contract and don’t want to loose it. This is not my job but the customer asked me for advice regarding the hundreds of sea gulls that gather around his outdoor cafe. He and his customers have had enough and are looking for answers .We are looking for a system that may deter these buggers from spoiling what is a lovely outdoor atmosphere in the middle of Melbourne. We are in the middle of a very bad drought season, and pressure cleaning this area is becoming an issue. But since it is a Health and Safety issue we have to keep solve it. Any ideas?


Answer

Here are some suggestions may help keep the birds away:
1) Remove all sources of food and water. No feeding by patrons, no waste or scraps left lying around on the ground. No open dumpsters or trash cans. This could be a cleaning issue.
2) Anti-perching spikes, fish netting, chicken wire are available on strips to install on roof and perching areas. . Elevated widely spaced nylon monofilament lines run parallel across and above the open area you are seeking to protect may prove helpful, since gulls, unlike pigeons, are reported to avoid such.
3) Remove possible nesting areas.
4) Maintain grass at a length (8 to 10") which deters birds
5) Harass the birds noise. At least one pest control manufacturer has developed an electronic deterrence device that emits distress sounds that disturb gulls. Check this out at: www.pestproducts.com/birdx/BXxpellerSUPERPRO.htm
6) Put a plastic owl or cat on the roof to scare them.
7) One company makes a compound that can be applied to perching areas that stings the birds feet which discourages them from sitting or returning to these areas.
In the USA the gulls are protected under Federal law and you can’t just put them on the café’s menu, however there are some steps the owners can take to help alleviate the problem. One study of Silver Gulls, an Australian species, found that 85% of food consumed by them was from artificial food supplies, the attraction of an outdoor café is obvious.
Even the lawn mowing, if any, should be done at night so that natural food, insects and worms, are not exposed to the birds.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com