Gulls are becoming more and more of a problem with many reports of them attacking members of the public in an attempt to steal food. With the warmer spring and summer months hopefully in the not too distant future and many of us flocking to seaside towns to enjoy a nice day out we thought it would be a good idea to let you know why feeding seagulls is a bad idea.
Seagulls are very clever animals and it doesn’t take long for them to realise when they are on to a good thing, in this case, a constant supply of food. This means they are going to flock to wherever this food is available which can cause an overcrowding of seagulls in a particular area. By bringing all of these seagulls to one place you are also increasing the chances of them reproducing and increasing the population even further.
2. Dependence on humans
The more we feed the seagulls the more they are going to become dependent on us and our diet. The more they enjoy the food we eat the more likely they are going to forego their usual diet. The food we tend to eat at the beach such as fish and chips, ice cream, doughnuts and any other types of takeaway aren’t healthy for us which means they aren’t healthy for seagulls either but once they start to depend on the scraps of food we feed them they are less likely to put the effort in to hunting for their own food, unlike us the seagulls aren’t aware that what they are eating is actually bad for them. This will then result in them not getting the nutrients that they need to survive which they would be getting if they were sticking to their natural diet and ironically begging for even more food to make up for the nutrients they are lacking.
3. Social problem
As we feed seagulls their fear of humans decreases which in turn makes them more of a menace. Seagulls can become very aggressive when they are in packs and have started targeting both adults and children, as well as animals, a couple of years ago, a dog and a pet tortoise, were both killed after a seagull attack. Seagulls can’t differentiate between food that is being offered to them and people that are just carrying their food which has resulted in a lot of people being attacked in recent years.
4. Risk of disease
As with any animal faeces, seagull droppings can carry a range of diseases that can lead to illness. With the increase of seagulls in urban areas we are seeing more and more buildings and public areas that are being defecated which brings with it the potential risk of disease. As well as the seagulls themselves we are also at risk from the other pests that can be attracted by the presence of seagulls. Rats and mice can be attracted to any food that has been left over which can then bring another range of risks and health hazards to an area.
5. Nesting gulls
By feeding seagulls we are attracting them to urban areas which means you have to be prepared for the possibility that nesting gulls might end up settling on your roof. Having gulls on your roof can prove to be a disruptive and costly problem if not dealt with properly.
We hope the points we have raised here have given you enough reasons to not feed the seagulls this summer during your trip to the seaside. If however, you find yourself with a seagull control problem make sure that you get in touch with us here at Contego as we carry out legal and humane urban gull management procedures to remove the gulls from your site and put measures in place to ensure they don’t return.