Seagull Deterrent Ideas
The desire to find a seagull deterrent of one kind or another is natural when one has a nice home on the beach, a boat moored at a dock or in a marina, or any kind of building located in seagull territory where there is a desire or need to keep roofs, decks, and railings clean.
Depending upon what one wishes to protect from an occasional seagull poop or an avalanche of the stuff, either a commercially produced seagull deterrent or a simple "home remedy" type of deterrent can often provide a solution. As far as being a pedestrian in seagull territory is concerned, the only means of protection seems to be either an umbrella or a rain slicker. The chances of being the victim of a seagull bomb is rather rare, but it does happen. Of concern here however, is the boat or building one would like to protect from a seagull paint job. As far as getting dive-bombed while walking along the beach is concerned, it’s strictly a matter of probabilities.
What works for seagulls often works for other type of birds as well, such as terns or cormorants, both famous for leaving there mark wherever they go. Here are a few tips one can work with which are not terribly expensive, and according to those who have tried them, are usually reasonably effective.
Netting - Seagulls do not like nets of any kind. It is rare to find a seagull walking or flying under a net or anywhere near one. Seagulls seem to recognize that a net is something they could become trapped or entangled in and usually will avoid being too close to one. Not only will a seagull usually not go under a net, it won't perch on one either. A lightweight net is therefore one way to keep seagulls from perching where you don't want them, if placing netting at the particular location is practical.
Monofilament Line - Monofilament line, whether it is fishing line or any light line, can be used in several ways. A string or two of monofilament line stretched an inch or two above the peak of a roof, or above a railing, will keep seagulls from alighting and using the roof or railing as a perch. Not only is the line a nuisance as far as the seagull is concerned, but like the net, it is something a seagull apparently feels it could become trapped in. A length of monofilament can therefore keep seagulls from perching on the railing of your deck, and with a little ingenuity, one could string the line along a few places on a boat to keep seagulls of a boat that is in moorage, but fastened in a manner such that it can be easily removed when the boat is in use. Among the commercial seagull deterrent products are several which rely on a system of monofilament lines and poles.
Avoid Dark Colors - Color can be a factor. For whatever reason, dark blue canvas seems to be traditionally a favorite covering with boaters. It is also a favorite among seagulls. Seagulls will flock to a square of dark blue canvas or to a sail wrapped and covered with dark blue canvas for the simple reason that the dark color absorbs heat and provides a measure of warmth. To the seagull, dark blue is a symbol of comfort. Savvy boat owners who have seagull problems find it is often helpful to use canvas covering that is either white or a very light gray. The lighter colors are not quite so inviting to a seagull.
Flashes And Bangs - There are other types of seagull deterrents as well, including flashing colors and noisemakers, which not only irritate seagulls but unfortunately can also irritate neighbors and others in the vicinity of your home or boat. Seagulls are quite intelligent birds, and once they figure a loud noise or a helium balloon sporting huge eyeballs is indeed harmless, they'll begin to ignore it. One enterprising boat owner used strings of little flags, the type often one sees strung along car dealer's lot. The boat owner says the flags are highly effective as a seagull deterrent, but only when there is a breeze. When the weather is calm, at least a few seagulls will ignore the no longer fluttering flags.
The Vote Goes To Monofilament - Whatever method one uses, if it is effective, seagulls tend to spread the word that your house, deck, or boat is not a friendly landing site, and other seagulls tend to stay away. Of the ideas for a seagull deterrent that are mentioned here, the use of monofilament line seems to be a favorite approach and also appears to be the most effective one.