WATCH out, the gulls are about!
A warning has been issued over nuisance seagulls intent on nesting in chimneys and attacking terrified neighbours.
Community leaders are urging people to act now to stop the pests using resort rooftops as their home by blocking them off.
Blackpool Council claims nesting gulls have become more territorial and aggressive in recent years as well as causing excessive noise, mess and damage to homes.
And they revealed one terrified elderly woman living in Blackpool came home from hospital to find seagulls had settled in her chimney and attacked her every time she tried to leave the house.
Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member responsible for pest control, told The Gazette: “Once these birds have chosen a nesting site they will return and use it for many years to come.
“Residents have just two months to stop the birds returning again this year.”
The authority is urging people to act by placing nets around the chimneys before the beginning of April when gulls are known to start the building of their nests.
Herring Gulls have full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and it is an offence to remove the nests once the chicks have hatched.
Helen Coen, of Blackpool RSPCA, is advising residents to purchase protection as soon as possible.
She said: “There are various devices on the market, often consisting of some form of spike system, which can be installed to prevent gulls nesting on a building.
“A pest control company or environmental health department may be able to advise on a system suitable for a particular type of building.
“In some situations, a simple wire system can be installed to fit into the area between the chimney pots.
“However, seek the advice of the fire service to make sure it doesn’t pose a risk from lightning strikes.
“Other measures include disposing of food wrappers in bins that are gull-proof and not open topped.”
For more information contact Blackpool Council’s pest control team on (01253) 477477.