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Gull Control Techniques - FACT SHEET

Forget what you have been told by the so called 'experts'.  These are the real facts.

In Canada, Gulls are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act - Environment Canada with the help of Canadian Wildlife Service.

  • Gulls are not affected by ultrasonic devices
  • Gulls are not affected by microwaves
  • Gulls are not affected by fake owls, no matter how real they look
  • Gulls are not affected by pressurized air firing out of nozzles



Gulls are affected by:


Loud Noises:
Gulls are affected for a very limited time by propane cannons. They eventually realize it does nothing to affect them and lift off just enough to get away from the concussion and resettle on their nests.


Loud Speakers:
Extensive tests have been conducted by the US Airforce trying to protect their runway with absolute failure. The only thing that seems to be successful is the LRAD or Long Range Acoustical Device. This works only on runways because of how straight and long they are.


LRAD (Long Range Acoustical Device):
Very difficult to use in the city as the glass in some buildings may shatter. You can’t bring the unit from the ground onto the roof habitually because it’s over 200lbs. Using from the ground does not affect the birds on the roof.  Substantial cost, starting at $85,000.


Variations of rockets that fly out of a pistol or shotgun making a loud bang, crackle, whistle sound or star shapes. Some do multiple functions.

These units come in several sizes:

  • 22 blank 50-200ft range $0.50 per shot on average -
  • 9mm blank 100-200ft range $1.00 per shot on average
  • 12 gauge blank 150-200ft $1-2 per shot on average
  • Capa 200-600ft $15-25 per shot on average
  • 40mm 800-1000ft $20-35 per shot on average

Each of these have varying effectiveness and range. All of them are successful for a short period of time (1-2 weeks’ maximum) and best used in conjunction with birds of prey. After a couple of weeks, gulls will habituate. They are not effective if the gulls have already nested and do not prevent nesting or laying eggs.  The more you use pyrotechnics the less effect they will have.  Traditionally used for gulls, terns, sparrows and starlings. 


Using a high-powered laser to scare pest birds. Can work well if you hit the iris of the bird's eye, but requires a lot of skill and time. It does not harm the bird. These only work in the dark (however there are high end lasers that can work during the day at a significant cost). Lasers can affect aircraft and are not legal in certain countries or within certain jurisdictions.


Dogs are great resources at airports and golf courses and on the ground but cannot be used on the roof.  There have been several fines by the SPCA to owners who have tried to use dogs on the roof for reasons such as dangerous if they are let loose to chase the birds and hurt themselves or fall off, leashed in the elements is not humane and has time restrictions and it can be difficult to hoist a dog up the side of a building.


Excellent at preventing pest birds from landing and therefore nesting and laying eggs. Has a high success rate, is humane and a natural way of controlling and scaring the pest bird population. Disadvantages include: Expensive, time consuming, requires a permit, effect lasts a couple of days and needs to be recurring to ensure continued success.


Firearms / Shooting:
Excellent at preventing pest birds from landing and therefore nesting and laying eggs. Disadvantages include: Trained shooter required (expensive), need several types of permits, may not be possible/legal in your area, need constant watch (you will have to station a shooter on your roof for a period of three-six weeks from sun up to sun down shooting from April 1st until May 30th, until the gulls decide to nest somewhere else) and lastly, visually a media nightmare for most industries.




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