Seagulls are forever in the headlines – for menacing tourists, stealing pasties and ice creams, ransacking bins, making a racket and of course the mess they leave behind. We are always, quite rightly, told what we can’t do to prevent this nuisance as gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. But there is something that local businesses can do to ease the problem and now is the time to start doing it before they return to nest again next season. It’s true we can’t start culling gulls, but we can proof business properties against gulls nesting, which is at least a start. Stopping them from nesting time and time again on your property is a clear case of prevention being better than cure. And the time to do that is now, as the gulls leave their nesting sites for the winter. Around here we get mainly Kittiwakes and Herring gulls and around this time of year, September, they are starting to leave their nesting sites. That’s the signal for us to start a busy period proofing buildings far and wide against their return. There are many different ways to proof properties against gulls returning to nest and it can depend on the property itself, the customer’s budget and of course the species of gull. In recent years we’ve been called out to proof dozens of business properties against gulls, with tremendous success. Indeed, we’ve built a national reputation for our work not just with gulls but with pigeons too. The properties we haven’t done work on are the ones where you hear the gulls squawking above you and see the mess on the footpath beneath you!