Town centre bosses are waging war on problem neighbours who have got shoppers in a flap.
Seagulls are a growing menace who mess up buildings, disturb residents with their noisy cries and spread disease.
Now the management team in Falkirk town centre have decided everyone is at the end of their tether and drastic action is needed to tackle the menace from the skies.
They’ve called in ‘gull busters’ in an attempt to reduce the pesky problem.
Alastair Mitchell, Falkirk Delivers manager, said: “We’ve had numerous complaints from members of the public. But despite this some people still insist on feeding the gulls which just exacerbates the problem and encourages them to stay in the town centre.
“There’s been lots of work recently to improve the look of the area, yet very quickly the pavements and street furniture have been covered in the gulls’ mess.”
He added that during the recent hot spell people couldn’t even use the seats on the High Street because of the state they were in and, despite regularly being cleaned, the gulls quickly return.
Part of the attraction of Falkirk for the gulls is the number of flat roof properties where they can build their nests. But after contacting businesses, Mr Mitchell said they were all happy for the work to go ahead.
He added: “By removing the eggs from the nests, it won’t get rid of the problem overnight, but hopefully over the next two or three years we will see a big difference.”
Specialist company Contego has being brought in and Ian Stewart said its aim was to make the town centre “as inhospitable as possible” for the gulls.
He said: “We are flying a Harris hawk in the High Street which will agitate the gulls, as well as pricking the eggs so they won’t hatch. If the birds don’t have a safe haven and they see a predator then eventually they won’t return.”
Gulls target built up areas as it provides an abundant and easy food source from street litter and household rubbish.
However, they are a flying source of disease, spreading infectious conditions such as Salmonella, through feeding from landfill sites and bringing germs into towns.
They are a particular problem in the summer months when mating and rearing their young. They become very territorial and aggressive towards people, swooping on people to keep them away from their young.