6 Easy Steps To Keep Seagulls Off Your Boat
Have seagulls made a home on your boat or the lift canopy? You should eliminate these annoying creatures from your boat as soon as possible.
Not only do seagulls leave a mess on boats, but they also spread diseases through their poop.
There are many ways to keep birds off a boat, but not all will work for seagulls. If you are looking for a practical solution for seagull infestation on your boat, here are six effective ways to try:
1. Install Spider Spikes Devices
Spider spikes devices effectively keep seagulls away as they remain in motion when there is wind.
They are easy to use, and you can easily remove them when using the boat and set them back after docking for reliable protection.
Most manufacturers provide several ways to attach spider spikes to different boats. Whether you want to screw or use glue, you’ll find an ideal mounting method.
If you have a convenient metallic place to mount such a device, you can choose one with a magnetic base.
I have the boat railing mount, and it works great on preventing seagulls from perching on my pontoon boat.
The good thing about spider spikes is that they are incredibly versatile. You can use them to protect the dock, boat, rooftop, pool area, and any other open area from seagull infestation.
Besides keeping seagulls off your boat, spider spikes will also scare away other large birds like geese and pigeons. However, they may not be effective for small birds.
If you want to try this method, I recommend the Bird Barrier Spider Bird Repellent Device. This one is easy to install on a boat lift and will not hurt birds or humans since its tips are blunt.
2. Cover the Boat with a Net When Not in Use
Netting your boat is 100% effective as it blocks off their possible nesting areas on the boat. If seagulls realize they can’t get into the boat to forage for food, they’ll have to leave and perch elsewhere.
To use this trick, you’ll need to tie some nylon strings and use them to support the bird netting.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s very effective on small boats. However, it may not work for large vessels with high spreaders.
If you own a large boat and find it impossible to cover all the susceptible parts, you are better off using other methods to keep seagulls at bay. Try a seagull sweep, spider spikes device, or electric deterrents.
3. Install Rotating Seagull Sweeps
Another practical way to prevent seagulls from landing on your boat is by installing a seagull sweep.
Seagull sweeps are usually designed to rotate around in the wind, making it hard for the birds to land on a boat. They are affordable and easy to install on any boat.
Not only do they keep seagulls away from your boat, but they are also effective for other types of birds.
With a seagull sweep on your boat, you don’t have to worry about killing the seagulls since it’s a humane way to frighten them. Since most of them aren’t electrically powered, they don’t hurt birds in any way.
If you are sold on this method, you can buy the Scaregull Seagull Sweep since many users have had great success with this bird scarer.
4. Use Reflective Scare Tapes and Mirrors
You can use reflective scare tapes and mirrors for an affordable solution for seagull infestation on your boat.
Seagulls and other birds hate reflective devices, so they won’t come near your boat when you have scare mirrors and tapes.
Unlike lawn ornaments, which may not look good on your boat, reflective tapes and mirrors can make your vessel look even more attractive. But they are not nice-looking to seagulls!
Don’t get me wrong, though. Some boat owners use lawn ornaments like owls, hawks, and rubber snakes with impressive success in keeping birds off their boats. It’s only that I find them unattractive for boats. Not to mention that the birds can easily get used to them.
To use reflective tapes and mirrors on your boat, you can tie them to the lift canopy frame or any other convenient part of the boat, as long as birds can see them from afar.
Some boat owners have had great success with Christmas lights and reflective spinners, which can be good substitutes for reflective tapes and mirrors.
5. Bring Your Furry Friend on Board
Another cool method of keeping seagulls from your boat is bringing your pet onboard. Seagulls fear cats and dogs, so they won’t consider coming near your boat when they realize you have one onboard.
The good thing about this trick is that you don’t have to bring your pet to the boat all the time. Sometimes you can use a cat or dog decoy, and the birds will still see it as a real enemy.
If you decide to use a decoy, buy one set in a threatening position to scare the birds away. Some cat decoys even have a waggling tail to keep it real to the stubborn birds.
6. Install Some Electric Bird Deterrents
Electric bird deterrents are common in dock areas but can also work well on boats and lift canopies.
They are simply flat strips with mild electrostatic current designed to give birds that land on the boat a mild shock. This scares the gulls away without hurting them.
Electric bird deterrent devices can be a bit expensive compared to most of the methods mentioned on the list, but they are worth it, given their effectiveness.
If you don’t want to shock the seagulls, you can get an outdoor ultrasonic animal repeller, which produces sound frequencies audible to the birds but not humans.
What to Do If Seagulls Have Already Nested on Your Boat
If seagulls have already made a home on your boat, the best thing to do is to get permission to destroy their nests. Otherwise, they will keep returning no matter how hard you threaten them.
Removing the nest will discourage the seagulls and make your boat feel unsafe for them to land. But you’ll need to be careful when handling the nests and droppings as they may spread diseases.
Once you get rid of the nests, it’s important to clean your boat properly and remove the seagull poop. Then install a seagull deterrent to keep them off.
Q: What Keeps Seagulls Away?
A: Some of the most effective ways to keep seagulls away include using spikes that rotate in the wind, bird sweeps, electric bird deterrents, netting the area you want to protect, and using reflective devices.
Lawn ornaments and spinners are also practical ways to keep seagulls off, but such methods are temporary solutions as birds can get used to them and realize that they aren’t dangerous.
If you have a sheepdog, keeping it around the area you want to protect can also prevent seagulls from landing.
Q: What Scents Repels Seagulls?
A: Essential oils, chili pepper, and garlic scents can keep seagulls away. You can spray such scents on your boat to keep the disgusting birds at bay.
If you are looking for highly effective stuff, you can buy chemical bird repellents with non-toxic smells that discourage birds from landing on your boat.
Q: Can Seagulls Spread Diseases?
A: Yes. Seagulls can spread diseases like E. coli and Psittacosis through their poop. About 90% of seagull poop contains harmful bacteria that can easily be transmitted to the people using the boat.
You should be careful when cleaning seagull poop from your boat and lift canopies since inhaling dust from dry droppings can lead to infections.
Q: Why Do Seagulls Like Perching on Boats?
A: Seagulls like perching on boats because they give them access to food. The disgusting birds will likely nest on your vessel if you keep your boat near a spot with seagull foods like fish, oysters, and crabs.
Seagulls can also come to your boat to search for food onboard. Leaving food crumbs and trash on the boat will attract birds like seagulls and geese.
While seagulls aren’t harmful birds per se, their poop can be a destructive mess on your boat. Seagull poop can also spread diseases to your family.
However, you don’t have to kill these birds to protect your boat and keep your family safe. Keep in mind that these birds have protection by the law.
The best thing to do is to scare them away with an effective bird deterrent device or spray your boat with scents that seagulls hate.
You can use the methods explained on our list as they don’t harm the birds but effectively keep them off boats. Good luck!