Adult body length: 11 to 20 inches
Adult body weight: 1 to 2 pounds
Egg incubation period: 19 to 28 days
Broods per year: 1
Brood size: 2 to 5 eggs (usually 3 to 4) per clutch
Birthing Period: Spring
Age at which young leave nest: 5 to 8 weeks
Activity seasonality: Year-round
Primary diet: Fish, mollusks, crustaceans, insects, rodents, discarded food, garbage
Aggregations of gulls, particularly the herring and ring-billed gulls, frequent fields, airports,
dumps, landfills, parking lots of shopping centers and restaurants, roofs of large buildings near food and water
sources (beaches, lakes, rivers, estuaries, etc.) where they cause fecal contamination of these locations. Gulls at
airports pose a hazard to aircraft during take off and landing. Pest management professionals are restricted in
their choice of methods for use in controlling these birds because gulls are federally protected under the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, MBTA (16 USC.703-711) and, like Canada Geese, can be taken only with a permit issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the state wildlife agency (i.e., when other control methods have been attempted to no avail).
Gull activity can sometimes be lessened in problematic locations by reducing the
availability of food, water and resting space, where possible. Food sources, in particular, can be eliminated in
some urban situations by more diligent trash management and by educating the public about the negative
consequences of deliberately feeding gulls
Harassment / Intimidation / Deterrents. Temporary relief from gull activity in aggregation and feeding sites can
sometimes be accomplished by strategic installation and maintenance of scare-eye balloons, Mylar reflective
streamers and mechanical scare devices on structures to prevent perching and nesting.
Bird distress call emitting devices have proved to be effective in scaring away gulls in some cases, where
appropriate to the situation.
Physical / Mechanical Control
Some gull aggregation problems can be solved by completely enclosing gull landing sites and
portions of structures with bird netting or wire mesh. Bird spike sections or barrier wire can be installed on
strategic building surfaces to prevent birds from landing and aggregating on problematic areas of structures.
Shotguns or rifles can be used to eliminate gulls in situations where other methods fail, under special
permit, where local ordinances and conditions permit (e.g., airport runway and flying aircraft safety situations).
Repellents. Sticky polybutene bird repellents applied to strategic surfaces of structures, as described in the
section on pigeons, will prevent gulls from landing.
DRC-1339, (3-chloro-p-toluidine hydrochloride) avicide can be administered under the direct
supervision of a USDA-APHIS-WS agent if all other options have failed and a special use permit is secured.