Calls to Dundee’s pest controllers about problems with gulls are on the rise.
Figures from the city council show that its pest control staff attended 57 call-outs — a rise of 62% — in 2016, compared with 2015.
They were among hundreds of calls that staff received to deal with pests in a host of locations across the city, with call-outs related to ants, dermestes beetles, fleas, mice and wasps also common.
A spokeswoman for local firm Andy Law Pest Control said the calls would relate to herring gulls, which are much larger and more aggressive than regular gulls, and start appearing in March.
She said a change in public attitudes is likely responsible for the rise in calls to the council service.
She told the Tele: “Herring gulls are pest gulls. They are much bigger and more aggressive than regular gulls.
“In the summer they become very aggressive and that’s because they are protecting their chicks.
“We’ve had instances of these birds attacking people and pets on walks and even knocking down elderly people.
“They make themselves known from March.
“According to the RSPB their numbers have been dropping.
“As to why numbers of call-outs may be increasing, it could be people’s willingness to report it.
“There has been a lot of publicity in Scotland in recent years on these birds and how they are a nuisance.
“They get a lot of them in Perth. They are very noisy and tend to nest on people’s houses.
“The noise is incredible and they leave a lot of droppings.
“People in the past didn’t used to mind as much but now I think the patience has snapped.”
She added: “These are pest birds which means you are allowed to destroy nests or even destroy the birds themselves. It is legal to do that.
“You can also humanely kill the chicks which will make the gulls less aggressive.
“We’ve had a lot more requests for gull proofing in recent years. People are much less tolerant now.”
The number of wasps dealt with also increased year-on-year — with controllers tackling nearly 300 nests in 2016 compared with 198 in the previous 12 months.