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'Roof pests cost a fortune'

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

  • Yvette Medworth holding a bill for repairs on the roof of her house where the seagulls are causing damage.

  • Yvette Medworth Seagull problems. Yvette holding a bill for repairs on the roof of her house where the seagulls are causing damage. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20120918A-002_C

  • Yvette Medworth Seagull problems. Yvette holding a bill for repairs on the roof of her house where the seagulls are causing damage. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20120918A-003_C

  • Yvette Medworth Seagull problems. Yvette on the roof of her house where the seagulls are causing damage. Pic: Toby Weller Ref: TRTW20120918A-005_C

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A FALMOUTH resident believes seagulls are responsible for causing havoc on her roof – even biting through solar panel wires.

Yvette Medworth, of Trelawney Avenue, said she has already spent money repairing problems and fears the costs will continue unless something can be done to deter them.

"It's a nightmare. Last year I had a licensed company come in to swap the eggs and I may have to do it again."

The 58-year-old administrator contacted the West Briton following a report two weeks ago that airgun-shooting anti-seagull vigilantes damaged homes in Falmouth.

Police received several calls from residents whose windows have been damaged by pellets.

Seagulls are protected and cannot be killed intentionally.

Mrs Medworth said: "Although I would never go to those lengths, I have a nesting pair of gulls who seem to think they own my roof."

When her solar panels malfunctioned in August last year an engineer discovered the wires had been chewed.

He wrapped them in heavy foam and tape at a cost of £160.70, but this year the birds chewed through that.

"I have investigated installing spikes and rails but am told that as my roof is not steep the birds may well nest elsewhere on it, or at the top of the panels," she said.

"In addition, getting my gutters cleaned is a frequent task because of the quantity of moss which grows on their droppings."

Mrs Medworth also now has photovoltaic panels and said regular cleaning was likely.

"If others are facing similar scenarios, I'm not surprised they are retaliating."

But she believed the problem was exacerbated by people leaving food out.

"I have always been scrupulous not to leave rubbish exposed at my property, so I've not encouraged these birds in any way, but I hear that residents in my area have in the past fed, or are still feeding, seagulls so they are not going to budge from our rooftops.

"I am astounded by the level of activity now. I don't want to have to keep climbing on the roof to check."

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  • Tonysolar  |  September 24 2012, 2:19PM

    I live in Truro and I had a similar problem a couple of years ago with seagull chicks on my roof pecking at the neoprene insulation sleeves on my newly installed solar hot water panel. An absolute pain. So out comes the cheque book. The installer's first "solution" was to fit aluminium sleeves over freshly replaced neoprene. The metal was subsequently pecked through! The following season the "final solution" was new metal sleeves wrapped with black tape attached to pigeon spikes. Seems to do the trick but is very unsightly. I do wish people would stop feeding seagulls in the urban environment. They just keep breeding if there is a plentiful food supply. Tony Maddocks

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