A FAMILY say their lives have been made hell due to “psycho” seagulls, forcing them to carry brooms when they go outside.
Dad Dave Baker, 43, has claimed he has been repeatedly dive-bombed in “co-ordinated attacks” when he tries to pop out to the local shops.
The birds are often lying in wait, so mum Nicki, 41, has to phone ahead and ask their daughter Katrina, 10, to fetch the garden parasol in order for her to make it home safely.
Nicki told the Daily Post: “OMG they are dangerous. Yesterday it took me three attempts to get home.
“It’s very stressful for us as a family. On school days, Dave has to go outside first and open the car door so that Katrina can dash outside without being attacked.”
Even the postman has been dive-bombed and the gulls also attack the family كلب, Jessie, a fully-grown Staffie x Collie, who often runs back inside after venturing out.
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“She’s a big, strapping dog but she’s terrified of them,” said Nicki. “And she’s supposed to be a dangerous breed.”
The situation though grew much worse this year after a chick fell from the roof and injured its wing.
Nicki said: “The parents seemed to blame us and the dog.”
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Seagulls are notoriously aggressive when protecting their nesting sites and have been known to defecate and vomit on, as well as dive-bomb, anyone they see as a threat.
Nicki said a roofer has twice refused to repair their roof for fear of being attacked, meaning the family have to put up with leaks as well as the territorial birds.
Gulls are protected by law and it is illegal to remove their eggs or to disturb their nests.
While Dave, ا أمازون سائق, is aware of the law he is incensed that the need to protect wildlife comes above human safety.
“I’m worried for the safety of my wife and daughter," هو قال. “If the birds were a pest, مثل الفئران, you could lay down poison.
“But the authorities seem to think human life is worth less than that of a flying rodent. If my daughter gets injured, ومع ذلك, I will take action.”
Life in the family’s cul-de-sac, which is about 300 yards from the beach, is now dictated by the gulls.
Dave has to plan ahead if he wants to take the recycling out and Katrina’s trampoline in the front of the property is unused.
When Dave has to take Jessie out for a wee on the communal green opposite their bungalow, he holds the garden parasol aloft as he and the dog emerge outside.
“Sometimes he takes a garden broom for extra protection,” said Nicki, who works for health food firm Juice Plus+. “When I go out by myself, I have a walking stick to fend off the birds. I used to carry an umbrella but it wasn’t very practical.
‘ATTACK IN GROUPS’
“Usually they prefer to attack in groups and dive-bomb you one at a time, like it’s coordinated. They swoop down, with claws out and they can get very close. They are psychos.
“Mostly it’s just us they target but some passersby get attacked too. The other day I saw a dog walker waving a plastic bag over her head as she tried to get away.”
Both Dave and Nicki have no desire to harm the birds but say they would prefer it if they didn’t return every year.
They have started to experiment with solutions to the problem, including netting and spikes that can be placed over the nesting areas.
Nicki, رغم ذلك, قالت: “But I’ve seen gulls nesting on roofs with spikes, so I’m not sure how effective they are.”
For the moment though they may just have to wait it out until the chick fledges and the parents no longer have anything to protect.
إنهم إلى حد ما خارج عن إرادتي ".
The injured chick remains a problem though as it continues to wander the street and people as well as dogs won’t approach it over fears they could be attacked by its parents.
Dave said: “We may just have to wait for it to die.”