Pest control

GYB Services, our operational partner, offers some services to control pests in domestic premises - see below for details.

If you have signed up for My Account, you can use our online booking system to arrange and pay for this service.

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Can you help me get rid of rats or mice in my home?

GYB Services will visit your home and assess the size of your rodent problem. For £37.50 (excluding VAT) they will visit up to three times, provide poison and advise on any structural amendments that could help.

If a survey shows no treatment is needed, you will be entitled to receive a refund of any fee paid.

Can you help with insect infestations?

GYB Services provide pest control services to clear homes of:

If you have an infestation of brown-tailed moths you should follow the advice in our pdf icon information sheet [136kb].

Can you help with a bee swarm or nest?

GYB Services does not provide a pest control service for any type of bee.

If you have a problem with a honey bees' nest, please see the British Beekeepers Association website for advice plus details of local beekeepers who may collect your honey bees' nest free of charge.

If you are unsure what type of bee you have, you should refer to our pdf icon bee identification guide [1Mb].

What can be done about problem seagulls?

The Council has no responsibility to control gulls in the wild or on private properties. A strategy has been produced around education with the aim of reducing access to food by gulls. It is hoped that the removal of food sources will result in a reduction in the overall numbers of urban gulls.

The Council will also investigate allegations made against individuals who are attracting gulls to residential areas through the act of overfeeding.

What is the law on gulls?

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is illegal to capture, injure or destroy any wild bird or interfere with its nest or eggs. Penalties can be severe. However, the law provides a licensing system which allows property owners to take action against gulls nesting on buildings.

It should be noted that property owners can remove herring gull nests and eggs without the need to obtain a special licence. In such cases you will have to follow the conditions of a general licence. For up-to-date legislation and advice, please refer to the following:

  • Defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs), tel 08459 33 55 77
  • Natural England, tel 08456 00 30 78 
  • RSPB website for further advice

Gulls are nesting on my property - what action can I take?

There are a variety of ways to control gulls; some are more effective than others and the costs vary. It is illegal to destroy any bird (including their chicks) as a method of control. Experience indicates that the best way to deter these gulls from nesting on your property is to take the following steps.

1. De-nest your building
At the end of every nesting season (usually September) remove all nests and nesting material from your building.

2. Proof your building
Just removing nests will not solve the problem on its own. The birds will build another nest the following spring. Herring gulls must be discouraged from coming back. We recommend the proofing of affected buildings. This can be done by fitting fine netting with a maximum mesh size of 25mm, which should be kept taut on four sides to prevent the wings of birds becoming caught in the mesh. It is important to make sure that all possible nesting and roosting sites on the roof - especially behind chimney stacks - and building/window ledges are protected. It is also important to maintain the netting to prevent it from tearing or sagging, otherwise seagulls may become injured or die, caused by entanglement and/or starvation as they are trapped and unable to feed. Furthermore, use of humane and safe chemical deterrents, such as 'fire gel', applied on likely nesting surfaces, is also recommended. However, these need to be regularly renewed to be effective.

3. Who should do the work?
You can do it yourself or engage someone else to do it for you. There are a number of pest control companies available to carry out proofing. You can find them on the internet, in the local papers, Yellow Pages or Thomson Local. A licensed contractor to remove a nest can also be found this way.

4. When should it be done?
The best time to de-nest and proof buildings is at the end of the nesting season, usually around September time. If you engage a company to do the job they will advise you further on your particular situation. Proofing of buildings should be implemented outside the nesting season of seagulls, between September and mid-February.

5. Who pays?
The responsibility for resolving any problem is yours if you are the owner or occupier of an affected building. Therefore, the cost of any works to resolve the problem will have to be met by the owner or occupier.

6. My neighbour keeps feeding gulls, and they've become a problem - what can I do?
Tell your neighbour that the gulls are creating an issue and ask them to stop. If you continue to be affected by gulls, please contact Environmental Health Services.

Other pests

If you are having problems with bats, red squirrels and snakes you can get information on GOV.UK.

The Fox Project offers advice if you are having problems with foxes.

Contact DEFRA Wildlife Administration Unit on 0845 6014523 for help with grey squirrels.

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