Venice to install giant aerosol sprays to stop aggressive seagulls attacking tourists

  • Waiters are regularly forced to place covers over food to deter greedy gulls
  • Some of the larger seagulls' wingspans can reach up to four feet in length 
  • The 'seagull repellent' will be diffused around the popular St Mark's square 

Officials in Venice are set to install giant aerosol devices to deter hundreds of highly aggressive seagulls that are attacking tourists and locals and swooping in to steal food from restaurant tables.

The brazen birds have become so menacing that waiters in popular St Mark's Square are now forced to place covers over food before carrying it to their customers, a council spokesman said.

There have also been numerous incidents of greedy gulls - which have a wingspan of up to four feet - nose-diving tourists to snatch food from their hands.

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Seagulls in Venice have become so menacing that waiters in popular St Mark's Square are now forced to place covers over food before carrying it to their customers

Seagulls in Venice have become so menacing that waiters in popular St Mark's Square are now forced to place covers over food before carrying it to their customers

There have also been numerous incidents of greedy gulls - which have a wingspan of up to four feet - nose-diving tourists to snatch food from their hands

There have also been numerous incidents of greedy gulls - which have a wingspan of up to four feet - nose-diving tourists to snatch food from their hands

The Saint Mark's Association which runs the square tried playing recordings of falcon calls last summer, and also flew a remote-controlled falcon-shaped balloon, but both efforts failed.

They have now approached a company which has developed a 'seagull repellent' that can be diffused throughout the square to keep the birds at bay.

Marilena Cascone, of perfume firm Seneca Rouxair, said: 'Our system works by releasing an aerosol of essential oils into the air. 

'The oils are not harmful to humans but birds don't like them.

'Not only will it keep the birds out of the piazza, it should also reduce their desire to reproduce which will mean the number of seagulls and pigeons will fall.'

The scent would also deter the thousands of much more timid pigeons which are a feature of St Mark's Square, Ms Cascone added.

A company has been developed a 'seagull repellent' that can be diffused throughout the square to keep the birds at bay

A company has been developed a 'seagull repellent' that can be diffused throughout the square to keep the birds at bay

Cafe owner Renato Constatini told the Italian media: 'A seagull attack is very frightening. Those birds are larger than people think.

'When they attack someone carrying a tray it can be very dangerous. We are trying to protect ourselves as best we can but the birds no longer fear humans.'

Bird experts describe seagulls as 'resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds' with gull colonies displaying 'mobbing behaviour' and 'kleptomaniac tenancies' to get food.

In Britain last summer, youngsters began the craze of 'gull running' where they run down seafronts with bags of fish and chips above their heads.

The challenge is to see far they can go before being attacked by seagulls.

The scent should also reduce the birds' desire to reproduce which will mean the number of seagulls and pigeons will fall

The scent should also reduce the birds' desire to reproduce which will mean the number of seagulls and pigeons will fall

 

 

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