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How to keep seagull off the dock? (8 tricks)

Mackenzie Gary

Get rid of birds


Birds don’t weigh in unless they bother you or cost you something. Still, seagulls are seen as a pest to boat owners. As their fall causes great damage to the boat and the port. Keeping a boat is wasteful if you can’t handle these seagulls because their droppings are destructive and acidic and can damage your boat.

how to keep seagulls off the boat

You can keep seagulls off the dock by covering the boat with fishing rope, applying pepper, baking powder, and using horns. Electrically shocking the surface forces the seagull to stay away from the boat.

Accommodating these seagulls is undoubtedly difficult because they can make another home even if you install boat lifts. This is not related to boat and stress damage. Seagulls are also not good for health. Because they eat waste and other dirty things, they can carry diseases with them, which can affect your health.

But before I study further I want to make it clear that seagulls are protected by law all over the world. So, you should keep in mind that harming them or killing them can cause you punishment. There are proper methods you can use to keep these birds away from your boat. Some of them are mentioned below.

There are many ways that many boaters have used it and are very happy about it because it has helped them keep seagulls away from the dock. Some methods are described below.

Use of fishing rope:

This is a DIY process as you have to make everything yourself. What you need to do is to buy three or more fishing ropes. If your boat is bigger, you can buy more. Now take a rope and fix the front end of your boat and throw the other end over the boat this will make a line from the front end to the back end of the boat.

Take another fishing line for the back of the boat, attach the handle to something hard and throw the line over the other end. This will create a horizontal line. Now do the same for the third rope as the first one but in the middle of the boat.

You can tighten the ropes by using the handle. This method has helped many people protect their boats from herons and other birds.

By using spikes: 

The use of spikes is the oldest method of keeping seagulls away from your boat.

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You can use spikes and put them all over your boat so that when the seagulls come to your boat they will get scared and these spikes are sharp and the birds will not come.

Whenever seagulls try to land on the surface, they will find no place to sit. This makes it harder for them to bother you. Applying Spikes is a time-consuming process. It may cost you a little more money but will work perfectly.

Use of electric shock tape: 

This method has been used even since technology has invaded its ways in daily life. Electrical tracks are attached to the sides of the boat and when the seagulls land on the boat, they will receive a light shock.

The shock will not kill them or harm them in any way, but the birds will feel a slight discomfort. They may come a few times, but once they realize that the place is no longer comfortable, they will stop coming to your boat.

Before applying shock tape, make sure the surface is clean and not wet. You must have electricity to operate these shock wires. Although the current is light, you should keep your children away from it.

One key benefit of the tape is that it is transparent .It means it is not going to ruin your boat’s look. Here is the recommended tape.

Use of bird netting: 

Bird netting is considered the most effective way of keeping seagulls away from docks. The heavily wired netting applied on your boat won’t let any bird come to your boat. Hence your boat will be safe and clean.

Use of Birds spider:

All above methods need some of your time and skill .If you don’t find the above-mentioned ways effective then you can use a bird’s spider as a seagull deterrent.

This device has a small stand on which the spikes which appeared to be in the shape of a spider are present. Applying these devices to your boat will significantly decrease the number of seagulls coming to your boat. 

Bird spider restricts the landing of birds . It doesn’t provide them space and hence deter seagulls easily.

Using air horns: 

Air horns are considered the most effective and convenient way to keep these birds away. Go outside and use the air horn at least twice a day. After some time they will automatically stop coming to your boat as the load sound is very irritating for them. 

One of the cons of using air horn is that it only work for the minimum time. After that they again come back. You have to use it again and again. This may cost you less but time consuming and less effective to keep seagulls away from your boar

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Change their habitat: 

Birds and seagulls usually come to the areas where there are more food sources or clean water sources. If you have trash cans on your boat just cover them with a lid or put them inside so that they don’t find them attractive and land on your boat.

If there is a clean water source on your boat just add salt or baking powder in it to keep these birds drinking this water and making their habitat on your boat. 

Use of baking soda or salt: 

If you don’t have anything available at the moment and you want the birds to fly away from your boat. Just sprinkle baking soda or salt all over your boat. When seagulls will land on your boat they don’t usually like the texture of baking soda under their feet.

So, they will fly away. They might come a few times to check if the surface still feels the same. If yes, ultimately they will stop coming to your boat anymore. 

Bird repellent can also be used to keep seagulls off the dock. There are plenty of products in the market that are non-toxic and safe to use. Water, chili paper, or vinegar can come in handy to scare away seagulls.

Best way to clean boats: 

Before applying these deterrents to keep seagulls away , you must need to clean your boat . Here are some easy tips for you.

  • First, wash your boat thoroughly and then dry it with chamois.
  • In the market, there are many boat cleaners available. Buy one of them and paint it all over your boat. 
  • This will stick to your boat, and don’t let dirt sit on your boat. 
  • The most popular product is meguiars flagship wax. Which also gives a shiny and smooth look to the boat. There is no need to buy this extra product but it gives UV protection.
  • By covering the inside and outside of the boat with sheets won’t let dirt invade your boat in the first place. Also, these sheets will protect our boat from UV rays. 

Frequently asked questions: 

How to keep seagulls off the pier?

Applying balloons or spikes on the dock will keep seagulls away from the docks. There are plenty of other ways mentioned above to keep boats safe from birds.

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What is a good bird repellent?

There are plenty of products in the market that are non-toxic and safe to use. Water, chili paper, or vinegar can come in handy to scare away seagulls. There are different brands in the market or online that specially sell bird repellent. You can also try them.

What smell do birds/seagulls hate?

Birds/seagulls hate the smell of chili paper, garlic, essential oils, using such smells or spraying them in your boat will keep seals away from your boat.


Herons themselves are not harmful birds. Also, harming or killing them is prohibited as they are protected by law. But you can scare them off to keep your boat and other areas clean. There are many ways to keep seagulls off docks, including using fishing lines, electric tracks, bird nets, etc., as discussed in the articles above.

These methods won’t harm the birds but will only scare them away because you don’t want them spreading disease on your boat or costing you money by dropping them. There are many devices available in the market and online that you can buy to keep your boat clean and bug-proof.

You can use one of the above methods to protect your boat from seagulls.