SEAGULLS will be flying scared in Inverkeithing as a pest control company prepares to use a drone to find their nests.

The town has been plagued by the nuisance birds for years and several people have been bloodied and bruised by the winged menaces.

It is now hoped that using a drone will enable Dunfermline-based firm Scottish Pest Control to locate the nests and destroy them to prevent more gull chicks from hatching in the area.

Residents can sign up for the scheme at a cost of £30 per year, per household.

Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor David Barratt is optimistic that this line of attack will prove to be decisive.

He told the Press: "Residents of the Boreland estate in Inverkeithing have been progressing plans to tackle nuisance gulls, which have plagued the community in recent years.

"Residents across the estate have in previous years implemented ad hoc measures such as spikes, netting and nest removal, but with limited success.

"It became clear that a more concerted effort across the estate was needed and residents are now planning to team up with Scottish Pest Control Ltd to remove eggs and nests across the estate.

"If the project goes ahead, the contractor would visit the estate every three weeks from the end of April until the middle of June.

"By removing nests and reducing the number of chicks born on the estate, it is hoped that the aggressive nature of gulls later in the year will be reduced significantly.

"In an effort to bring down costs to a level every household should be able to afford, the group will make use of drones to identify roofs with nests in advance of each visit from contractors. This will maximise the efficiency of the contractor and limit the number of roofs the contractor needs to access."

There were doubts over whether the project would be able to take flight but, after a brief scare, Cllr Barratt confirmed the plans were still in place.

He said: "For a short period, it did look like the project might have reached a dead end when Scottish Natural Heritage removed several gull species from the General Licence.

"It has now been confirmed that the project can proceed through an individual licence to be applied for in advance of the work taking place.

"The viability of the project still depends on the level of uptake from residents with around half of the 200 households needing to sign up to make the strategy work, although the more that sign up, the more successful the project will be.

"Providing a sufficient number sign up, the group believes they can bring it in at around £30 per year, per household.

"A meeting will be held in March for residents of the estate to ask questions and sign up, with a leaflet being distributed in the coming week advising residents of the plans."