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Revenge of the seagulls: Birds' £500 damage to Seaford pest controller's car
A pest control boss was landed with a £500 bill after returning from holiday to find his new Mercedes covered in seagull mess.
Jon Whitehead, a director of pest control firm Cleankill Environmental Services, had parked his shiny blue Mercedes outside his home in Seaford, before jetting off on a two-week break.
But when he returned last Friday, he found his beloved car – which he only bought a week before going on holiday – splattered with seagull poo.
After scrubbing the motor with soapy water for more than an hour, Jon, who is in his 50s, gave up, realising he needed professional help as the mess had eaten away some of the paintwork.
Mr Whitehead said: “The gulls used my new car as target practice while I was away on holiday.
“It was completely covered and the droppings had eaten right through the paintwork.
“I took it to a local garage who told me the whole area needed re-spraying.”
He said the bill ended up topping £500, adding: “Part of my work involves deterring seagulls and removing nests so it’s as though the birds decided to get their revenge on me.”
Andy Melville, who runs Motorline Engineering near Lewes said: “The poo only needs to be left on the car for a period of 12 hours and the damage will have been done and the whole area will probably need re-painting.
“The hot weather has literally been baking the poo into the paintwork and setting it hard really quickly.
“The best advice is to wash it off with soap and water straight away.”
He said repair bills range from £100 for minor damage and go up to £2,000 if the whole car needs re-spraying.
A 2008 study by insurance firm Zurich found that British motorists paid out a staggering £57 million a year to repair paintwork damaged by bird poo.
Another study in 2012 revealed red cars were most likely to be the victims of avian faeces.
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