Hotels in Venice, Italy now arming guests with water guns for seagull protection

Hotels in Venice, Italy are now greeting guests with not just keys to their rooms, but with orange water guns as well. And the plastic toys aren't primarily meant for a playful showdown, but for people to protect themselves from hordes of excited seagulls that have taken over dining tables, constantly snatching food from plates and even out of people's hands. Beyond the food-swiping, these overzealous birds also leave destruction in their paths, including spilled drinks and broken glass.

From ANSA:

Their [pigeons] place has been taken by the most voracious herring gulls. Even the Venetians are annoyed, and fear them. …

For some years now, the hoteliers have worked hard to find the most imaginative solutions to block the "attacks" from above. The safest seems to be the water pistol. Better if they are orange. "As they see them, they run away," explains Paolo Lorenzoni, director of the Gritti, historic hotel in the center of Venice …

So the toy guns arrived, but the director specifies: "You don't even need to use them, you just need to keep them on the table."

"The problem is so felt that tomorrow the Venetian hoteliers will meet in a seminar promoted by AVA, the trade association on the most modern and effective prevention measures, dedicated to the removal of birds. We will discuss, among others, electrostatic and mechanical bollards, the 'bird free' technique, acoustic systems with vocal control units, and of course falconry."