Hundreds of pounds has been spent dealing with “menacing” gulls at a north-east super jail.
Staff have also had to deal with incidents involving mice, flies and mites in HMP Grampian building over the past two years.
In a Freedom of Information request published by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS), it was revealed that £2,069 was spent on “seagull disruption measures” in the summer of 2016.
Since July 2015 to August this year, a total of £5232.75 has been spent at HMP Grampian tackling seagulls, flies and rats.
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HMP Inverness spent £882 on pest control over the same period, dealing with silverfish and ant infestations.
HMP Edinburgh also tackled problems with gulls in 2016 albeit on a much smaller scale.
The Scottish Prison Service uses loud bang measures and the services of hawks to deter gulls from nesting near prisons.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “Even being sent to jail is not enough to get away from the ever-present north-east seagulls.
“If the hawks were as good at intercepting drugs and mobile phones as they are at frightening off gulls, prison staff could concentrate on the big job of turning prisoners away from a life of crime.”
And Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “The amount of money spent on just keeping seagulls at bay goes to show how much of a menace they can be.
“It looks like the location may be to blame and these pests are here to stay.
“I’d hope kitchen waste is disposed of properly.
“If offenders don’t like the food, seagulls definitely will.”
Across the Blue Toon, gulls are a notorious problem.
Rediscover Peterhead spent £12,800 on a project this summer to rid town centre businesses of the creatures.
Scottish Prison Service spokesman Tom Fox confirmed the birds have been an issue for prison buildings in the area since the 1880s.
He said: “There’s always been an obvious problem with very large seagulls since Peterhead prison was built and you used to take your life into your hands to get to the work house.
“It doesn’t surprise me that HMP Grampian spent the most on gulls out of the prisons as the seagulls everywhere else are no where near as big.
“To put the birds off nesting on the roof, teams have let off loud bangs and we’ve had people in with hawks to discourage the gulls from nesting.
“If they nest then you’re pretty much stuck with them.
“Other prisons, if they face gulls, they’re much smaller so in Peterhead it’s certainly a location problem.”
In the same period, HMP Inverness spent a total of £882 on silverfish and ant infestations.
Over the same time span, HMP Perth incurred a pest-tackling bill of £3,823.73.
The highest bill HMP Grampian clocked up was in June 2016 costing £979 for seagull disruption measures.
In comparison, the highest cost for HMP Perth came to £505 in August this year for the installation of pigeon spiking and bird gel for the window sills.