What are Bird Spikes?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Bird spikes are a humane bird control device which are designed to deter roosting and nesting birds. They are used in cities all over the world to keep birds away from sensitive locations. Many companies sell bird spikes, with several designs available for people to choose from, and they can also be improvised with basic materials from a hardware store.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

This bird control device consists of small spikes which are mounted on a strip or block. The strip or block used as the base for the bird spikes can be attached with glue, screws, or nails to a surface such as a window ledge, sign, or roofline, allowing the spikes to project out. The spikes act as a deterrent, keeping birds from landing because they cannot get close enough to a surface to use as a perch.

Using bird spikes is one of the most humane ways to keep birds such as pigeons and gulls off a building. In fact, many animal welfare organizations recommend that people use bird spikes rather than alternative control methods. The spikes will not hurt the birds, acting as a deterrent alone to keep birds away. They also don't damage the building, since they can be attached with methods which will not leave marks in the event that the bird spikes need to be removed in the future.

Before installing bird spikes, people should walk around a structure at dusk and make note of all the places where birds are sitting. Birds can use surprising areas as perches, and a quick survey will give installers a better idea of where they need to place the bird spikes. Typically anything which protrudes from a building can and will be used as a perch, from ornamental molding above windows to poles used to hang signs and flags.

The spikes can be made from plastic or metal. Some companies design spikes especially for particular species, but any spikes will work, as long as they are too thin to support the weight of the birds, and close together enough to prevent the birds from fitting between the spikes to perch or nest. Many bird spikes come in a sunburst design which effectively protects a wide area from nesting birds. In addition to installing bird spikes, it is also a good idea to limit sources of food by controlling trash cans and making it clear that people should not feed birds in the vicinity of the problem areas.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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