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What Are Bird Spikes?

Bird spikes, sometimes known as anti bird spikes or bird control spikes, are strips of vertical or slightly angled rods used as a bird deterrent. They are perhaps the commonly used and most effective form of bird control for buildings and structures.

They help to prevent fouling and damage by preventing birds landing on various building ledges.

Bird spikes are usually made from stainless steel and/or polycarbonate and come in a variety of lengths and styles. Bird spike strips can vary from a single row of vertical spikes for narrow ledges and pipes to multiple angled rows of spikes for wider ledges and beams.

Bird spikes prevent pest birds such as pigeons, seagulls, indian mynas, starlings, sparrows, etc from landing on ledges, window sills, beams, signs, pipes, light fittings, etc.

They are also one of the most economical ways of achieving long term bird control on a building or structure.

Who Can Use & Install Bird Spikes?

Bird spikes are commonly installed by pest control companies, building maintenance companies, height access companies, construction companies and handyman businesses. Bird spikes are also very easily installed by the DIY'er. You do not need any special licence, qualification or permit to install bird spikes.

What Is The Lifespan of Bird Spikes?

Bird spikes, once installed, can assist in bird control as a successful deterrent for many years. The typical life span of a strip of bird spikes with is 5-10 years depending on the materials used in the construction of the spikes and the adhesive or fixings used. Full stainless steel bird spikes can last much longer (15-20 years in service).

Where Can Bird Spikes be Used & Installed?

Bird spikes can be used on virtually any building ledge, beam, pipe or other surfaces where birds land, roost or nest. Some specific situations are described below:

Narrow bird spikes are ideal for narrow ledges and pipes such as gutter edges, sprinkler systems, electrical conduits, etc.

Wide bird spikes are ideal for wide ledges such as brick walls, roofs, beams, joists, light fittings, air conditioning units, etc.

Full polycarbonate bird spikes are usefull for deterring birds from TV antenna.

Specially designed solar panel bird spikes are now being used to prevent birds, mainly pigeons, from landing and fouling solar panels on domestic and commercial roofs. This is becoming a major issue in recent years due to the increase in solar panel installations on domestic homes and commercial buildings.

Special gutter clips have been designed for use with certain brands of spikes that allow spike strips to be clipped onto building gutters. This allows for quick and easy installation as well as removal of the spikes when necessary without damaging the gutter.

How do you Install Bird Spikes?

Bird spikes can be fixed to ledges using a UV stabilised silicon adhesive or by screws or nails. Cable ties are sometimes used for round surfaces such as pipes and sprinkler systems.

1. Clean the ledge, pipe or surface of dust, debris, bird droppings, etc otherwise the adhesive may not stick properly. Allow surface to dry.
2. Using a caulking gun, run a bead of silicon adhesive along the base of the bird spike strip.
3. Position the bird spike strip in the desired location on the ledge and press down firmly.
4. Repeat with the next strip of spikes and link on to the end of the preivious strip making surethere are no gaps big enough for a bird to land or roost.

Screws or Nails
1. Same as above except use screws or nails in place of adhesive. Sometimes you can use screws or nails in conjuntion with adhesive to ensure the longevity of the spikes.
2. Most bird spike strips are manufactured with pre-drilled holes in the base, however some spikes do not. If this is the case you will need to drill a small pilot hole through the base before fixing with a screw or nail. Otherwise the base may split during installation or at a later date resulting in the spikes falling down

Cable Ties
1. Cable tie are often used on round surfaces such as TV antenna, pipes, spinkler systems, round beams, etc. It is recommended to use an adhesive silicon along the base of the spikes in conjuntion with the cable ties.

What Types of Bird Control Problems are There?

Birds are useful animals, but sometimes, because of the activities of humans, they become pests in various situations. Bird control and prevention is therefore often required in domestic situations, manufacturing and food industries, warehouses, shopping centres and town and city areas where the density of the human population is high.

This is an extremely sensitive area of pest control for seldom is there entire agreement, even where there is a small human population. Before any bird control measures are applied the possible human reaction should be determined. Some of the more frequently encountered bird pest problems are listed below:

Problem 1 - Birds may roost or nest in buildings, often gaining access through broken tiles and damaged ridge capping. This is usually a seasonal occurrence when birds are about to lay a eggs. Pigeons, starlings and Indian myna birds are frequent offenders.

Control Solutions

  • Installation of bird spikes to ledges, beams, pipes, etc to prevent birds from roosting or nesting on these areas.
  • Repair broken tiles, damaged roof capping, etc to prevent birds from gaining access to roof areas.
  • Install bird netting to block birds from gaining access to desired nesting or roosting sites

Problem 2 -
Bird droppings may deface buildings and footpaths and often modify food handling procedures. Wheat and other grain storage facilities, particularly around harbour and railway terminals, frequently have a major bird and food contamination problem. Pigeons are the main offenders in these situations.

Control Solutions

  • Installation of bird spikes to ledges, beams, pipes, etc to prevent birds from roosting or nesting on these areas.
  • Install bird netting to block birds from gaining access to desired nesting or roosting sites

Problem 3 -
Some birds nest in situations such as guttering and down piping which then causes water overflow and moisture problems in walls. Bird faeces also reduces the normal flow of water in guttering, causing corrosion in some types of metal guttering The main offenders here are starlings and pigeons.

Control Solutions

  • Prevent birds from gaining access to guttering and down pipes. This is most easily done by installing bird spikes to the lip of the gutter and any flat or angled section of down pipe that birds are roosting on.
  • Special gutter clips are available to make the installation process quick and easy. The Avipoint range of bird spikes are compatible with the Aviclips for gutters.
  • Block birds access to the guttering using special gutter mesh.

Problem 4 -
Birds are hosts for bird lice and bird mites and the latter become occasional pests of humans when birds nest in buildings. Sparrows, starlings, Indian mynas and pigeons are offenders in this area. The infestations inside houses and buildings such as hospitals and nursing homes can be very difficult to control. Mostly this type of infestation occurs after the young have left the nest and these external parasites also leave in search of food.

Control Solutions

  • Repair broken tiles, damaged roof capping, etc to prevent birds from gaining access to roof areas.
  • Install bird netting to block birds from gaining access to desired nesting or roosting sites
  • Treat abandoned bird nests with suitable insecticide to kill off any bird lice or bird mites which may remain after birds have been removed.

Problem 5 -
Birds become pests on aerodromes because of the large areas, sometimes partially grassed. They are a problem to propeller-driven aircraft, but a great hazard to jet aircraft, where they can be sucked into the jet engines on take-off and landing. The main offenders here are the silver gulls.

Control Solutions

  • Reduce the available food sources that encourage birds to enter the area i.e seedling grasses and plants
  • Sometimes the use of birds of prey such as hawks and eagles can be used to scare away pest birds.
  • Bird scare guns or propane cannons can also be used to scare birds away from these areas.

Problem 6 -
Histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and aspergillosis are fungus diseases in bird droppings and the spores from these become airborne and inhaled by those nearby. These diseases produce symptoms in humans similar to influenza but can develop into more serious illnesses in susceptible people or those with reduced immunity. Pigeons, because of their roosting habits, are the main offenders.

Problem 7 -
A food poisoning bacterium (Salmonella) can be contracted by humans from bird droppings. Several birds can be offenders in this regard including pigeons.

Problem 8 -
One problem causing community concern is the displacement of native bird species by more aggressive species, either other natives, such as the Noisy miner or by introduced species, such as the Indian myna.

What Kinds of Common Bird Species are There?

The list below are some of Australia's main pest species of birds. It describes their characteristics and behaviour patterns.

Origin: Introduced
Colour: Various tones of grey with darker bars
Size: 300-350mm
Nesting Habits: Nests of twigs in warehouses, ceilings, roof girders, etc
No. of Eggs: 1-2 eggs in each clutch several times a year
General Comments: Now domesticated; eats food scraps in cities and towns, occurs in grain terminals, defaces buildings, etc

Indian MynaMyna Bird
Origin: Introduced
Colour: Brown & white, dark green neck area, yellow beak and legs
Size: 250mm
Nesting Habits: Nests in roof cavities, palm trees and sheltered areas
No. of Eggs: 4-5 Glossy, pale blue eggs in spring and summer
General Comments: Numbers increasing in city areas. Feeds on insects and food scraps


European StarlingEuropean Starling
Origin: Introduced
Colour: Dark brown to black with a greenish sheen
Size: 200mm
Nesting Habits: Nests in roof cavities
No. of Eggs: 6 pale blue eggs twice a year
General Comments: Suburban or town pests; sometimes flocks are large and feed on grains and insects

English SparrowEnglish Sparrow
Origin: Introduced
Colour: Male- Grey and brown; light bar on wings; dark throat. Female- darker underneath; no dark throat
Size: 110-120mm
Nesting Habits: Nests of grass and fibre; in ceilings, under eaves; wherever there is shelter.
No. of Eggs: 5-6 speckled eggs; 3-4 times a year
General Comments: Pests in orchards, gardens, etc. Bird lice and mite problems; eats insects

Spotted Turtle Dove

Spotted Turtle Dove
Origin: Introduced
Colour: Grey Head; black and grey spotted neck; brownish back and wings
Size: 300-320mm
Nesting Habits: Frail structures built in small trees and shrubs
No. of Eggs: 2 white eggs, twice a year in summer
General Comments: Not a serious pest but may destroy seeds and beds of plants


Silver Gull (Seagull)Silver Gull
Origin: Native
Colour: White with grey on the wings; red legs
Size: 300-350mm
Nesting Habits: Shallow holes in the ground lined with grass
No. of Eggs: 3-4 eggs with brown markings
General Comments: Generally a useful scavenger, but occurs on aerodromes when garbage disposal nearby; often comes in from the sea in wet weather.














What Kinds of Prevention & Control Methods Are There?

Birds frequently become pests, and control measures must be taken to relieve the many pest problems created by their presence. Preventive measures such as bird spikes and bird netting are preferred to killing, for it should be realised that in most instances where birds have become pests it is due to situations and environments created by human beings. Killing birds is not only an unpopular measure but often it is also unnecessary, as other measures sometimes exist.

Methods of reducing bird  problems are listed below, but each case must be considered on its merits.

Deterrent Methods
If buildings were well designed, providing no suitable ledges for roosting, bird problems would be minimal in city areas. When old buildings have chronic bird problems fine wire may be placed vertically over openings or monuments, thus causing birds to become frightened when they fly into it. Holes in roof areas, walls and other structures may be sealed using a fine wire mesh. Excluding birds is more satisfactory than killing or trapping thus causing them to seek other more acceptable environments.

There are bird nets which do not affect the natural lighting and are effective in preventing birds from alighting on window sills, and which have particular value in protecting factories, courtyards and fire escapes.

There are physical deterrents such as strips of polycarbonate with sharp, pointed upright pieces along its length. These are commonly known as bird spikes and can be full polycarbonate, stainless steel spikes with polycarbonate base or full stainless steel. The bird spike strips are glued to ledges, walls and window sills where pigeons land and roost. The bird spike strips are positioned so that pigeons are deterred from landing on their favoured spots. The structures are durable and will remain in place and effective for many years.

One product that has proved successful consists of fine stainless steel rods that can be applied to irregular surfaces. Steel coils can also be attached to ledges to deter birds from landing.

The aircraft problem is reduced by draining aerodrome areas and adjacent land and also ensuring that food is not available. The location of airports is critical for they must not be near major food-handling facilities and garbage areas. Removal of seeding grasses and plants also assists in reducing the problem.

Pest species of birds have different food requirements and nesting habits, and these aspects must be taken into account when modifying the environment for control.

Repellent gels which are placed on favoured roosting sites such as window sills, ledges and internal structural beams have been used for many years. This method of control merely drives birds from one situation to another. The gel remains soft, causing the birds to have an insecure sensation underfoot, which eventually leads to their flight. These gels have the disadvantage of catching airborne dust and debris and finally must be removed. They are applied with a caulking gun, usually in 5 mm strips and 10 cm between strips.

When fruit trees, grape vines and other food-bearing plants are attacked by birds a fine netting is placed over them to protect and prevent birds from gaining access to the fruit.

Sound used at roosting time may be used with success, but birds do become accustomed to explosions from guns and fireworks. Ultrasonic sound has been used with only limited success.

Fluttering and coloured plastic strips, flashing lights, reflective CD's and mirrors have only limited value for a brief period.

The use of cardboard or plastic replicas of large predatory birds have proved very useful, although they be left one site for long periods, but only exposed for short and critical periods of the birds roosting and feeding activities. Birds soon accept these if they are not regularly moved.

Birds may be trapped in cages, but this is very time consuming, for the traps must be attended daily to replace food. Traps have very limited value, for the birds must be destroyed when trapped. This is an unpleasant task, and it must be done discreetly to avoid public criticism. Trapping is most effective for controlling pigeons, sparrows and indian mynas.

Before any poisoning is contemplated the relevant state authority must be contacted and the bird species and the proposed poison discussed, for laws differ in the various states. Poisoning should be used only when other methods fail. Even though most pest birds are introduced, public feeling is aroused hen birds are killed and found on streets and parks. The food to receive the poison must be chosen carefully and must suit the species of bird.

This is sometimes of value to prevent birds from roosting in certain areas. Disapproval of this method is widespread and it is seldom an option for areas in towns and cities.