by Alex A. Kecskes
Lately, you’ve noticed some really big birds swarming around your property. One look at these bad boys and you know you’re in for some serious bird droppings, noise, debris and perhaps even an attack or two on your dog or cat. You whip out your BB gun, take a few down and they scatter. But the next day they’re back with a vengeance, as if to pay you back for “taking out” a few of their own. They’ve also dropped a load or two on your car, boat and BBQ. After spending considerable time, soap, disinfectant and some major elbow grease in removing the acidic droppings, you realize short-term measures simply won’t do. Time to get some serious non-lethal bird control—time for Stainless Steel Bird Spikes.
You read about these spiked strips. They get the job done. Birds just can land anywhere near them, so they wing it to another neighborhood and wreak havoc on their property. You also heard about plastic bird spikes. They’re less expensive, but some of these will crack and turn to straw after a few hot summers. There’s also iron bird spikes, but you know that a good rainy season will turn them into rust. And when they rust, they leave those ugly brown trails down your property, tracks that make your building look like a haunted mansion.
Besides, you’re an all or nothing kind of person. You want the best, the longest lasting, the most durable spikes with the most humungous guarantee. Stainless steel spikes are your choice. They’re ideal for achieving bird control in Light to Heavy Bird Pressure environments—in enclosed or exposed areas.
So what’s Bird Pressure? It’s a metric that establishes how determined pest birds are in staying on your property. Heavy pressure areas will have lots of birds nesting or roosting at the site with a food or water source nearby. Medium Pressure is often a food or afternoon resting site, but not used for nesting or roosting. Light Pressure sites offer no food or shelter and birds stop only briefly during the day. You’ve concluded that you have a really heavy pressure situation, so you opt for stainless steel.
Where to install them? The experts say to mount them on ledges, I-beams, parapet walls, conduits and signs--on any flat or curved surface where pest birds tend to gather. You also like the choices you get with stainless steel bird spikes. These come in rows of spiked strips in 3-, 5- and 8-inch widths and two-foot sections. The 3-inch spikes offer 2 to 4 inches of bird deterrence on a 5-inch wide ledge; the 5-inch spikes give you 5 to 7-inches of protection on a 7-inch wide ledge; and the 8-inch spikes provide 8 to 10 inches of deterrence on a 10-inch wide ledge. One manufacturer even offers a stainless steel spike with a patented “bend-and-crush” design for permanent installations. This bad boy is equipped with up to 40 spikes per foot in a linear array. This spike’s special “no-nest” design includes no-gap spacing to deter birds from roosting or landing. It’s obvious that some really brainy bird control experts put their heads together to design these spikes.
How to install them? You can use glue, nails or screws to keep stainless steel spikes in place. For best results, don’t leave any gaps wider than two inches between the spiked strips. For really wide ledges, use multiple rows of spikes and, again, limit the gap between rows to two inches or less.
Finally, remember this: Before installing bird spikes, the surface should be clean and dry. That means you’ll have to remove any loose rust, peeling paint, bird droppings, feathers and nesting materials. Birds are drawn to this debris and will think it’s “familiar territory.” You should also use commercial disinfecting cleaning agents to prevent exposure to any of the 60 known airborne diseases carried by birds. Use eye and respiratory protection if the area is heavily contaminated with droppings.