On the same day my push-button light switches arrived in the mail, another package was waiting for me also: pigeon spikes and adhesive shipped all the way from jolly ol’ England.
I’ve been battling these belligerent birds for months now. I sweep away their nests; they build new ones. I thin the flock; other birds take their place. As winter approaches, my last effort of the season is to eliminate their favorite perching and nesting spots with spikes before the impending snow and ice force a stalemate until spring.
One of the pigeons’ favorite places to perch is the top of the brackets below the roof of the addition on the back of the house. The other brackets on the house have plywood sheets nailed to them to bridge the space between the top of the bracket and the underside of the roof, but the three on the addition are open on top. The droppings that fall from these perches make a terrible mess in the back yard where our son and dog play, so these are about the worst possible location for unmanaged pigeon perches.
Climbing up the full two stories up the ladder to the brackets was no small feat for a recovering acrophobe, but after a couple trial runs without tools, I was comfortable enough with the ladder and the height to try installing the pigeon deterrent spikes.
First, a bit about the spikes: The variety I chose have four rows of wire spikes spreading eight inches wide and mounted on a thirteen-inch-long plastic base. The base is perforated every inch to allow the spike strips to be shortened easily by hand simply by snapping the strip at one of these joints. The base also has small star-shaped holes that are used to affix the spikes, either by driving screws through the holes, or by providing a keyhole for silicone adhesive applied to the back of the spikes to flow up and lock the spike in place. It’s a clever design. I also like the fact that these spikes covered 8 inches of width with a single strip– some other varieties cover only half that width. This means that I was able to use just one row of spikes on the six-inch-wide brackets. It also gave me more efficient coverage of the relatively large areas under the roof overlaps which have been popular nesting areas for the pigeons.
The installation procedure for the pigeon spikes is straightforward:
- Wear appropriate safety gear including long sleeves, gloves, goggles and respirator to protect yourself from germ-infested droppings
- Clear away any nest material, droppings or other debris–use a hose or a water bucket and rag to remove dried droppings and minimize dust.
- Dry lay the spikes in place and adjust for size
- Apply a liberal bead of silicone adhesive to the back of the first spike strip
- Press the spikes in place, making sure the adhesive “keys” through the holes in the base
- Repeat the last two steps for each remaining strip of spikes
Yes and no. My ladder isn’t tall enough to reach the bracket at the peak of the roof on the addition, so the most popular perch in the back is still available. I haven’t seen any birds in the places I installed the spikes, but pigeons have a way of finding other nearby places to perch when their favorite one is taken away.