The History of Defender® Bird Spikes

Jones and Son Pest Control Supplies Ltd was established in 1997 by husband and wife David and Kursty Jones. David previously ran a pest control business which covered London and beyond with a team of pest control technicians treating anything from a wasp nest, rats, and bedbugs to birds. It quickly became apparent that the cost of buying bird spikes from abroad meant that many jobs were prohibitive to the average householder once costs and labour had been accounted for. David got his thinking cap on!

David took inspiration from what was around him, much to Kursty’s chagrin. She found him one morning still sitting at the kitchen table from the night before, surrounded by all her hairbrushes and clips. All completely broken and deconstructed; however, in the middle of the table, David had created from the bits and bobs the prototype of a Defender® Bird Spike.

At this point, the newlyweds lived in an unassuming flat above a shop in a North London high street, where Jones and Son Pest Control Supplies Ltd began trading from. It wasn’t easy in the beginning; being above shops meant all the boxes of spikes had to be carried up dangerous Victorian metal staircases through their flat and stored in the attic. Of course, when an order came in, the boxes had to be brought back down again.

As time went on, the pest control part of the business was dissolved, and David and Kursty began to concentrate purely on bird control; they even took to the road and did a series of roadshows around the country for bird control pest technicians. Kursty was pregnant with their first child and seriously considered calling him Spike when he was born; in hindsight, they are glad they were talked out of that one!

At first, the polycarbonate spikes were made by a London-based injection moulding company which worked well while David and Kursty moved around trying to find a place to settle and bring up their growing young family. They went on a family caravan holiday to Devon in 2001, loved it so much they sold their house in under a month and uprooted everything to move to Dartmouth in Devon. It wasn’t easy at first, with just David and Kursty running it all and the courier company having to pick up any bird spike orders from wherever David had parked his van the night before.

The Defender® Bird Spike Team in the Devon Warehouse

Moving to Devon

Finally, David and Kursty found the perfect warehouse in Newton Abbot to put down roots and grow Jones and Son Pest Control Supplies Ltd into what we know today. They realised that they needed to do all the manufacturing in-house to have complete quality control over the products they were selling. They acquired their first injection moulding machine to begin production of their polycarbonate spikes and bases. David was forced to learn about injection moulding and writing and applying for the various patents needed a steep learning curve!

If you would like to see some of the bird spike products that we manufacture today please click here.

Over the years, we have added more injection moulding machines and now have several modern injection moulding machines by Arburg and KraussMaffei. They are compact, efficient and, most notably to the warehouse staff, quiet! Robots have been added to these machines to make production more efficient, which can pick up, stack and pack the completed Defender® spikes. David also found a reconditioned Second World War Heenan Froude wire forming machine that originally made components for the anti-aircraft guns that protected London. Jones and Son now use it to bend all stainless steel wires to size and shape. It was destined for landfill and has turned out to be one of the best investments, as it can churn out over 200 wires per minute.

The staff has grown naturally over the years, for which David and Kursty are very thankful. There is a full warehouse spike assembly team who inserts every wire into the Defender® bases by hand. There is a dedicated despatch and packaging team, an outstanding sales team, a dynamic projects and marketing team and David! Kursty and David are proud to now be able to design, patent, manufacture, supply and despatch all the Defender® Bird Spike range from our little Devon warehouse. They even produce and design all their marketing materials and write and update the website.

As for the future, David continues to design and invent solutions to prevent birds from landing on ledges and Kursty deals with the day-to-day running behind the scenes. The 3 Jones family children have all worked in the warehouse at some time or another, and the eldest is currently taking his master's in conservation biology with the thought of becoming the in-house scientist, so watch this space!

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