How to Install Defender® Bird & Pigeon Spikes

The Defender® range of bird spikes has been specifically designed so anyone with a basic knowledge of DIY can install them quickly and easily. No specialist knowledge or complicated measuring is required. There is no need to hire a professional installation company.

Please read the general step-by-step guide for an overview of bird spike installation before moving on to the individual product guides. The detailed guide below covers a whole range of scenarios that you may encounter and gives a full explanation of how to fully birdproof your property. However, every Defender® Bird Spike product has its detailed guide covering specific installation requirements.

If you have any questions, call us on 01626 835055. We have many years of experience in bird proofing and are here to help in any way we can.

How to install Defender® Bird Spikes - Quick Video Guide

This quick video demonstrates how easy it is to install Defender® Bird Spikes. Watch this before attempting to install bird spikes around your property or to help you decide which Defender® bird control product is the right choice for you.

How to install Bird & Pigeon Spikes - Detailed Guide

Step 1: Choosing the correct Defender® Bird Spike Products

The Defender® Bird Spike range has a spike suitable for pigeons, seagulls and even small garden birds like sparrows. Deciding what bird your issue is caused by is the first step. We have a range of spikes for pigeons - these will stop pigeons and like sized birds. Our spikes for seagulls have taller pins to allow for the gulls longer legs. It is important to remember that they will also work for pigeons. We also have a spike for small birds - stopping small garden birds like sparrows and starlings but also the larger birds like pigeons and seagulls too.

Look all around the property, as there may be more than one area the birds are using. Once the primary bird issue has been identified, it is a good idea to check above the initial mess as birds often perch on higher ledges, and their droppings, twigs, etc., will fall onto lower ledges. All these areas will need to be spiked to ensure the property is properly proofed and the birds will not return.

Step 2: Safety first

Due to the nature of bird control issues, the areas needing to be proofed will often be high up on your property and hard to access. If you intend to do the bird-proofing yourself, you must be confident using ladders and working at height. If you cannot do the work yourself, please get in touch with a roofer, pest control company or handyman to assist you.

Step 3: Choosing the correct product

Next, you need to measure the width and depth of the area that needs protecting with a tape measure. Choose the most appropriate size Defender® Bird Spike bearing in mind that any area greater than 2.5 cm should be proofed. If you are ever unsure – call us on 01626 835055, and we can help advise on what products you may need.

Spikes For Pigeons
Narrow Spikes: Ledge Depth up to 75 mm
Wide Spikes: Ledge Depth up to 150 mm
Extra Wide Spikes: Ledge Depth up to 225 mm

Spikes For Seagulls
Gull Spikes: Ledge Depth up to 200 mm
Use two or more rows for deeper areas, leaving no gaps between the outer pins.

Spikes For All Birds
Defender Thistle: Ledge Depth up to 90 mm
Use two or more rows for deeper areas, leaving no gaps between the outer pins.

There are many scenarios where birds can cause problems, such as roosting on chimney pots, nesting under solar panels and sitting in gutters. We have a solution for all these issues and have created a visual guide to help you understand which products can be used where - this can be viewed here Not Sure What to Buy?.

Most of the Defender® range comes in strips of 33.3 cm, so three strips end to end will cover one linear metre. All strips feature snappable grooves along the base, which can quickly be snapped by hand into smaller sections so that a length can be perfectly finished. They are also available in 304 Grade Stainless Steel, or UV Stabilised Polycarbonate Plastic. Both variations are precisely the same in their effectiveness in deterring birds. However, the stainless steel spikes come with a more extended 25 Year "No-Rust" Warranty when installed in the UK, whilst plastic spikes come with a 15 Year warranty.

Step 4: Cleaning before installation

Every area that needs proofing will need to be thoroughly cleaned. If you have safe access to the site, installation and cleaning can be performed by anyone with basic DIY skills. As this can be a messy job, we suggest wearing suitable PPE, including overalls, gloves, and goggles. A mask is also important to avoid breathing in any dust that dry droppings could generate. This dust can aggravate the lungs and can contain pathogens when inhaled. Precautions should always be taken on heavily soiled areas.

Prepare with a bucket of soapy water, a scraper, sponge or old cloths and a stiff brush. A heavy-duty bin bag can be useful for collecting debris. Consider a disinfectant, such as Germ Clear™ Bird Droppings Disinfectant Spray to dampen down the area, limiting any dust from flying around. Germ Clear™ will kill any harmful bacteria in the bird guano.

First, spray the area with a disinfectant to soften and loosen dried droppings. If using Germ Clear™, leave to soak for a minimum of 5 minutes. Then use the scraper to remove the excess droppings or nesting debris into the bin bag; repeat this process several times. When all the loose debris is removed, including moss, lichen, dirt and dust, use the stiff brush, sponge and soapy water to remove any remaining residue until completely clean. Once completed, the cleaned areas must be left to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before installation.

There is some more in-depth reading on risks associated with bird droppings and cleaning here - Cleaning Bird Droppings Information

Step 5: Applying the silicone and positioning

Our Defender® Bird Spike Fixing Silicone can be used on most clean, dry surfaces such as wood, glass, steel, concrete and brick. It is the user’s responsibility to determine the suitability of use. If you are unsure about the surface, stick down one piece of bird spike, leave it for 24 hours, and then try to pull it up.

A caulking gun is required when using Defender® Fixing Silicone. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one in our accessories section, and if you have not used one before we have "How to use a Caulking Gun Guide" here.

Apply a bead of adhesive along the base of the spike; about 8 mm is standard; however, more silicone may be required for uneven surfaces. The bird spikes must be placed along the front of the ledge to protect the leading edge. Press down firmly along the strip. The silicone will ooze through the holes along the base, which, when cured, will create a lock holding the bird spikes firmly in place. In some circumstances, it may be easier to screw or nail the spikes into position. The holes along the base can also be used for this if required. Repeat along the full length of the ledge.

Step 6: Snappable sections

All our Defender® Bird Spikes have snappable sections along the base and can easily be snapped using your fingers into smaller pieces. This helps when you finish a row or need to spike smaller or uneven areas.

Step 7: Adding additional rows

Add extra rows behind the first if needed. Leave as small a gap as possible between the rows; the pins should be almost touching to prevent the pigeons or seagulls from gaining access. Leave no gap bigger than 2.5 cm anywhere to prevent a pigeon or seagull from gaining a foothold.

Step 8: Full protection

If areas above the installation are left unprotected, birds landing here can cause further issues. Over time persistent pigeons or birds may drop or knock nesting debris onto the spikes from the upper ledge, creating a new nesting area on top of the spikes. If the higher ledges are disregarded, this scenario can render the installation of the spikes pointless. It is, therefore, imperative the whole property is protected with spikes.

Step 9: Holes and cavities

If there are holes or cavities in the building, putting bird spikes in front of these cavities will not work as a stand-alone solution. Any birds nesting or roosting in these areas will overcome the spikes to regain access to the space behind. These holes must be checked for birds and active nests to avoid trapping live birds. Once blocked off and secured, the ledge can be spiked as above.

Step 10: Check for damage

Check the installation periodically and remove and replace any broken strips of bird spikes. Maintenance contractors can inadvertently damage spikes, and these gaps could provide an ideal roost or nesting spot.

If you ever get stuck, have a question or need advice on installing bird spikes, please get in touch with us on 01626 835055, and we will be happy to help over the phone. All our advice is free, and we would love to help you eliminate your bird problem.

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