How to Stop Seagulls and Pigeons Nesting on Chimneys

You were looking forward to your Sunday morning lie-in yet all you can hear is the squark of seagulls echoing down your chimney! Don’t fret, we have a Defender® product to help!

Pigeons and seagulls love to perch on the highest part of a house – it’s a great view, it's safe from predators and they can see exactly where their next meal is coming from. Unfortunately, birds particularly seagulls are very vocal and the noise resounds loudly down a chimney. If you are unlucky enough to have a roosting seagull on your open chimney pot you will have old nesting material, cracked eggs or even chicks fall down the chimney into the house potentially causing a fire risk.

The best time to proof your property against seagulls is outside of the breeding season. They start breeding in the early spring and can last until July. The bad news for homeowners is that seagulls will return year after year to the same nesting spot, not only that but once they start making a nest, it is illegal to remove it until it has been abandoned. If you want to read more on the subject of seagulls and the law on gull management, take a look at our blog The Laws That Affect Pigeons, Seagulls and You..

The best course of action is to start preparing in the autumn and winter when the birds are not around. The RSPCA says: ‘Anti-perching devices, such as spikes, are considered to be one of the most humane ways of trying to minimise problems caused by nesting birds’.

There are several things to consider before deciding which Defender® Spikes are best for your chimney.

Can I birdproof an open chimney?

First, as discussed, make sure it’s the right time of year and there are no active nesting birds. Then check to see if your chimney pot is uncapped or open. If there is no cap in place, the best product is the Defender® Chimney Pot Spikes. This is an all-stainless steel metal strip which is just over a metre in length. It requires no tools to fit, it simply wraps around the top of the pot or flue. It has a hook and spring at one end which hooks into any of the holes around the strap to securely fit. It can fit any shape pot, square or round. It will also wrap over itself for smaller pots to fit perfectly and can be joined with another strap for an extra large pot. The 23 cm pins hug the lip of the pot, pointing upwards and don’t allow any birds, pigeons or seagulls room to stand on the pot. The Defender® Chimney Pot Spike also comes with a 25-year ‘No-Rust’ warranty, so there is no fear of rust stains running down your property and once it is fitted it will stay in place for decades. A chimney sweep brush will just move through it and not disturb it, and neither will Father Christmas!

Can I fix bird spikes to a capped chimney?

Often a chimney pot has a cap fitted into the top to prevent rain, wind and smoke from flowing into the property. However, they do create the perfect flat stable surface for a gull to perch or nest. In this case, the best way to proof is to fit Defender® Seagull Spikes. These work just like normal bird spikes and work on deterring pigeons but they have extra long pins allowing for the longer legged seagull. For the average size cap, no more than 2 strips of seagull spike are needed. The plastic bases have snapping points all along the length. Depending on the size of the cap, we would suggest one strip down the centre and 2 half-strips on either side. They can be simply siliconed into position using Defender® Bird Spike Fixing Silicone.

How to stop gulls nesting on a curved chimney cap?

Another type of cap found on chimneys, especially redundant flues, is the half-round or clay bonnet hood chimney. In this scenario the top surface is curved. The best solution here is Defender® Curved Roof Ridge Spike. Just one strip will be needed to fully protect this hood. This spike has longer pins suitable for deterring seagulls but it also has added ‘anti-topple’ stabilisers at either end of the strip. These are gently curved, so hold the spike in position on the curve while the adhesive used for installation is curing. Again, simply apply adhesive along the base and the stabilisers and push into position.

Should I bird spike other areas of the chimney?

It really is essential to consider installing bird spikes onto all areas of the chimney. Seagulls and pigeons will move to the next available area. We would suggest installing Defender® Seagull Spikes around the base of the pots on the chimney stack, making sure every inch is covered. Birds only need a gap of 2 inches to be able to perch on a ledge! Also, consider the base of the stack especially the V shape formed at the back where the stack meets the roof.

Finally, if you really want to go to town and ensure no more birds nest on or near your chimney, be prepared to install bird spikes along the ridges of the roof, on the TV aerials or satellite dishes and even on the gutters. Luckily, there are specialist Defender® Bird Spikes for all these areas.

I need help with bird-proofing my chimney.

Every property is unique and if you need help deciding what you need, how much you need and costs, please call us on 01626 835055 or email and we will be happy to have a chat and point you in the right direction.

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