Do Bird Spikes Hurt Birds?

Do Bird Spikes Hurt Birds?

Posted on May 22, 2020 by Bird B Gone in Bird Spikes

Birds are well known and well-loved for their flying; who doesn’t enjoy seeing a graceful bird, with its magnificent wings spread wide, gliding across a beautiful blue sky? It’s a spectacle that can take your breath away. Sadly, birds don’t spend all of their time flying; they also spend considerable time loitering. Roosting is actually the word used to describe loitering birds, and the sight of a row of roosting pigeons on a roof line or a family of roosting seagulls on a dock railing or boat canopy is anything but magnificent. The fact is, roosting birds are a mess.

Why are roosting birds such a problem? First, it’s important to distinguish between the occasional, itinerant avian visitor and the birds that come in large groups to stay. This behavior, called communal roosting, is common among birds. Groups of birds of the same species repeatedly gather together in a chosen area when triggered by an environmental signal such as nightfall, rain fall, tide changes, or even observed human behaviors such as outdoor lunch time at a school or cleanup time at a fish market. (If you’ve ever thought that birds are watching you, you’re probably right.) Communal roosting provides a number of significant benefits to birds, including easier foraging, improved heat regulation, and increased protection from predators.

But, while communal roosting makes the birds’ lives easier, it makes human lives significantly harder. The biggest problem is, to put it delicately, bird poop. Roosting birds leave behind droppings that are unsightly, corrosive, and potentially toxic. It doesn’t take long for popular roosting areas to be covered with streaks of salt-and-pepper-colored trails of bird droppings; this highly noticeable evidence of communal roosting looks terrible, destroys property values, and possibly even hurts business. Signs, windowsills, rooftops, railings, and walls can be permanently damaged by the buildup of bird droppings. Droppings are corrosive enough to eat through almost any building material; concrete, wood, stone, iron, and steel are no match for bird poop. Significant accumulations of droppings will ruin cloth awnings, damage paint, and even short out electrical equipment. And, as if that weren’t enough, bird droppings are also toxic. Scientists have found over 60 different diseases and parasites existing in bird droppings. Ingesting droppings (accidentally of course) can cause stomach upset and inhaling them can cause problems with lungs and breathing. For health and safety reasons, birds simply cannot be allowed to regularly roost near humans.

So what’s the solution?

Bird Spikes to the Rescue

By far, the best way to prevent costly, unsightly, dangerous bird damage is to strategically employ physical barriers that prevent birds from roosting, and nothing does this better than bird spikes. Bird spikes have been used for well over 50 years as a simple yet powerful deterrent against pest birds congregating on ledges, sills, pipes, chimneys, signs, gutters, and any other narrow horizontal surface. The first bird spikes, also called porcupine wire strips, were used in the 1950s to protect structures on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farm near Gettysburg, PA. Rumor has it that this first installation is still in place and working today. Bird spikes are a time-tested solution to the problems caused by roosting nuisance birds. In addition to providing powerful, lasting protection against roosting birds, they are easy to use and easy on the eyes, a powerful and effective combination.

A Humane Solution

Before we get too far into the  many advantages bird spikes offer, it’s important to address the obvious questions: do the spikes hurt birds? The answer is a resounding, “ No.” In fact, the chances of a bird hurting themselves on a spike is virtually zero. For one thing, the design of a spike system is safe. Spikes are dull and somewhat flexible; contact with spikes is uncomfortable, but never harmful. Additionally, birds are pretty savvy about avoiding danger and, when they see spikes, they know to stay away. You can install bird spikes on your property with a completely clear conscience.


Bird Control Spikes offer a number of distinct advantages when it comes to controlling pest birds. These include the following:

Bird Control Spikes are Effective and Safe

Spikes work to deter birds by preventing them from roosting comfortably. When birds try to land, the spikes prevent them from getting a foothold without getting prodded uncomfortably in the bum. Spikes are available in different lengths; the bigger the bird you need to deter, the longer the spikes need to be. It’s important to know that painfully impaling the birds is not the aim of spikes; bird spikes have dull tips that will not harm birds. The long spikes simply serve to completely keep the birds’ feet from being to reach the surface, thus preventing any kind of roosting.

Bird Spikes are Easy to Install

Spikes come in preassembled, flexible strips that are generally around 2 -3 feet in length. For permanent installations, simply pipe a line of recommended adhesive down the glue channel at the bottom of the strip and press into place. For temporary installations, strips can be nailed, screwed, or even tied down with plastic zip ties. Professional installation is not required; setting up bird spikes is well within the skills of any DIYer.

Bird Spikes Offer Lasting Protection

Bird control spikes will protect the area for years, in some cases a lifetime, with almost no maintenance. Strips are designed to withstand harsh, changing weather conditions without degradation or loss of protection.

Bird Spikes Have Little to No Impact on the Surrounding Area

They don’t interfere with electrical or communication transmissions. They are visually unobtrusive, especially from a distance, and are available in different colors for even better blending. The only thing you’ll notice once bird control spikes are installed is the absence of birds.

Strategies for Success

Any successful bird control program requires a carefully thought out strategic approach and bird spikes are no exception. If you’re ready to give the finest bird control product on the market a try, consider first the following:

Clean Up First

Birds are profoundly attracted to bird messes including droppings and nesting materials. A critical component of bird control is cleaning up the evidence of prior bird habitation. If the bird infestation was significant, the mess left behind needs to be cleared away by trained professionals with the skills and equipment needed to clean up the mess safely and thoroughly.

Prep the Surface

Installation of bird spikes is pretty basic, but some minimal prep is required to help the adhesive do its job. The surface needs to be clean and dry before putting bird spike strips in place. If you are replacing old strips, scrape away any and all remaining adhesive.

Measure the Length and Width of the Space

This will determine the number of strips you need to cover the area and the width of the spikes required. Bird spikes need to hang over the outer edge by a minimum of 1/2" and be no more than 1" from the back wall. Full coverage of the width of the area will prevent Pigeons or Seagulls from landing in front of or behind the spikes. Spike strips come in varying widths to guarantee ample coverage or, if needed, you can use multiple rows of spike strips to cover wider ledges. The experts at Bird B Gone will help you get the strips you need.

Plan to Protect the Entire Area

Birds are truly creatures of habit and will instinctively return to the same place time after time. If your bird spikes prevent them from roosting in their usual spot, they’ll simply roost in another spot close by. If it’s your goal to keep nuisance birds entirely away from your property, you need to place spikes in every location where nuisance birds could potentially roost.

Use the Right Adhesive

Bird B Gone has several adhesives to recommend, but, in general, you need to use an outdoor construction grade adhesive to permanently secure your bird control spike strips. Once strips are glued to the surface, you can use screws or nails for additional security.

Choose the Right Spikes

Our bird spikes come in the standard size of 4 ¾" and mega size of 7" tall. If smaller birds like seagulls and pigeons are your problem, choose shorter spikes. If larger birds such as cormorants or turkey vultures are your problem, you need longer spikes. These long-legged birds need longer spikes to prevent them from roosting. If you have any questions about which spikes you need, talk to a bird control specialist at Bird B Gone.

With careful attention to each of these issues, you’ll have no trouble successfully protecting your property for years to come with bird control spikes.

Which Spikes?

As mentioned above, choosing the right spikes is a critical component of a successful bird control strategy. Bird B Gone offers a number of bird control spike products to address a variety of nuisance bird problems. The following is a quick comparison to get you started:

Plastic Bird Spikes Stainless Steel Bird Spikes Mega Bird Spikes Gutter Bird Spikes
Humane and harmless X X X X
Material UV-protected polycarbonate Stainless steel spikes mounted in UV-protected polycarbonate base Stainless steel spikes mounted in UV-protected polycarbonate base Stainless steel spikes mounted in UV-protected polycarbonate base
Easy to install X X X X
Can be glued, screwed, or tied down to most surfaces X X X Thumbscrews and c clamps make gutter installation easy
No maintenance X X X X
Virtually invisible X X X X
Super strong and unbreakable X X X X
Various strip widths 3 in., 5 in., 7 in. widths 1 in, 3 in, 5 in, and 8 in widths One width available One width available
Ledge coverage 1 in to 8 in 1 in to 9 in 5 in Gutters up to ¾ inch
Will not cut or injure installer X X X X
Pre-assembled two-foot sections X X X X
Glue trough on base X X X
Non-conductive X
U.V. protected and weatherproof. Handles extreme temperatures (+310°F to -200°F). Rust proof. X X X X
Notched strip makes no tools necessary X X X X
Ideal for use on flat or curved surfaces X X
Manufactured by Bird B Gone, Inc. in the USA X X X X
Guarantee 5 years 10 years 10 years 10 years
Bird species Pigeons or seagulls Pigeons or seagulls Pigeons, seagulls, cormorants, vultures, large birds Pigeons or seagulls
Bird Pressure Light to heavy Light to heavy Light to medium Light to medium

Trust Bird B Gone

Bird B Gone is your #1 resource for a full range of bird control solutions. We aren’t here to simply sell products; we’re here to solve bird problems. Call us today to discuss how we can help you get rid of nuisance birds and keep them away.