Bird Deterrent Bird Spikes - Specialist Applications

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Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Overview
This product review will focus on bird deterrent bird spikes that have been designed for specialist bird control applications including: Defender Seagull Spikes™, Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™, Defender Ridge Spikes™, Defender Rocking Spider™, Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™, Defender Open Window Spikes™ and Defender TV Aerial Spikes™.

Although bird deterrent bird spikes, that are designed for specialist applications, certainly have considerable relevance to pigeons, most will effectively deter other bird species as well. A good example of a specialist bird deterrent bird spike is the Defender Chimney Pot Spike™, which is an ideal anti-roosting product for the control of pigeons but which would also deter seagulls and jackdaws.

Defender Rocking Spider™

Defender Rocking Spider™

Specialist bird deterrent bird spikes are used in every town and city throughout the world. Most are designed to be fixed with a silicone adhesive enabling them to be installed onto a variety of surfaces as a means of deterring most species of wild bird although the systems are most commonly used against pigeons. Bird deterrent bird spikes are virtually invisible once installed making them ideal where the aesthetics of a building are important.

For this review we will focus on the Defender™ range of specialist bird deterrent bird spikes. The Defender brand of bird spikes are manufactured in the UK by Jones and Son who are renowned for their extremely high quality products. The extensive range of specialist bird spikes in this review are unique to Pigeon Control Resource Centre.

We will now look at each of the specialist bird deterrent bird spikes individually.

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ offer a unique means of protecting any sized chimney pot from perching or nesting birds. This product was originally designed solely for use as a gull deterrent to stop noisy gulls perching on chimney pots and soiling both the chimney stack and the roof tiles. The product also resolves one of the most disruptive gull-related problems – noise. Gulls will commonly sit on the lip of a chimney pot, particularly during the breeding period, and the noise that is transferred down the chimney to fireplaces in the property below can be deafening and extremely disruptive to the occupants. Sleep patterns can be disturbed, as gulls start their mating cries at 4 a.m. Soiling of the roof tiles and chimney stack can also be extreme. The Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ resolve these problems instantly. Gulls will also attempt to build nests in larger chimney pots and this will not only cause debris to fall down the chimney, often blocking the flue, but can result in gull chicks falling down as well. Noise is also a major factor. The Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ will also stop gulls nesting in chimney pots.

Gulls are not the only birds that use chimney pots for breeding. Jackdaws and occasionally other species of birds will build nests in chimney pots with similar problems to those that are experienced with gulls. Wood pigeons and collared doves also commonly use the lip of a chimney pot for perching and, as with gulls, the resultant noise can be highly disruptive with property owners complaining of being awoken in the early hours of the morning.

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™

Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ can be installed in seconds courtesy of the unique flexible strap with its quick-fix spring clasp. The flexible 1.1 metre strap will wrap around any chimney pot irrespective of circumference or whether it is round or square. For smaller pots any excess strap will simply wrap around itself. The strap is pulled tight around the chimney pot and then locked into position with the quick-fix spring clasp. This operation takes about 10 seconds and providing safe access is available, and health and safety considerations have been met, the Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ can be installed as a DIY installation.

Another major benefit of Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ is that they are completely reversible should maintenance work need to be undertaken to the chimney pot – the strap is simply removed and replaced once work has been completed. The chimney can also be safely swept with the Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ in situ, as the brushes simply pass through the protruding spikes and retract again without causing problems for the chimney sweep or dislodging the bird spikes. Chimney cowls are another option for protecting a chimney pot, but in order for the chimney to be swept the cowl must be removed and then replaced, which will require access to the roof.

The protruding pins of the Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™are 200mm high and have a diameter of 2mm. The whole assembly is constructed from high-grade stainless steel. The Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™, as with all Defender™ products, are sold with a free ‘how to install’ CD. The Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™ have a 12-year warranty.

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Defender Ridge Spikes™

Defender Ridge Spikes™ in Grey

Defender Ridge Spikes™ in Grey

Defender Ridge Spikes™ are a cheap, easy and effective method of protecting the ridge tiles of any roof. All wild birds will choose the highest point of a property to perch, either for the purpose of protecting a territory, as a vantage point to exploit a food source or simply as a predator-free perching place. The other area of a roof that birds will commonly perch and roost is the chimney pot and/or chimney stack, which have already been dealt with in the previous section. The birds that most commonly cause problems as a result of perching on ridge tiles are the feral pigeon and the seagull. In both cases the Defender Ridge Spikes™ will resolve all perching-related problems instantly.

Defender Ridge Spikes™ are available in two colours in order to blend in with virtually any coloured roof tile: terracotta and dark grey. The product will fit snugly to any ridge tile courtesy of its V-shaped base and can be installed in minutes by using Defender Fixing Silicones™. Defender Ridge Spikes™ do not require the services of a specialist contractor and can be installed as a DIY option, assuming that access and health and safety considerations have been fully met. The only other product that may be recommended for the purpose of protecting Defender Ridge Spikes™ in Terracotta

Defender Ridge Spikes™
in Terracotta

ridge tiles is the post and wire system, but the cost of the system and the invasive nature of the fixings render this product defunct in light of the ridge spike. Another drawback of the post and wire system is that the individual fixings are hard to source and as a result this system will normally require the services of a specialist contractor, adding to the cost and complexity of installing the system.

Technical specifications for the Defender Ridge Spikes™ are as follows:

  • The Defender Ridge Spikes™ will fully protect the ridge of a roof.
  • Spike base is constructed from ultraviolet light-stabilised polycarbonate (durable polycarbonate resin, product code HFV-1700).
  • Strip length is approximately 337mm.
  • Temperature resistance: no loss of mechanical strength at a temperature of 130°C.
  • The protruding pins are manufactured from 304-grade stainless steel and have a tensile strength of 1600N/mm.
  • The length of each pin is 150mm and has a diameter of approximately 1.42mm.
  • Bird spike height, measured from base to tip of highest pin, is 160mm.

The Defender Ridge Spikes™, as with all Defender™ products, are sold with a free ‘how to install’ CD. The Defender Ridge Spikes™ have a 12-year warranty.

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Defender Seagull Spikes™

Defender Seagull Spikes™

Defender Seagull Spikes™

Defender Seagull Spikes™ were invented by the Pigeon Control Resource Centre in 1995 in response to growing problems with roof-nesting gulls in towns and cities throughout the UK. Historically, councils and property owners had been using outdated methods of seagull control with products such as nylon bird netting, which is not only extremely expensive to install at height but which degrades rapidly, particularly when large birds such as seagulls come into contact with it. The Defender Seagull Spikes™ have revolutionised the way roof-nesting gulls are controlled with a simple and efficient product that can be installed in minutes by the property owner as a DIY installation and without the need to instruct a specialist contractor. Defender Seagull Spikes™ can be installed with Defender Fixing Silicone™ without the need to resort to invasive fixings, such as Rawl bolts that must be drilled into the fabric of the building to suspend products such as nylon bird netting. Although Defender Seagull Spikes™ can be installed as a DIY installation it is important to remember that if working at height health and safety issues must be first addressed prior to undertaking installation works.

Defender Seagull Spikes™

Defender Seagull Spikes™

The Defender Seagull Spike™ can be used to protect a wide variety of surfaces, as with all of the Defender™ range of bird spikes, but the most commonly used area of a residential property to find gull nests is on the chimney stack itself and in the V created by the chimney stack and the roof tiles. In both applications the Defender Seagull Spike™ is an ideal and comprehensive means of protecting these areas and can be installed simply by using Defender Fixing Silicone™. Other areas commonly used by gulls for perching and/or nesting are flat roof areas, parapets, ridge tiles, CCTV cameras, lamp posts and virtually any other area at height that provides the bird with a safe vantage point. All of these areas can be protected with Defender Seagull Spike™s. Flat roof areas are commonly used by gulls for the purposes of breeding and can be large and complex to protect. Using a combination of Defender Seagull Spikes™ and a product such as Scarey Man, also reviewed on our Products Review page, a large flat roof area can be comprehensively protected without the risk of gulls becoming trapped (with resultant welfare issues), as is sometimes the case when using products such as nylon bird netting.

Installation of Defender Bird Spikes is straightforward, as is the case with the entire Defender™ range, and installation options include both silicone and permanent fixings such as screws or nails. For larger areas, such as small to medium-sized flat roofs, Defender Seagull Spikes™ can be attached to batons and laid across the roofing felt, offering comprehensive protection and a completely reversible option should access be required to the roof for maintenance or any other reason.

The Defender Seagull Spike™ is similar to the conventional Defender 4™, Defender 8™ and Defender 12™ plastic and steel pigeon spike, but the steel pins are 40mm longer to accommodate the long legs found on all species of roof-nesting gull. Technical specification for the Defender Seagull Spike™ is as follows:

  • The Defender Seagull Spike™ will protect an area of up to 275mm.
  • Spike base is constructed from ultraviolet light-stabilised polycarbonate (durable polycarbonate resin, product code HFV-1700).
  • Strip length is approximately 337mm.
  • Temperature resistance: no loss of mechanical strength at a temperature of 130°C.
  • The protruding pins are manufactured from 304-grade stainless steel and have a tensile strength of 1600N/mm.
  • The length of each pin is 150mm and has a diameter of approximately 1.42mm.
  • Spike height, measured from base to tip of highest pin, is 157mm.

As with all Defender™ bird spikes, the Defender Seagull Spike™s are sold with a free ‘how to install’ CD. The Defender Seagull Spike™s have a 12-year warranty.

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Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™

Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™

Defender Starling &
Sparrow Spikes™

Defender Starling &Sparrow Spikes™ are a departure from the other products in the Defender™ range as they are wholly constructed from stainless steel (base and pins) and provide a staggering 240 pins per 620mm strip of product. This all-singing-all-dancing bird spike can be used to protect virtually any surface from any size of bird, ranging from large birds, such as seagulls and pigeons, all the way down to very small birds, such as starlings and sparrows. A single span of Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™ will protect an area of up to 100mm wide with no gaps between rows of pins, ensuring that large birds with long legs cannot stand between the pins.

This versatile bird spike is an ideal option for virtually any application but varies slightly in respect of fixing. Installation is still simple and straightforward, as with the entire Defender™ range, and can be undertaken as a DIY installation without the need to instruct a specialist contractor. As the base of the Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™ is narrow, and as the product is slightly heavier than a standard bird spike, each strip of spikes must be installed using 4 RB stabilising clips which hook around the base of the spike, protruding out at right angles, to stabilise the spike whilst the silicone is curing. The other option is to permanently install the RB clips to the surface to be protected, normally by screwing into place, allowing the spikes to be removed quickly and easily should access to the area be required and then the spikes can be clipped back into place.

The Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™ are slightly more expensive than the standard range of bird and pigeon spikes and therefore would normally only be used if the target species was small birds, based on the fact that larger birds can be deterred with the standard construction products in the Defender™ range. However, the product has a 25-year warranty as opposed to the 12-year warranty on the Defender™ stainless steel bird and pigeon spikes (and the 10-year warranty on the Defender™ plastic bird and pigeon spikes), so this suggests that longevity will be far greater and clearly justifies the higher price.

Technical specifications for the Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™ are as follows:

  • The Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™ will protect an area of up to 100mm.
  • The spike base and pins are constructed from 316-marine grade stainless steel.
  • Strip length is 620mm.
  • The length of each pin is 100mm and has a diameter of approximately 0.75mm.
  • Spike height, measured from base to tip of highest pin, is 100mm.

The Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™, as with all Defender™ products, are sold with a free 'how to install' CD. The Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™ have a 25-year warranty.

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Defender Rocking Spider™

Defender Rocking Spider™

Defender Rocking Spider™

The Defender Rocking Spider™ is a unique and innovative anti-perching system designed by Pigeon Control Resource Centre. The system is a cross between a conventional bird spike and products such as the Daddi Long Legs, another product reviewed on our Products Review page. The system is designed for low-pressure applications, where numbers of birds are not excessive, and for use with both pigeons and seagulls. Examples of where the product might be used would be the top of street lights, air conditioning housings, etc., and wide flat areas requiring total protection. The Defender Rocking Spider™ bird spike will protect a massive 1-metre width, making it an ideal choice for wide parapets and windowsills, particularly on period properties, where multiple rows of standard pigeon spikes would be required.

Defender Rocking Spider™

Defender Rocking Spider™

The Defender Rocking Spider™ bird spike consists of a conventional row of steel bird spikes housed in a polycarbonate base, identical to the standard Defender™ pigeon spike, but complimented by 20 fine wires, also protruding from the base but fanning out either side of the pins. These fine stainless steel wires are light enough to move in the gentlest of breezes or when touched, deterring any bird that comes into contact with them. What makes the Defender Rocking Spider™ even more unique and versatile is the ability to snap the product in half, providing two separate units for the protection of narrower surfaces. This well-thought out product offers numerous and wide-ranging applications and, due to the fine steel wires, it is also far less visible than virtually any other anti-roosting system, certainly in relation to the surface area that it will protect.

Defender Rocking Spider™

Defender Rocking Spider™

The Defender Rocking Spider™ bird spike is installed in the same way that any other bird spike system would be installed, normally with Defender Fixing Silicone™, and installation can be undertaken by the property owner without the need to instruct a specialist contractor. Installation is quick and easy, as with all bird spike systems, and completely reversible should access be required to the area to be protected.

Technical specifications for the Defender Rocking Spider™ are as follows:

  • The Defender Rocking Spider™ bird spike will protect an area of up to 1 metre.
  • Spike base is constructed from ultraviolet light-stabilised polycarbonate (durable polycarbonate resin, product code HFV-1700).
  • Temperature resistance: no loss of mechanical strength at a temperature of 130°C.
  • The protruding pins are manufactured from 304-grade stainless steel and have a tensile strength of 1600N/mm.
  • The length of each pin is 250mm and has a diameter of approximately 1.3mm.
  • Spike height, measured from base to tip of highest pin, is 150mm.

The Defender Rocking Spider™, as with all Defender™ products, is sold with a free 'how to install' CD. The Defender Rocking Spider™ has a 12-year warranty.

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Defender Open Window Spikes™

Defender Open Window Spikes™

Defender Open Window Spikes™

The Defender Open Window Spikes™ solve a perching and roosting problem for which there has never been an effective solution available. Bird spikes are 100% effective when installed on a windowsill where the window opens upwards (i.e. sash windows) or inwards, but in most cases where the window opens outwards any pigeon spikes installed on the windowsill would be dislodged when the window is opened. The only exception to this rule would be where there is enough clearance below the base of the window so that the window opens over the top pins of the pigeon spikes. This is unusual other than on period properties.

This innovative new product from Pigeon Control Resource Centre is a very welcome addition to the already extensive Defender™ range of anti-roosting products. The concept is very simple indeed and the product is extremely easy and quick to install onto the base of the window frame. Other than where the window is located at height, installation should only take a few minutes and can be undertaken as a DIY installation without the need to instruct a specialist contractor.

Defender Open Window Spikes™ come as a ready-to-install assembly complete with self-tapping screws, which are installed into the base of the window frame, thereby fixing the assembly in place. The arm of the assembly then protrudes horizontally from the base of the window frame, sitting at the ideal height above the windowsill to stop perching or roosting taking place. The spikes themselves are located at the end of the arm positioned so that the pins are vertical, thus stopping a bird from landing on the sill when the window is closed. The window can, however, be opened and the whole assembly Defender Open Window Spikes™

Defender Open Window Spikes™

opens with the window. The spike base is provided with snap-off grooves every inch, which can simply be snapped off by hand, in order to tailor the assembly to suit the size of the window concerned. A spare clip is even provided in case the assembly has to be snapped off into more than one section! When installing onto PVC windows it is advisable to use a small blob of Defender Fixing Silicone™ to ensure that there are no water ingress problems.

The Defender Open Window Spikes™ are set to become the industry standard anti-roosting product for windowsills, as there is simply nothing on the market that is anything like as effective or inexpensive to buy and install. The only other option to protect a windowsill, other than conventional pigeon spikes, is the post and wire system, but this product is expensive to have installed, prone to failure, invasive to fix in place and normally requires the services of a specialist contractor. The post and wire system is no match for the Defender Open Window Spikes™.

Technical specifications for the Defender Open Window Spikes™ are as follows:

  • The Defender Defender Open Window Spikes™ will protect a windowsill up to 200mm wide.
  • Both the spike base and the spikes are of a moulded construction and are made of ultraviolet light-stabilised polycarbonate (durable polycarbonate resin, product code HFV-1700).
  • Strip length is approximately 337mm.

The Defender Open Window Spikes™, as with all Defender™ products, is sold with a free 'how to install' CD. Defender Open Window Spikes™ have a 10-year warranty.

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Defender TV Aerial Pack™

Defender TV Aerial Pack™

Defender TV Aerial Pack™

The Defender TV Aerial Pack™ is another innovative product from the Pigeon Control Resource Centre Defender range of products. The Defender TV Aerial Pack™ is a complete protection system for any size or type of TV aerial and is available in 2 sizes: a small 6-strip pack that contains enough product (and several different fixings) to ensure that any small-sized aerial can be comprehensively protected from perching or roosting, and a 12-strip pack that will protect medium to large-size aerials, again with several different fixings to ensure that the product can be installed onto any size or shape of aerial.

One of the most common enquiries received is how to protect TV aerials to avoid soiling to patios, conservatories, block-paved drives, doorsteps, decking, etc., where soiling problems can, in some cases, be extreme. TV aerials offer wild birds an ideal perching facility, particularly when overlooking domestic gardens, and are often used as a vantage point to exploit food from bird tables in neighbouring gardens. Large piles of guano can build up rapidly, with slippage problems on wet excrement being extremely common - many parents with young children often have concerns when their children are playing in the garden unsupervised.

Defender TV Aerial Pack™

Defender TV Aerial Pack™

The Defender TV Aerial Pack™ is simple and easy to fit and providing that safe access equipment is available the product can be installed in minutes as a DIY installation using one or more of the installation options provided within the kit: aerial clips, silicone and cable ties. The bird spikes provided within the kit are the Defender™ Plastic bird spikes, which will not interfere with TV reception. Once installed this simple and easy to install product looks neat and will be 100% effective.

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DEFRA’s view:

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the UK’s Government body that oversees the Wildlife and Countryside Act and produces legislation to which the pest control industry must adhere. The following information is taken from a document provided on the DEFRA website entitled 'Review of international research regarding the effectiveness of auditory bird scaring techniques and potential alternatives' by J. Bishop, H. McKay, D. Parrott and J. Allan.

"Point systems consist of strips of plastic or metal with thin, upward-pointing, stainless steel or plastic spikes in a variety of configurations, which are attached to ledges. The spikes present a physical barrier to prevent birds from landing. These systems are relatively expensive and although easy to install, they require checking occasionally in order to remove debris which may cover up the wires, reducing effectiveness. The tips of wire spikes are cut square, as sharpened tip systems, (which are used in the USA), are illegal for use in the UK (Turner 1998)."

*Editor's comment: The above view that anti-roosting spikes are expensive is not upheld by the Pigeon Control Resource Centre. Please see the 'Editorial comments' section.

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User reviews:

Guy Merchant, a leading international authority on pigeon control and founder of the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS International), said the following of anti-roosting bird spikes:

“We (PiCAS International) have recommended anti-roosting spikes to our extensive client base for decades, based on the effectiveness of the product, the ease of installation and the fact that the product is the most humane anti-roosting product or bird exclusion product on the market. As the anti-roosting spike is so effective, in our opinion 100% effective, the use of this product negates the need for other more invasive controls, such as culling, to be used.

As independent experts specialising in humane and non-lethal control systems, our clients look to us to provide a solution that will be cost effective and at the same time will not harm or cause suffering to the target species. Although the anti-roosting spike may look aggressive and appear to have the potential to harm birds, in reality the reverse is the case. In my personal experience I have only once been made aware of a pigeon harming itself on anti-roosting spikes and yet tens of thousands of birds die each and every year having come into contact with so-called humane bird exclusion products, such as netting.

PiCAS International has always recommended Pigeon Control Resource Centre’s product range for a number of reasons, but most importantly because the company ethic is such that they will never sell any product or device that can be used to kill or harm birds and their Defender™ range of anti-roosting spikes and the best on the market – period.”

The following user comments were kindly supplied by Pigeon Control Resource Centre in respect of feedback for their Defender™ range of products:

Name: Matt Searston

Comment: "Easy to buy, quick delivery, simple installation..... no more pigeons! No more droppings on the decking."

Name: Kim McKenzie

Comment: "Since installing the spikes me versus the pigeons round one has been a success. The pigeons have steered and swooped well away from my balcony and I have now scrubbed my balcony and can now have my breakfast in peace and free of pigeon mess. A very happy customer and great value for money and my friends say the slim metal spikes are actually quite stylish. I cannot put into words the satisfaction at seeing them sitting on the roof opposite in the rain.

I hope this helps although some feedback for you - being a girl and not understanding that the glue to attach the spikes needed a gun to apply it it - would be very helpful to mention this when purchasing the glue as I had to make an unplanned trip to B&Q."

Name: Gavin Skinner

Comment: "Easy to use, and very effective on keeping pigeons at bay. Other than not having the mess from pigeons to clean up ( which is brilliant ) , no change!!"

Name: Sue Gardiner

Company: Hacienda Management Services Comment: "The company is Hacienda Management Services and we are based in Fuente Alamo, Murcia, Spain. The pigeon spikes are fantastic and I run a management company based on a golf resort where before the land was agricultural and the villas have all had pigeon problems. Unused villas have piles of pigeon poo and nests with eggs or babies so these spikes are fantastic in that they stop the pigeons from roosting."

Name: John Haslehurst

Comment: "The plastic spikes I purchased were extremely easy to put in place, I used small screws one at each end of the strip. The Decking has remained clear of Pigeon Poo since putting them up, however the other birds have decided to perch on the actual decking and are causing a mess. That said they are smaller birds and the mess is easier to clear up.

I've not seen a bird trying to land on the pergola since so they do work."

Name: Iain Wilson

Comment: "For 6 years now we have suffered from pigeons roosting on our television aerial which is positioned just above a newly constructed conservatory. The problem that comes with roosting pigeons is a large amount of pigeon waste. This waste was being launched from the TV aerial onto the conservatory roof then across onto our kitchen windows. Thankfully this is now a thing of the past due to the very effective and safe pigeonoff deterrent. Using the polycarb spikes these are both safe to the pigeons and does not affect the TV reception. Only problem now is the pigeons no longer roost with us but have moved to our neighbours ... maybe another order on the way."

Name: Joshua Nartker (Project Manager)

Company: Kodiak Roofing & Waterproofing, Lincoln, CA, USA Comment: "Deterapigeon.com was easy to navigate, simple and to the point. We received the bird spikes quickly and found them easy to install, an effortless assembly! Our client was pleased with the product and we are sure it will provide added protection to the roof system and its finish."

Name: Alexandra Martin-Zakheim

Comment: "Very efficient service and delivery of an excellent product. No pidgeons and happy hosters who don't have to put up with being fouled on from above."

Name: Andrew Harrison

Comment: "Absolutely brilliant ... simplicity itself ... pigeons have instantly moved on ... not a lot more to say - 'does exactly what it says on the tin!!"

Name: Mr L Charles

Comment: "I had pigeons on my TV Aerial and Sky dish all the time making a right mess on the floor below. Since installing the spikes on the aerial with cable ties I've had no more unsightly mess. I also found that the gutter clips sold by this company allow you to clip the spikes on your satellite dish. Excellent products and delivered next day as promised."

Name: Jeremy Redman

Comment: "Fully effective and simplicity itself to install - and the pigeons have learned to roost on the roof again! There will always be a trade off between mess and the pleasure of attracting wild birds to your garden; but at least it's easier now to get rid of it and far less unsightly."

Name: John Habberley

Comment: "The pigeon spikes secured to the end of the roof have ensured that the patio underneath is now free of pigeon droppings - a great success story! The workmen who installed them were very pleased with the quality of the glue and have asked for your company details. Now free of pigeon droppings. Regards and thanks for a good product."

Name: Frank Creese

Comment: "The spikes have totally deterred pigeons from fouling our bay window facia tiles and pavior. We are now free from the chore of constantly having to wash down the affected areas."

Name: Pat Oxley

Comment: "Extremely easy to fit and unobtrusive to the eye, very satisfied. Our newly rendered walls are pigeon poop free."

Name: James Wright

Comment: "The website is extremely easy to use and secure for ordering purposes. The site has loads of pictures and is full of great information. Quite simply a joy to use for any customer. I had a problem with Starlings nesting under the roof tiles. They were getting in where the tiles overlap the gutter. The spikes have totally resolved this problem as they were easy to fit to the gutter and thus blocked up the holes under the tiles to prevent entry. Job done ... does not get any easier :-)."

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Comments from the Manufacturer/Distributor:

The following manufacturer quote has been kindly provided by David Jones, who is Director of the UK’s leading manufacturer of anti-roosting spikes, Jones and Son. The Jones and Son range includes the Defender™ range of anti-roosting spikes:

"Jones and Son are leading manufacturers of humane and affordable anti-roosting bird spikes. All of our spike systems simply prevent birds from landing without any injury. Pigeon Control Resource Centre developed and patented the Defender™ range of spikes, which can be simply installed without the need to bring in a specialist contractor. Our spikes are manufactured to the highest possible standards; we only use ultraviolet-stabilised polycarbonate bases and stainless steel wires. With such a high product specification we have no hesitation in offering 10-year or 12-year extended warranties on every component or product we produce.

 

Our aim is to ensure that the quality of our products is matched by the customer support that is offered to all purchasers or enquirers. We are a close and caring family business that encourages the public to contact us for advice, irrespective of the problem that they are experiencing; we usually reply within 2 hours and ask people to test us - if we fail then we'll send them a large bar of chocolate! If customers are unsure what a bird spike will look like on their property then we’ll send them a free sample. If after the purchase they change their mind they can simply return them for a full refund. And if they've got a few left over we'll also refund them for the unused quantity. Customer service and value for money is the watchword of our business.”

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Editorial comments:

It is quite clear that anti-roosting spikes are the ultimate anti-perching system available for the control of bird populations; whether it be on large commercial sites for the control of large flocks or to stop a pair of birds nesting on a residential property, the product is equally appropriate and just as effective. The product is simple to install, available with an extraordinarily long guarantee (if purchasing the product from the Defender™ range) and can be installed as a DIY installation by the property owner. These factors alone confirm the bird spike as the optimum deterrent for both the property owner who is prepared to undertake a DIY installation and the pest control industry itself, installing, as it does, millions of metres of bird spikes on client properties every year. The sheer range of spike-based products available from the Defender™ range ensures that the bird spike can be used for virtually every application, be it a chimney pot or a windowsill, guttering or external pipework - the installation options are wide ranging and the product itself is enormously versatile.

The comments taken from the DEFRA website (please see 'DEFRA’s view') are surprisingly low key and not particularly inspiring, certainly in light of the fact that leading experts within the field of bird control are, as one, wholly convinced by the effectiveness of the bird spike and recommend them widely. DEFRA also suggests that the bird spike is expensive, but this is simply not the case. The bird spike is clearly the most cost-effective anti-roosting product on the market due to its longevity and its effectiveness, and when compared to the cost of other products, such as nylon bird netting or the post and wire system, the cost of a spike-based system pales into insignificance. Commercial contractors will often recommend nylon bird netting or post and wire systems in preference to spike-based systems and yet it is often the case that extensive netting or or post and wire-based systems will cost literally thousands of pounds more than an equivalent spike-based system. Not only this, but both netting and post and wire systems require invasive suspension systems that are not reversible, whereas spike-based systems, using silicone as an adhesive, are wholly non-invasive and completely (and easily) reversible.

Where the control of feral bird populations is concerned the trend is now for non-lethal and completely humane systems, unlike the recent past where the pest control industry sold culling as its main service. Although the law states quite clearly that it is illegal to use lethal means to control birds such as pigeons to protect a property, unless there is a demonstrable and serious threat to public health, culling was widespread and, incredibly, is still offered as a control option today. The anti-roosting spike negates the need for any form of lethal control, based on the effectiveness of the product, and this holds great appeal for a vast majority of those experiencing bird-related problems. The Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS International), an independent not-for-profit organization, has been a long-time supporter of the bird spike and rarely recommends any other system, based simply on the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and the ability of the product to offer the user a humane and stand-alone control system. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a world leader where the provision of bird habitats is concerned, also recommends the anti-roosting spike.

Each and every property owner that experiences a problem with birds is looking for a product that is cheap to purchase, inexpensive and quick to install, reversible and can be installed by the user. The bird spike ticks all these boxes and more. The Defender™ range of products is aimed at the DIY installer and offers each purchaser, irrespective of how small the order, a CD clearly showing what steps need to be taken to undertake a permanent and sound bird spike installation. The Defender™ range is also easy and straightforward to buy on the Internet and Pigeon Control Resource Centre, the manufacturer and distributor, openly encourages the public to contact them for advice or information about what product to choose and what they should do if they experience a problem. Not only this, but the company will happily send out free samples of the product prior to purchase and refund the customer, with no re-stocking fee, should the customer have excess product remaining following installation. This user-friendly approach is welcome and long overdue in a marketplace that is not always renowned for its transparency and good customer relations.

Although there are a vast number of distributors and retailers selling bird spikes on the Internet we are starting to see cheap Asian imports coming onto the UK market and this is a worrying turn of events. Broadly speaking, UK and European-manufactured products are of a reasonably high standard, but many of the products coming in from Asia are far from this. Some products are dressed up to look like conventional and recognizable products and yet they are made from inferior materials and simply cannot be compared to ranges such as the Defender™ range. Our strong advice is to contact the Pigeon Control Resource Centre for independent advice if in doubt and always buy bird spikes from a reputable UK or European source. Cheap imported bird spikes may cost a little less but they come with no warranty (and if one is offered it is unlikely to be honoured) and they will probably need to be replaced within a year or two at best.

In respect of application, the bird spike cannot be beaten, based on the huge variety of surfaces upon which the product can be installed. The bird spike can also be used by owners of period properties or grade listed buildings with a clear conscience due to the non-invasive nature of installation. For use on listed buildings it is always wise to discuss the installation of deterrents with a listed buildings officer prior to installing any pigeon control products, although some listed buildings officers harbour negative views of the pigeon spike for reasons most can’t explain. The fact of the matter is that there is no pigeon control product that is less invasive to install than the pigeon spike. Some other anti-roosting products may appear to be less visible (such as the electric shock system or the post and wire system) but once installed they are no less visible or less damaging to the aesthetics of the buildings concerned than the bird spike, and they will be very considerably less effective as a stand-alone control. In most cases they will almost certainly be a great deal more expensive.

The extensive range of specialist anti-roosting products available from the Defender™ range now offers the property owner a staggering number of innovative options for protecting their property without the need to compromise aesthetics or have to use the services of a specialist contractor for supply or installation. In the past property owners have had to rely solely on both advice and the supply of products from specialist contractors and the customer has not always been provided with the best option to suit their needs. With the advent of the Internet, however, buying products from companies like Pigeon Control Resource Centre, who are wholly customer led, not only provides the property owner with a huge range of sensibly priced products but also offers free expert advice to anyone experiencing a bird-related problem. Not only is every Defender™ product dispatched with a free installation CD, but for more complex problems, or for unexpected problems, the team of experts at Pigeon Control Resource Centre are available 5 days a week for telephone advice. This level of customer service was previously unheard of within the pest control industry and, at last, a leading manufacturer and supplier of bird control products has brought the industry into the 21st century.

To date, the bird spike is the only product that we have reviewed to receive a 5 star rating and deservedly so – the anti-roosting spike is simply the best defence against bird-related problems that money can buy, no exceptions.

Sources:

DEFRA quotes:

PDF on DEFRA website entitled: ‘Review of international research regarding the effectiveness of auditory bird scaring techniques and potential alternatives’

By J Bishop, H McKay, D Parrott and J Allan.

Also commonly known as:

Pigeon spikes, Defender Chimney Pot Spikes™, needle strips, Defender 8™ Plastic, Spikes, Defender Ridge Spikes™, Defender Pipe Spikes™, Defender 4™ Steel Spikes, stainless spikes, Defender 8™ Steel Spikes, plastic spikes, Defender Starling & Sparrow Spikes™, polycarbonate spikes, Defender 4™ Plastic Spikes, point system, Defender Rocking Spider™, spikes, Defender 12™ Steel Spikes, Defender TV Aerial Pack™, pigeon point, Defender Gutter Spikes™, birdpoint, Defender Seagull Spikes™, roost inhibitor, Defender Open Window Spikes™

Relevance to pigeon control:

Although anti-roosting spikes that are designed for specialist applications certainly have considerable relevance to pigeon control, and some are clearly pigeon-specific, most products have applications for the control of other bird species and are therefore commonly known as bird spikes. A good example would be the chimney spike, which is an ideal anti-roosting product for the control of pigeons but which would also be used to deter gulls and jackdaws.

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