Last Updated:February 26, 2023
Pigeon Spikes: A Complete Guide
Bird spikes are an effective way to deter pigeons from landing on your property. They have been around for decades and are still being used today due to their effectiveness.
Bird spikes are made up of a series of metal or plastic prongs that point outward at all angles, so when a bird lands on it they get injured by the sharp points of the spikes. Birds can’t land safely on or near these things because they can’t find any surface area to stand or perch on without getting hurt.
A lot of people think that using these things will harm other animals too, but this isn’t true at all! We would never recommend anything that could cause injury to an animal. The goal of this article is to help you find ethical ways of dealing with pigeons that will deter them from making a nest on your awning, roof or gutters in a manner that will leave them unharmed.
What are pigeon spikes?
Pigeon spikes are long metal or plastic prongs that point upward. They are spaced a couple of inches apart to deter birds from landing on or around them. The prongs can be 4″ long, but they can also be slightly raised triangular bumps.
Both will deter birds although many people believe the prongs to be more effective than the raised triangular bumps.
We strongly prefer plastic spikes over metal spikes because I feel they are safer for other animals such as cats, squirrels, or even raccoons that may get on your roof. The spikes are designed to turn a flat landing spot into a zone that isn’t conducive for a bird to roost.
This isn’t the concern for our furry little mammals. They are not going to build a nest in your gutter so there isn’t the same urgency to stop them from being on your roof or gutter.
The reason I really like plastic over metal is that the plastic prongs are not very strong when it comes to weight applied from the side. If a cat or other animal were to go against them, the spikes would just give way rather than get the cat stuck.
Another thing to look for is blunt spikes rather than sharp spikes. The sharp variation is illegal in many countries including the UK (Source)
Conversely, blunt spikes aren’t restricted to the same degree. We always prefer the blunt options on the off chance any other animal should wander nearby. Additionally, I don’t want something sharp above my head that could possibly blow off should or be unattached from the roof during a heavy storm.
Are pigeon spikes cruel?
According to BirdBGone, there is virtually zero chance of a bird hurting itself on a bird spike.
Our home features a large privacy fence, three fruit trees, and a large roof. Any bird that wanders on our property will have plenty of space to roost if they choose to do so; however, there are some places that we need to keep birds away from.
Both our gutters and patio overhang are places that birds have been known to roost, and pigeon spikes are a perfect solution.
Are pigeon spikes effective?
Yes. Pigeon spikes are a very effective passive deterrent. Once you install them, the birds will find another place to roost. You don’t need to worry about chasing them away or dealing with the aftermath of a flock of birds deciding to build a nest in your gutters.
Remember, as a homeowner, you are not going to put bird spikes all over your roof. That would look bad and it would be quite expensive. You simply want to be strategic with the specific areas you’d like the pigeons to avoid.
Are pigeon spikes dangerous to cats?
Sharp metal bird spikes installed on fences can be dangerous to cats. This is one of the reasons we wrote this post. You do not want to accidentally hurt a cat that gets on your property so for this reason, we prefer not using sharp metal spikes anyway.
If you are in an area that has a lot of outdoor furry creatures, we far prefer spikes such as
- Keep Animals Away: our cat repellent mat can keep cats, dogs and other animals away from your garden, flower beds and vegetable fields.
- Humane Cat Plastic Spike: environmentally friendly, non-toxic, our anti-climb security spikes will gentle to scare or irritate animals without harming them.
- Wide Application: the animal repellent pad is suitable for indoor and outdoor and any valuable assets you want to protect, such as lawns, flower beds, gardens, furniture decorations, vegetable patches, etc.
- Can be cut：the cat deterrent mat can be cut to your needs, and can be longer and wider with buckle stitching.
- Material & Size: 6.5ft * 11.8 inch , the cat deterrent mat for outdoor is made form high quality PP material, unbreakable, safe and environmentally friendly.
Do spikes hurt pigeons?
No, bird spikes do not hurt pigeons. This is because bird spikes are designed not to have a sharp edge. The spiky surface has blunt ends so when a pigeon lands on it, the bird won’t get injured.
Can I put pigeon spikes on my fence?
We do not recommend putting spikes on a fence. While it can be annoying for birds to land on your fence and poop down the sides, I don’t think spikes are an ideal solution. I don’t want to put them in a place that other animals or humans are likely to possibly be.
There’s no chance that a wandering kid is going to accidentally brush against your gutter, but it’s possible that they could climb up the fence or something pushed against the fence that could lead to them having access to pigeon spikes.
Do pigeon spikes stop cats?
If there is any cat in your area that you’re trying to prevent, then we’d recommend not using pigeon spikes. You don’t want to risk hurting a poor little cat by accident.
If you want to deter cats from getting on your fence, garden, or roof, there are cat deterrents that will work far better without the risk of potentially hurting them.
How do you install pigeon spikes?
There are two ways to install pigeon spikes. The first is with brackets and screws.. These are normally used for metal spikes. They will last longer and are stronger.
For plastic bird spikes, there will be an easy-to-install adhesive. Before using the adhesive, you need to clean and dry the area underneath the spike. In Arizona, we don’t have a significant amount of rain so the adhesive can last for years.
If the spikes ever do become looser or dislodged, you can get a replacement adhesive to hold them in place again.
How to make pigeon spikes?
For legal reasons, we don’t suggest making any sort of pigeon spikes. There are specific laws about what detergents can and cannot be used. For example, mothballs used outdoors are illegal in many states.
Just to avoid doing something against the law in your specific area, it makes far more sense to simply purchase pre-made spikes. You can be confident that the manufacturer will have checked local ordinances to make their product a valid option in the most possible areas.
If pigeon spikes were hundreds of dollars, I could have a DIY alternative. However, they do not cost nearly this much. You will have many options for bird spikes at less than the $15 price point.
How much do pigeon spikes cost?
Pigeon spikes will cost between $1 and $1.50 per foot of are that you want to protect from birds. This means that if you want to protect a 10′ gutter, you’d need either 1 or 2 kits depending on how they are packaged.
Whenever you’re looking at bird spikes they will let you know the area that they will cover so you can plan accordingly.
Remember, you will need one constant long line so it should be reasonably easy to measure how many packages of spikes you’ll need.
Are pigeon spikes legal?
This is going to depend on where you live. In most parts of the United States, bird spikes are legal especially the plastic version. Conversely, in the UK bird spikes are not legal according to Wikipedia.
If this is a major concern, you could do a google search for your home city about the legality of bird spikes. Alternatively, many states have a building hotline you can call to ask questions about what you can do on your property and what projects would require a permit.
Where to buy pigeon spikes?
Our top pick for where to buy spikes is Amazon. They have a huge variety of spikes and they offer fast shipping to your home. Also, when I did a price comparison to my local Home Depot, I found that Amazon was about 33% cheaper than Home Depot for spikes that appeared similar.
Are pigeon spikes poisonous to cats?
The prongs of the spikes are either metal or plastic. They are not coated in any material and therefore shouldn’t be poisonous to anything. That being said, some pointed metal spikes may be dangerous for cats which is why we don’t recommend installing that type of bird spike in any area that you’d expect to see a cat roaming.
Can you put pigeon spikes on solar panels?
You should not put pigeon spikes on your solar panels. This is a terrible idea as the spikes are not transparent so you are blocking some of the sunlight from hitting the panels.
If you only put the spikes around the edge, the birds can still land in the middle. This means any bird poop they leave behind is now in the center of the panels obstructing it more than if it were at the edge.
If birds are becoming a major obstacle for your solar panels, there is a bird-proof meshing that you can apply over your solar panels that will let the sun in while keeping birds out. That being said, bird mesh is outside the scope of this post.
Can you put pigeon spikes on a trampoline?
This is a terrible idea. Do you really want children bouncing near an area that has protruding metal or plastic spikes? Seriously, they are jumping around and moving, and on the off chance the vibrations cause the spike to become loose you don’t want that anywhere near one of the kids playing.
Instead of using bird spikes, we recommend an owl statue. Large owls will often deter other birds from getting near your area. The owl doesn’t need to be directly next to the trampoline to deter birds from getting near.
Can you put pigeon spikes on a roof?
You can put pigeon spikes on a building, but it would be costly to cover the entire roof. I think this is outside the scope of what most homeowners would consider, and if you are at a place where this makes sense, I would suggest calling a pest company to see if there are other alternatives.
I cannot think of any circumstances that would lead to a homeowner installing bird spikes over their entire roof being the best solution. But I am just an average homeowner who enjoys DIY projects so if you’re considering something this massive, I’d definitely leave that to a professional.
Can you put pigeon spikes in a gutter?
Yes, you can install bird spikes on a gutter. You want to install them on either edge of the gutter so that the birds cannot easily get to the trough.
Pigeons may choose a gutter as a place to build a nest, and bring debris to the gutter. This won’t be an issue until it is when the downspouts get clogged with the nest causing the gutter to backup and possible overflow.
Remember, gutters are very much like large drains in your sink or bathtub the collect and direct water to a location that you want it.
Birds can come along and create a blockage in a similar manner to getting a clog in your bathroom sink drain.
Helpful video on pigeon spikes
We found a very helpful video talking more about pigeon spikes, what to look for and how to care for them. We’ve included a link to that video below.
So that’s it for our guide on pigeon spikes. Remember, that even though the birds are on your land, you do not want to injure them. There are ways to have your home safe and protected that will allow the birds to have a good life.
As a reminder, we are a community of homeowners, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy making stuff. If you have any projects that you’ve done which you’d like to share, we love hearing from our readers.
Last Updated:February 26, 2023