While the outdoors can certainly be as great as people claim, Mother Nature and her wildlife can sometimes cause loud and disgusting interruptions to our everyday lives. Wild birds, for instance, dump faeces on our homes and cars and can begin their cacophonous calls at the most inconvenient of times. One alternative for keeping birds away from ledges, signs and other flat areas is the use of bird spikes. These long protrusions are designed to keep large birds from settling on a certain area. While the products are commercially available, you can also make your own at home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- Wood strip: 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches wide or larger
- Bleach or ammonia
- Rag or sponge
Measure the length and width of the area from which you want to keep the birds. Add 1/2 inch of width so that there is a slight overhang to your bird spikes. You must make sure that your bird spikes will fit in the area without protruding too far and with proper balance; falling spikes could severely injure people and property.
Obtain a piece of wood that is at least 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches wide; this is the minimum length for effectively holding the spikes. If necessary, cut the wood with a handsaw or electric saw to fit in the area you measured.
Lay the wood on your work area, face down. Choose a starting corner for your spikes and hammer in a nail, so that it protrudes through the other side of the board. Hammer as far as you can go, pushing the nail so that the nail's head rests against the wood.
Hammer a second nail at a 45-degree angle from the first; the distance apart will vary depending on the width of your wood. The 45-degree angle will allow for a "/" shape between the nails; if necessary, install a third nail on the same line to fill the width of the board.
Work at 45-degree angles from all nails, hammering them through the board. Continue until the board is covered with protective spikes.
Wear protective gloves when working with chemicals. Disinfect the area in which you will install the bird spikes with bleach or ammonia on a rag or sponge. Remove any bird faeces, dirt and dust, so that your adhesive will hold the spikes in place.
Stick the bird spikes in place with construction-grade adhesive. Make sure they sit within 1/2 inch of the wall and extend over the ledge by 1/2 inch, so that the birds cannot sit in front of or behind the spikes. If you must install multiple rows, overlap the rows by 1 inch so that the birds cannot fit between the spikes.
Tips and warnings
- The length of nails used for your project can vary depending on the amount of available work space. Nails 2 inches or longer should be effective in deterring birds.
- Paint the wooden board and the nails the same colour as the surface to which you apply them if you want them to be inconspicuous.
- Bird spikes will not keep all birds away. Smaller birds may land on the spikes, and birds with nests will not let anything deter them from their territory.
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