We bought a thirty year old home in southern California in the desert and are trying to figure out how to deter pigeons from perching on our house and pooping everywhere. They're actually mourning doves and their poop is some of the biggest I've ever seen from a bird. It looks like cat feces, they're so big. At any rate, we have a second floor railing that I want to put bird spikes all along the length of the railing as a way to prevent them from perching on it. I've noticed that there is rust forming on the top of the painted metal railing which I believe is accelerated from their feces. In fact, I have two metal light wall sconces (just two basic metal columnar rectangles) in the same area where pigeons have perched on and 'shat' all over. I recently took them down because I'm going to paint them and saw corrosion where their feces kept sliding down the metal. UGH! I hate these nasty birds!

My question is, how can I attach these spikes to the top of my railing so that I don't permanently alter my railing (e.g. screw them into the railing; thus, creating holes in my railing that I don't want)? I've read that bird spikes attach with an adhesive but isn't the strongest adhesive only as good as the layer of paint on a surface that it's applied to? In other words, can't it just easily rip off? I'm not using cheap paint, by the way. I'm using Kelly Moore which is a pretty good brand.

I really hate to put bird spikes all along my railing. For one, we won't be able to go outside and put our hands on the railing like you typically do while enjoying your balcony area. But then again with all the feces on the ledge we can almost never do it anyway unless I scrub it clean with soap and water which is such a tedious task.

I'm enclosing a photo of our metal railing to give perspective. Right now it's primed with only a rust proofing product I applied with a brush. I can't remember the brand name but it's only sold in professional paint stores; not big box stores. I think the gallon was around $40-50 and one spray can version of it is around $20.

I also worry about gluing these down only because we live in an area where we have some pretty rough wind storms and get gusts of wind up to around 30mph. I would worry that the wind might rip bird spikes off a second floor railing if it were only applied with adhesive while one of us is outside at ground level. That could be a very nasty and bloody mishap for a very unlucky person.

Suggestions? Pics are below:

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  • get a pet raptor, like a hawk
    – jsotola
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 3:13

2 Answers 2


Zip ties in the right size should work depending on the design of the spikes.

But I think there would be a better pigeon repellent than spikes for this case.

What about a scare pigeon, a plastic peregrine falcon.

What about a roller? Maybe one you could lock in place when you are out, but would be unstable and would flip if a pigeon would land on it. Maybe winds would spin this and cause vibration, but this might totally baffle the pigeons.



  • My partner suggested that. I am hoping not to go that route since seeing zip ties wrapped around the railing is not the look I want to see on my home. Bird spikes in and of themselves are already pretty ugly looking.
    – Adrien
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 2:09
  • Edited my answer. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 2:14
  • Could attach a wooden top without drilling into the metal or gluing to it, then attaching the spikes to that. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 2:20
  • You suggesting just attach the spikes to the wood strip and then laying the strip down on the railing? I'd want to make sure it doesn't fall off by someone knocking it over. Plus, it gets to 121 degrees on hot summer days. Wood does not do well here outdoors.
    – Adrien
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 2:28
  • Not laying on the rail, but clamped to the rail by wooden elements going under the rail and screwed to the top piece at the sides. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 2:33

Lengths of wood, as wide as the rail top, and maybe 1/2" high are the answer. Fix the spikes to this, then use as many tie wraps as needed to attach the whole lot to the rail top. Can be removed easily when required. Regard the wood as sacrificial, and change when needed - should last a couple of years at least.

Or - two small holes and bolts through wood and rail won't really wreck anything.

  • Drilling into that beautiful rail would be unnecessary and would be very costly to reverse. Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 23:19

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