13 Years After Installation, Nixalite Bird Spikes Still Doing the Job for Chicago Cultural Center

May 31, 2007

CHICAGO, IL., April 26, 2006-  Messy birds are not a problem for the Chicago Cultural Center since Nixalite bird spike strips were installed back in 1993. According to a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, "They're still doing the job, after thirteen years. We have pigeons on the sidewalks at times, but the Nixalite bird spike strips keep the birds off the many ledges and friezes where they were installed."

Thirteen years ago, that wasn't the case. When Chicago architect Holabird & Root were commissioned to convert the 1892 Chicago Public Library into a modern cultural center while maintaining the building's historic beauty, they were faced with the challenge of cleaning the exterior of the limestone building. Bird excrement, laden with over 60 transmittable disease bacteria, covered every ledge, and the intricate artwork of the friezes under the cornices had fallen victim to decades of corrosion from the bird waste. An old, ineffective gel bird repellent had seeped into the limestone, discoloring it.

After an intensive cleaning and disinfecting of the exterior of the building, the architects determined the types of barriers necessary for effective, esthetic control of roosting birds. Nixalite stainless steel wire was chosen to prevent birds from roosting on the ledges, which were 12" wide in places. Fine netting was used on the mullioned windows over the double-door entrance, allowing an unimpeded view of the magnificent lobby. Netting also protected the delicate artwork of the friezes.

Nixalite bird spikes

"Nixalite was selected not only because of its effectiveness, but also because of its durability and aesthetic quality. The thin stainless steel wires are invisible at the distances from which this landmark building is normally viewed. The patina of weathering quickly makes installations unobtrusive, even up close. Because it is adaptable and easy to install, we were able to protect the intricate artwork of the façade from the damage caused by birds," said Jeff Case of Holabird & Root.

When left undisturbed, bird droppings can destroy almost any building material, including wood, stone, marble, steel and iron. The accumulated droppings can also damage roofs, clog gutters, discolor paint, corrode I-beams, ruin cloth awnings and short-out electrical equipment.

However, the worst danger of pest birds is to human health. Entomologist research has found more than 60 transmittable diseases and dangerous parasitic organisms which can be fatal to some people and cause others to fall ill. When dried-out droppings are disturbed, a cloud of airborne dust carries microorganisms into the lungs, causing inhalation diseases such as histoplasmosis. Eating or drinking foods that have come into contact with bird-related bacteria can cause ingestion diseases such as toxoplasmosis and query fever.*

*National Pest Control Association, Inc. 1982 Bird Management Manual

Options for bird control
There are several routes that can be taken to control roosting birds,according to Cory Gellerstedt of Nixalite of America. "Some are more dangerous than others, like chemical repellants, which carry a host of cautions with them. At Nixalite our most popular deterrent by far is the Nixalite premium wire strips. They last practically forever, and don't require maintenance. Plus they don't harm birds or people.

Nixalite premium bird spikes

"When choosing "porcupine wire" it's very important to understand how it works," says Gellerstedt. "The spikes can't be too far apart, or the birds will be able to roost between them. Conversely, when the spikes are too close together, birds can nest on top of them. Nixalite's premium strips contain 120 points per foot. It lasts indefinitely without maintenance, and pays for itself within a few years, because it sharply reduces the cost of and frequency of exterior maintenance."

Nixalite, the original stainless steel "porcupine wire",  has been helping architects, contractors, designers and planners restore, renovate, preserve and protect structures the world over, for over 55 years. From historical landmarks and public buildings to single-family homes, structures are lasting longer and staying clean and attractive-and their occupants are healthier.
For more information visit or call 309/755-8771.

Nixalite is the leading manufacturer of effective and humane bird control products. Our quality products are designed to solve the toughest pest bird problems. Established in 1950, Nixalite is a third generation family owned firm with over 150 years of combined experience in bird control. We are the most respected and trusted company in the bird control industry.

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