Do you have pigeons constituting nuisance under your solar panels? If YES, here are 10 cheap ways to get rid of pigeons under solar panels. Just like all living creatures, pigeons often seek shelter from predators, rain and the sun. They also love a warm place where they can lay their eggs and brood their chicks.
These versatile birds are attracted to sheltered places that can equally give them a place to perch. Because pigeons live mostly with us, they tend to build their nests and raise young pigeons on the surfaces of man-made structures, especially solar panels.
Pigeons often use rooftops, gutters, roof overhangs, and even window trims to build nests. And they’re social birds, which means that they actually like to live together. When you have a brood of pigeons living under your solar panels, it results in disruptions and increased noises as well as a reduced performance of your solar power system.
Solar panels don’t go literally on top of the roof, but on top of railings that sit on your roof, providing a space between the modules and the actual roof. Pigeons like to place their nests there as it offers a nice shady area and protects them from the weather and predators. The pigeons may also be sitting or walking around on the panels before they retire for the night or when they just want to rest.
While experts confirmed that the birds are not interested in foraging on solar panels or eating the wires, their poop is usually a big cause for concern. Remember that anything that obstructs the panel from facing the sun directly may affect the energy efficiency. If the problem is serious, or if the amount of poop on the surface is much, it can render a whole solar panel array useless.
Bird droppings are also acidic, which can compromise the aluminum frame of the solar panel, leading to an increased rate of corrosion. The accumulation of nest materials and bird droppings may create hotspots leading to subsequent failure of cells within the panels.
When birds build nests under solar panels, they can easily back up water when it rains, allowing water to pool or diverting it to sensitive areas.
Even worse, when birds build nests under solar panels, they attract other pests such as squirrels and rodents. These visiting rodents are now the ones that can chew through a solar panel’s electrical wiring, which can provoke short circuits and, in extreme situations, fires.
Table of Content
- 7 Negative Effects of Pigeons on Solar Panels
- 1. They generate poo, and lots of them
- 2. They are very unsightly
- 3. Damage to your panels
- 4. Gutter blockages
- 5. Noise Pollution
- 6. Bird Mites
- 7. Jackdaws and squirrels
- 1. Install Anti-Roosting Spikes
- 2. Bird screens
- 3. Set Up a Sloped Sheathing
- 4. Use Pigeon Scare Devices
- 5. Procure Tuck Netting
- 6. Set up Bird Mesh
- 7. Keep Your Yard and Garden Clean
- 8. Hire a Professional Service
- 9. Maintain Your Home Solar Panels
- How Much Does It Cost to Remove Pigeons?
7 Negative Effects of Pigeons on Solar Panels
The solar panel is one of the latest inventions when it comes to renewable energy. The panels are made of tough, tempered ‘safety glass’, it has no moving parts, and it can last upwards of 30-40 years just sitting on your roof. It may sound crazy that a light-weight pigeon can destroy your very sturdy and well-protected solar panel, but the fact remains that it surely can. Let’s find out how a pigeon can wreak havoc on a solar panel.
1. They generate poo, and lots of them
Pigeons are alive, so it is reasonable to assume that they’d poo. Once your winged guests have settled in, you’ll start to see a never-ending buildup of pigeon faeces coating your roof tiles, driveway, garden, and your solar panels. You should know that poo-coated solar panels do not perform as efficiently as their clean counterparts, so you may start noticing a steady drop in the amount of energy your panels are producing.
2. They are very unsightly
Bird watching is cute, but not when you have a flock of these animals on your property. Being that pigeons don’t go alone, you easily find a mass of them on your property. Even a couple of the birds can do a lot of damage. Combine the pigeons on your roof with the faeces all over your property, and you’ve got yourself a pretty unpleasant scene.
3. Damage to your panels
Along with their poo affecting the efficiency of your solar panels, pigeons can also cause more structural damage. If you’re unlucky enough to end up with a couple of weighty adult pigeons (along with a few baby pigeons), this cumbersome lot could end up breaking some of the MC4 clips that connect the wires to the back of your solar panels.
In the worse case scenario, particularly restless and sizeable pigeons can dislodge the wiring entirely and cause your panels to malfunction.
4. Gutter blockages
There’s only so much a pigeon can foul and nest on your roof before the rains wash the mess away, wiping the slate clean for another spell. But where does the mess go? Into your gutter. Feathers, twigs, poo, the lot. Allow this to happen enough times, and you’ll have to get your drainpipes unclogged. This is a very expensive exercise, not to mention that its gross.
5. Noise Pollution
A family of birds living on your roof is not a silent affair. You’ll enough scuffling, scratching, cooing and flapping noises going on especially in the early hours of the morning when you are trying to catch some last minute wink. It can only be described as a grotesque avian symphony playing on repeat.
6. Bird Mites
Pigeons sometimes bring little mites with them, and their potential for home invasion is pretty nauseating. Two types of microscopic bug – the northern fowl mite and the red fowl mite – travel the world on the back of a pigeon, but they’ll hop off if they find a decent roof.
Then they’ll go through the roof and get comfortable in your home. It might sound fairly harmless, but mites will get into your clothes and furniture until they are everywhere, causing your family to itch endlessly.
7. Jackdaws and squirrels
It’s not just pigeons that see solar panels as an ideal home. Quite understandably, jackdaws and squirrels also like to get cozy beneath a slab of silicon. If jackdaws get under your panels, they can potentially pose an even bigger problem than pigeons. Jackdaws are particularly industrious when it comes to building nests, and they’ll ram the underside of your panels with all manner of sticks, twigs, and leaves.
All this material can create ‘hot spots’ on your panels, which cause particular solar cells to overheat and reduce the overall efficiency of the system. Squirrels, meanwhile, have something that pigeons and jackdaws don’t – teeth.
And for this reason, their potential for damage opens up spectacularly. What’s more, squirrels are always gnawing at things to keep their incisors down to a manageable limit, so these creature will gnaw their way through your solar panels’ cables and components.
10 Sure Ways to Get Rid of Pigeons Under Solar Panels
In the same way that houses attract humans, solar panels attract birds. Whenever a solar PV system is set up on top of a house, installers leave a gap between the panels and the roof to make space for electrical equipment. To the shrewd pigeon, this gap is a safe, warm, and comfortable place to settle down in. Keep reading to learn some useful tips on how to get rid of pigeons under solar panels.
1. Install Anti-Roosting Spikes
They may not be the most humane, but spikes along the edges of the panels do keep the birds from staying long enough to make a nest.
You can purchase anti-roosting spikes at any garden center or hardware store. These units could be attached easily to any spot around the solar panels that pigeons often want to nest and perch. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and attach correctly. Another smoother option is a slinky toy, which is available in many toy or department stores. Most birds hate it because it creates an uncomfortable surface for them to land on.
2. Bird screens
To be able to seal up the area under the solar panels, you can install a wire mesh that clips directly to the solar panels and goes completely around the entire array. If you want a less expensive version, plastic bird netting will pretty much do the same thing, but may not weather the elements as well.
You may do this when you install the solar panels or if you notice a growing number of birds hanging around them. First, the area must be cleaned, getting rid of the debris, nest material and droppings before installing the mesh, which makes it difficult for birds to nest beneath the panels.
If there is a large accumulation of this matter, it’s probably best to contact a professional company that can sanitize the area under the solar panels. Be careful not to glue or screw anything into the solar panel framework or mountain structure, as this can damage them or void your warranty on those parts.
3. Set Up a Sloped Sheathing
Yet another way you can keep the pesky birds away is to set up a sloped sheathing. Mostly constructed from PVC, plywood or metal, sheathing creates a slippery surface which pigeons cannot roost on. These products are mainly comprised of three sheaths that establish right triangles.
Their bases can securely fit into flat roosting spaces. The surface features a 60 to 40-degree angle which these birds cannot perch. All you need to do is just to put it on top of flat areas around solar panels where pigeons often roost.
4. Use Pigeon Scare Devices
Yet another thing you can use to scare pigeons away from your solar panels are plastic birds of prey, or some scare devices. You can think of them as scarecrows for your solar panels. It may sound outdated, but a fake owl with a head that swivels in the wind can be a good guard for solar panels.
If you want to go fancy, you may spruce up for an automated bird of prey like a hawk. Pigeons recognize these creatures and would likely stay away from your panels. Keep in mind that these birds will become accustomed to the presence of these devices if you place them in the same area. Thus, it is advisable to move them on a regular basis to get the best results.
5. Procure Tuck Netting
One of the most humane and effective deterrents to pigeons are bird meshes. They could be set up anywhere and are pleasing to the eye. Specially designed to cover the space under solar panels, they might prevent these birds from laying eggs or perching on your panels as well. You just need to clip the mesh directly to the surfaces and run around its edge. No matter which product you select, bird meshes are low-impact, attractive, and low-profile.
6. Set up Bird Mesh
Bird mesh is one of the most effective bird-proofing options for home solar systems. They are also similar to bird netting. Designed to seal the area under your solar panels, bird mesh clips directly to the panels and runs around the edges of the entire array.
While it doesn’t technically “seal off” your panels from the house – air can still move through – it does make it difficult for birds to build nests beneath the panels. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, bird netting will do the same thing, with slightly diminished resistance to the elements.
No matter which option you choose, bird nets are low-profile, attractive, and low-impact for both your panels and roofs.
7. Keep Your Yard and Garden Clean
Birds need something to eat, and making the space around your home uninhabitable for them will help encourage them to go elsewhere. To this end, keep your yard and garden clean and ensure there are no food sources around your home.
This is especially important to consider if you have a flat roof, as that becomes a virtual bird mecca. If you have rubbish bins around your house, store trash under a lid or in tightly sealed plastic bags. Remember also to clean up pet food around the house and store anything birds might want to eat in bins with fitted lids.
8. Hire a Professional Service
If you find it difficult to get rid of pigeons on your solar panels, then it is better to hire an experienced contractor who can set up a one-one door. This device enables the pigeons to exit the space but prevents them from entering again. Also, these professionals could help you clean up any feathers or droppings left behind.
They can ensure to maximize the performance and minimize damages to your costly solar power system. Overall it is better to be pro-active: exclude the birds and possums from getting under the panels and reduce the tendency for them to stay on your roof.
Hire a team of people experienced in proofing solar panels to get rid of pigeons and possums using their proven proofing product. In the longer run it is much cheaper to exclude the unwanted visitors as that reduces future maintenance costs and ensures that the efficiency of power conversion from the sun is not reduced.
Experienced, registered pest controllers will be able to combine this solar panel proofing with legal chemical treatments to get rid of pigeons and reduce the bird numbers, if needed. If you are a tenant, note that you need the owner’s permission to conduct any proofing work at the property, as it is structural work on the house. Make sure the owner is aware of the issue and they request the inspection from the pest controller directly.
9. Maintain Your Home Solar Panels
Solar panel system maintenance is essential, and keeping your PV array in good working order will make it that much less susceptible to bird nests and droppings. Cleaning your panels regularly, repairing any cracks or mounting issues, and having them professionally serviced are all essential to ensuring long-term functionality.
How Much Does It Cost to Remove Pigeons?
Pigeon removal in the United States costs between $100 to $300. Installing netting and spikes can run an additional $500 to $1,000.
Pigeons could be entertaining to enjoy, but their droppings might cause serious damages to your expensive solar panel system. There are many things you can do to prevent this from occurring. But before taking any measures, make sure to check your local and national laws regarding their protection status and use the right control methods when learning how to get rid of pigeons under your solar panels.