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Solar panels are nifty gadgets rising in popularity for being eco-friendly and money-saving. They can be expensive to install, but it’s worth it – solar energy brings down power bills.
But what about their maintenance including pigeons – will they move into that cosy space underneath the panels?
Pigeons nesting under your solar panels may not seem like a big deal, but these birdies can cause a lot of nonsense and damage your panels. Luckily, they can be avoided.
You can do various things to get rid of pigeons under solar panels, such as installing a mesh, setting up a pigeon-scare system, installing a covered sloping, and keeping your yard clean. One of these methods is sure to work!
Why Do Pigeons Like My Solar Panels?
Pigeons are drawn to your solar panels because of the following:
- Protection from weather and predators. The space under your solar panels is perfect for protecting pigeons from the elements and bigger birds and other animals that prey on them. The area is also cozy, providing warmth on colder days.
- The view. Yep, pigeons love a good view! It’s for a reason, though, as they are able to look for food and water. Your solar panels are up on the roof, exposed to the sunlight, and away from possible things that block their view, which makes the perfect nesting area.
Ways to Get Rid of and Prevent Pigeons Under Solar Panels
You can do one of the following to control pigeons under your solar panels. Make sure the area under the solar panels is clean before installing the devices. These methods are safe and will not harm the pigeons at all; it will merely deter them to another location.
1 Install a solar panel mesh
Solar mesh is a quick, low-tech solution to sorting out a pigeon problem under your solar panels. It’s pretty easy to install, as you have to clip the wire mesh to the edges of the solar panels.
The mesh prevents pigeons and other animals from going into the space below the solar panels. The pigeons cannot lay eggs or land there. What’s good about this is that air can still move freely beneath the panels, but nothing else (and no one else!) will come through.
If you’re concerned about the clips on the solar panels, worry not! These clips won’t damage your panels at all. The mesh needs very little maintenance and is not an eye sore for your roof.
Although it’s easy to install, you have to make sure to clean the area beneath your solar panels PROPERLY before putting it in. Be careful around the solar panel components!
2 Install a Sloped Sheathing
This slope can be made from metal, plywood, or PVC, which provides a slippery surface so pigeons cannot land or roost on it. The 3 sheaths make right triangles, whose bases fit into the flat area where they usually roost.
The surface provides a 40-to-60-degree angle, which no birds or other animals can sit on. All you have to do is put it on flat areas under and around your panels where pigeons often stay.
3 Scare Them Away!
Scarecrow concept, but it’s basically scare-pigeons!
You can get scare-pigeons that are decoys or kites that will represent a hawk figure. Pigeons will be scared of hawk silhouette and not approach your solar panels at all.
Remember that the pigeons will eventually get used to the presence of the decoys if it’s always in the same area, so move them around regularly so they work all the time.
4 Anti-Roosting Spikes
Anti-roosting spikes can be attached to the areas around the panels where you see the pigeons nesting or chilling in. These spikes can be purchased at a hardware or garden store. Read the manual thoroughly to make sure you attach it properly.
You can also use a slinky toy, which is easily found in a general store or forgotten in your kid’s toybox! Usually, birds hate it because it makes a weird surface for them to land on, so they wouldn’t want to come nest under your solar panels.
5 Clean Your Yard and Garden Regularly
Pigeons are probably attracted to your yard because of the possible food, water, and nesting materials around them. You have to make the space around your house unsuitable for them to live in. You must clean out leaves and other food sources from the yard and garden.
This must be done, especially if you have a flat roof. Birds absolutely love that. If you have trash bins around, store your trash under a secure lid or in a well-sealed plastic bag. Clean up pet food around your home and try not to leave anything out in the open.
6 Maintain Your Solar Panels
Keeping your solar panels in tip-top condition will make them less attractive for pigeons to nest there. Always remove any dust or debris such as leaves (that birds use to build their nest) from the panels and keep the roof clean.
How Much Damage Can Pigeons Really Do?
You may be thinking that pigeons are just using your roof for shelter. While you may want to leave them, they can cause some hefty damage to your roof and solar panels…
Their poop is not the most attractive thing on your roof and solar panels. Apart from this, the poop can get ‘cooked’ in the sun, which can interfere with the panels and cause permanent discoloration on your roof.
Bird droppings are very acidic and can damage the electrical what-nots, roofing equipment, and tiles. As the poop accumulates, it can also run down the side of your house, which can cause a mess. They can also dry and enter the house through HVAC and vents, which can affect you and your family.
Pigeons can leave their nesting materials everywhere. The nests are put together with a mix of fluids and droppings, which makes them a health hazard. Apart from this, the pigeons just love to peck at cords and other equipment under the panels.
The presence of pigeons means other guests are coming too! This includes rats, mice, bats, and squirrels. These creatures are known to nibble and chew just about anything, so your panels will be damaged, which can cost a lot to repair!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can mothballs keep pigeons away?
Yes, they can. Pigeons don’t like the strong smell of a mothball or any ammonia products. You can put some mothballs on the roof, in between the tiles, and even in selected places in the yard. The smell of the mothballs will drive them away.
What is the most common pigeon in the US?
The Rock Pigeon or Rock Dove is the most common specie in the US. This is an introduced specie that has adapted well in North America.