Are you having a problem with birds nesting under your solar panels? Pigeons can cause serious damage to your solar panels, which is why it’s important to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
There are no two ways about it. Pigeons and solar panels don’t gel well.
When you’re dealing with pigeons nesting under your solar panels, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. Some people find that using scare tactics, such as loud noises or predator decoys, is effective in getting the birds to move on. You can also try removing any food or shelter sources that the pigeons may be using. If none of these methods work, you may need to call in a professional pest control company to help get rid of the pigeons for good.
In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to get rid of pigeons under solar panels. Before we look at the solutions, let’s discuss the reasons why pigeons find solar panels attractive and how damaging they are.
Why are pigeons attracted to solar panels?
Like most birds, pigeons also seek shelter from the sun, rain, and predators. And they need a place to build nests, lay eggs, and hatch their chicks. Naturally, they look for a shady and safe place for building nests that will keep the rain away.
Mounted solar panels on rooftops provide the perfect home for pigeons. Away from humans and other predators, pigeons are also protected from the elements here.
Another advantage for pigeons is the warmth provided by solar panels. As they are placed in direct sunlight, it would be warm underneath the panels. Moreover, the panels emit residual heat which will keep the atmosphere surrounding the panels warm. This can be a huge attraction for pigeons in the winter months.
How damaging are pigeons?
There are two reasons why you should take steps to keep pigeons away from solar panels. Pigeons damage the panels. The other is the nuisance they create for humans.
When you think of pigeons, the first thing that comes to mind is pigeon poop. Pigeons are notorious for constant pooping. Besides being disgusting, pigeon poops are associated with health risks in humans.
The bacteria and fungus present in the pigeon poop, if breathed in, can lead to diseases like Cryptococcosis, Histoplasmosis, and Psittacosis. Even if the risk is minimal, you would not want to take chances.
The poops are not good for the solar panels either. Pigeon poop is highly acidic as the water content in their bodies is low. Mostly uric acid and ammonia, pigeon poops can corrode paints, concrete, and metals over time. This is no good news for your solar panels or roofs. Moreover, this can bring down the efficiency of the solar panels.
In addition, pigeons have a high nuisance value. They are noisier than other birds. They are constantly on the move, fluttering their wings and walking over the roof creating sounds.
How to keep pigeons away from solar panels?
Solar panels are expensive to replace, so you don’t want to give up on your investment just because you have pigeon problems. What’s worse is that there aren’t many fool-proof solutions out there if you’re looking for how to get rid of pigeons under solar panels.
Pigeons are a nuisance and difficult to get rid of. But you can do some things that will make your solar panels less appealing as well as provide protection from damage caused by birds’ nests or droppings on them! Here is how:
1. Clean and clear the space
If the pigeons have already made their homes under your solar panels, the first step is to remove the nesting materials and bird droppings. This may not be easy if they had been living there for some time. You can hire a professional solar panel cleaning company to get the job done.
As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Once the solar panels and the surrounding areas are cleaned up, make the extra effort to keep them that way. Pigeons make a home where food is available easily. Ensure that this is not the case. Keep your waste securely in a closed bin. Make sure that the food you leave for your pets is not accessible to pigeons.
2. Secure solar panels with pigeon nets
A nylon or polyurethane bird net is the cheapest way to secure your solar panel from pigeons. Install the net to cover the area under the solar panel. Pigeon net is simple and almost invisible. However, it can prevent pigeons from entering the space between the solar panel and the rooftop.
The downside of the pigeon net is that it is not long-lasting. As it is exposed to the elements day in and day out, it gets damaged after a couple of years. This means you will have to replace them frequently.
3. Install a bird mesh
This is a better version of the pigeon net. Pigeon solar panel mesh is available in a variety of materials like iron, aluminum, or stainless steel. All of them are more expensive than bird nets but last longer. This will avoid the hassle of replacing them often.
Among the material choices for bird mesh, aluminum or stainless steel are better as they won’t rust. The method of installing is similar to that of pigeon net. Close off the space under the solar panel from all the sides so that pigeons won’t have a chance to nest there.
Of all the choices available for getting rid of pigeons under solar panels, bird net and bird mesh are the most humane ones.
4. Fix sloped sheathing
The sheathing is made from materials like PVC, plywood, or metal to make the surface smoother. This will make it hard for the pigeons to get a grip and perch on them. You can make it harder by choosing sloped sheathing.
Sheathing should be installed on the surface on which the solar panel is installed. It is easy and simple to fix the sheathing on any flat surface.
5. Use bird spikes
Spikes are commonly available in hardware stores. You can install them in places pigeons tend to perch and nest. This can be attached to the sides of solar panels. The spikes are uncomfortable and will make it difficult for the pigeons to move around.
Spikes will act as a deterrent for pigeons to roost under the solar panels. This is a cost-effective solution to the pigeon problem as well as long-lasting.
6. Get bird decoys
A plastic imitation of a bird of prey like a hawk, eagle, falcon, or owl can help in scaring away the pigeons. Fix them securely to the roof so that they will stay put in winds and rains. This may sound old-fashioned but is effective in some instances.
The effectiveness of the bird decoy will depend on the quality of the decoy and how similar it is to the original bird. And it also depends on the comfort level, confidence, and nonchalance of pigeons in the area.
If a simple plastic bird decoy is not giving the desired results, you can opt for a hi-tech one. These are battery-operated ones with movements and sounds to make them more convincing to the pigeons.
7. Use pigeon repellent gel
Many branded gels are available in the market that work well in keeping the pigeons away. Apply the gel to the sides of the solar panel. When the pigeons come near them, they will find it uncomfortable and will leave immediately.
Take care not to apply too much of the gel as pigeons can get stuck in it. The gel will wear off after a few weeks and you need to reapply again.
8. Install reflective surfaces
Surfaces that reflect sunlight act as deterrents to pigeons. Pigeons and generally birds can’t tolerate bright lights as they make them disoriented. Birds always try to avoid them.
You can set them up near the solar panels on the rooftops so that the pigeons won’t land on the roof. Bird deflectors are easily available in the market. Or you can use old damaged CDs for the purpose. You can keep them scattered all over the roof. The effectiveness of bird deflectors is short and they need to be replaced frequently.
9. Use a bird shock tape
These tapes come with wires embedded in them. When connected to a power source they carry low voltage of electricity. When birds land on them, the mild shock it gives makes the bird fly off immediately.
These tapes come in rolls and you can stick them on any surface. They may have a solar charger or a battery to provide electricity.
10. Install one-way doors
If none of the easy tactics listed above are working, you may have to hire a professional to resolve your pigeon problem. They typically clear the area of all nesting materials and droppings. They can fix one-way doors on all sides of the solar panels installed to ensure that pigeons can’t get in.
Pigeons are a problem because they tend to roost on the panels and poop all over them. The birds can also cause damage by pecking at wires, which is why it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of pigeon activity to prevent future problems.
Fortunately, there are some ways for bird proofing solar panels without causing harm to either yourself or your feathered friends. The first step is understanding what motivates them to come back – food, water, shelter from predators, etc. Once this has been identified it becomes easier to devise a plan which will work for everyone.