What are solar panels and why do birds nest under them?
Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic panels (PV panels), solar cell panels, or even solar electric panels, are a device used to collect sunlight and turn it into electricity. Oftentimes solar panels are placed on the roofs of homes or buildings and provide not only shelter from the natural elements but from predators as well.
For example, pigeons in particular will look for anywhere sheltered. The height difference between the top of your roof and your solar panel provides these pest birds with just the right amount of space to nest comfortably.
How can I tell if birds are nesting under my solar panels?
It’s always best practice to monitor and physically check for nesting under your solar panels, but if you experience any of the following signs of increased bird activity, we’re confident you’re dealing with birds also nesting under your solar panels:
- Torn up window screens, ripped up grass, or excess feathers laying around your property. Birds use these items to nest, so if you see signs of destructive behaviour it’s a good chance you have birds nesting close by.
- Birds fixated on a particular spot. Birds will often focus, glance, or hover over a fixed area if it’s a nest.
- Irregular levels of bird noise. If you hear more bird noise than usual or if you hear unusual nasal whining, it may be because you’re too close to a nest.
- Bird feces in one particular spot around your home or business. Birds generally roost under solar panels but also like to hang out on your gutters and will leave feces below where they usually sit.
Have you noticed increased bird activity near your home or business? Schedule a free, on-site bird pest control consultation with our experts.
Can birds damage solar panels?
Yes, birds can damage your solar panels. For example, bird droppings can be extremely corrosive and can cause erosion to your solar panel’s wiring or to the surface itself. Birds can also scratch the surface of your solar panels which can reduce their ability to generate electricity.
Common Signs Of A Bird Infestation
As we’ve mentioned earlier in this post, you’re most likely dealing with a bird infestation if you notice the following common signs:
- More bird droppings, especially in specific spots
- Additional bird noise (e.g. cooing, whining, chirping, etc)
- More birds in and around your home or business
- The presence of bird lice
Benefits Of Bird Proofing Your Solar Panels
There are many different direct and indirect benefits to bird proofing your solar panels. Some direct benefits include:
- Preventing a pest bird’s ability to roost under your solar panels makes it very unlikely to set up shop elsewhere at your home or business.
- Limiting the number of nesting birds minimizes your risk of bird lice.
- The fewer birds nesting under your solar panels means less mess from bird feces — which means less time and money spent cleaning it up.
- Reduced noise pollution from birds.
- Limits the risk of bird damage to your solar panels so they can run more effectively, and efficiently.
The less noise and mess that birds bring to your home or business means less time providing maintenance costs like cleaning. This time and money can be spent bird proofing your solar panels as well on other more important to-dos around your property.
For example, what can cost you close to $4,000 in maintenance costs for mitigating damage from birds, will cost half that amount to implement bird proofing, continuing to save you more money every month.
Best Methods To Bird Proof Your Solar Panels
There are two popular, and effective ways to bird proof your solar panels:
- Solar Skirting: Plastic and metal solar skirting can be used, however, metal is the most popular since it’s stronger and will last longer.
- Gutter Mesh: gutter mesh however can only help with birds nesting on your roof, not specifically under your solar panels. It can be an added deterrent once you’ve pushed them out of nesting under your solar panels.
Average Cost To Bird Proof Your Solar Panels
The cost to bird proof your solar panels is entirely dependent on the following factors:
- The number of solar panels you have.
- Whether or not you’re getting both solar skirting and gutter mesh installed or just solar skirting.
- The material of the bird proofing solution you choose (e.g. aluminium vs steel solar skirting).
- Ease of access to your solar panels (e.g. whether a lift or boom knuckle needs to be used over a simple ladder).
If you’d like a quote on how much bird proofing your solar panels will cost, contact us to schedule a free on-site consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do birds sit on solar panels?
Yes, depending on the temperature at the time, birds will sit on anything that has a good vantage point.
2. Are solar panels harmful to birds?
Yes, solar panels can be harmful to birds, but only if there are enough of them to cause a significant amount of reflection and heat. Birds are attracted to light and can accidentally try to land on solar panels and the heat can then damage their feet.
3. Does bird poop or nesting reduce the efficiency of my solar panels?
Yes, bird droppings do reduce the efficiency of solar panels due to the corrosive their droppings are, but nesting does not. These droppings cause damage to the solar panels, your gutters, and anything below (e.g. parked cars or patio furniture).
4. How do I clean bird poop off my solar panels?
A power washer can remove bird droppings from your solar panels but it can take a long time and may not get it all off. To save you time and possible injury if your solar panels can’t be easily accessed, we recommend Aqua Fresh Cleaning company. They provide solar panel cleaning services here on the Sunshine Coast and North Brisbane.
5. How can I stop birds from returning to my solar panels even if I use a deterrent?
It ultimately depends on the type of bird you’re dealing with and if they’re nesting under solar panels or just in your gutters. Solar skirting and gutter mesh should be enough because it’s limiting the spaces birds can nest.
However, if you’ve used these deterrents or others including spikes, slopes, shock strips, etc and the problem still isn’t going away, trapping and baiting might be needed.
Want to get rid of birds nesting under or around your solar panels?
If you’re dealing with a heavy pest bird population on or around your home or business contact our bird pest control experts for a free on-site consultation.