Many people switch to solar panels as a way to generate the energy necessary for the house so they don’t rely on expensive electricity anymore. However, it seems that you’re not the only one interested in the efficiency of these panels – wildlife, more specifically birds, sometimes like to see them as their new home.
Although rare, birds, rodents, and other small animals can nest under solar panels, in gutters, or in any space that protects them from the weather or predators. Birds that nest under your solar panels may cause some damage over time, which is why you should take action before it’s too late.
So, do birds fly into solar panels? If your property had any solar panels installed recently, you should read this article on how to birdproof your panels. You’ll also learn what to do if pigeons or other birds have already nested under them and caused damage.
Why Do Birds Fly into Solar Panels?
Birds can be attracted to the solar panels on your roof. The reflective surface and any solar panel glare can captivate them, attracting them to the roof and prompting them to settle on top of the house.
Aside from the reflection, birds also love the warmth found under freshly installed panels and the protection they provide. Birds love to nest under panels and care for their baby birds. This is because solar panels provide coverage from harsh weather conditions.
The pigeon is a pest bird species that commonly nests under solar panels. However, sparrows, mynahs, and starlings are also common species of home-nesting birds in Australia.
Can Birds Damage Solar Panels?
Birds that find shelter around solar panels represent one of the reasons why the efficiency of these installations is reduced.
One common concern is bird mess. Pigeon poop can reduce efficiency by blocking sunlight. On top of that, it is also acidic, which can lead to surface corrosion, damaging solar panels and your roof as a result.
What’s even worse is that pigeon poop can cause leaks or stains on your roof. In some cases, other pests will be attracted by the waste, bringing more issues.
Sometimes, bird droppings can enter the gutters and flow down the side of the home. As a result, you may notice an unpleasant smell. Bird mess can also cause blockages, damaging your roof as a result.
Moreover, having pigeons nesting under your solar panels can also lead to dead chicks and broken eggs. These, combined with the bird nests, can reduce airflow under the panels, which is necessary for ventilation in order to prevent overheating.
Can Solar Panels Kill Birds?
Every year, across the world hundreds of thousands of birds die because they crash into solar panels.
Birds can be attracted to the reflective surface of the solar panels, which usually resemble the sky or water surface. They think they’re flying into a clear path, or they mistake the panels for water and attempt to dive into it, resulting in injuries or death.
Solar panel facilities see numerous bird deaths, sparking concerns surrounding the impact that these units have on wildlife in Australia. Nevertheless, some experts believe that rates of bird deaths caused by solar panels are greatly exaggerated and still encourage the use of solar power photovoltaics due to their benefits.
Using solar panels decreases carbon emissions, which is beneficial to birds and the environment. And while bird injuries and deaths are still possible, some researchers are taking advantage of AI in order to track and keep an eye on the bird species that frequently crash into solar panels. This way, they try to find ways to prevent such incidents. Others are using camera systems to monitor birds that fly into solar panels.
How Do You Keep Birds from Pooping on Your Solar Panels?
You can keep birds from pooping on your solar panels by reaching out to a professional pest control service. The experts can install bird exclusion systems to prevent birds from making your solar panels their home.
There are different types of bird exclusion systems. Some use metal mesh, while others require spikes or sound devices.
However, there are other preventive measures you can take to make sure your roof doesn’t look too inviting to nearby birds. For instance, you should not let your pet’s food and water bowls outside, and you should consider trimming your trees so birds will not be tempted to seek shelter there.
Another thing you can do is change the habitats of the birds. If you installed a fountain in your yard, use salt water instead of fresh water. This way, birds will not stick around as they’ll be unable to drink this water.
How Do You Bird Proof Solar Panels?
Solar panels are a worthwhile investment and you want to protect them against damange. Fortunately, you can begin bird-proofing your panels to protect them. Here are some of your options:
Using figures of predators, such as owls and cats, can do wonders when it comes to keeping birds away. You can place them around your property to deter pigeons and other species.
Don’t forget to move them around occasionally – otherwise, after a while, birds will not see them as a threat.
Bird mesh is perhaps one of the most effective ways to keep pigeons and other birds away from your solar panels. It can prevent birds from going underneath your panels, making sure they don’t nest there. Mesh can be clipped to the panels and it’s usually affordable.
Many people in Australian cities take advantage of roof spikes to keep birds away from their solar panels. Since they provide discomfort, birds will not like nesting there. Thus, they will fly far away from your solar panels and look for other nesting spots.
To be more effective, spikes should be used in combination with another bird-proofing method.
Foil can also be used to deter birds. A popular method is hanging long pieces of foil from trees. As they reflect the sun, birds will stay away from them.
In some cases, certain bird species will like these foil strips and even try to steal them for their nests, but such species don’t typically nest around your house.
Some homeowners deter birds by using crushed chili. This can be done by mixing some chili with water. Allow the mixture time to ferment in the sun, then spray it in the areas where pigeons are likely to nest.
How Do You Fix the Mess the Birds Have Already Made?
If birds have already made their way under your precious solar panels, you must make an effort to get rid of the mess that could cause more panel and roof damage.
Before you begin, keep in mind that you must be very careful when you’re doing this. The chances are that hundreds of volts are currently filling the array wiring if you have strong sunlight.
First things first, you should not use metal tools. If there’s any debris under your panels, you can use plastic and fibreglass tools to push the matter off the surface.
There are plenty of safe ways to clean solar panels. A great option would be a long extension handle made from a fibreglass rod and a heavy-duty plastic scraper. Once you attach them, you can push all the mess, leaves, sticks, and anything else out from under your panels. Ideally, this should be done more frequently to avoid a large amount of debris building up.
Another thing you can do is use a bucket to pour water into roof channels.
No matter what, you should not use a pressure washer, because it can lead to earth faults if water reaches the wrong places.
How Do You Get Rid of Pigeons Under Solar Panels?
If pigeons or other birds have already become tenants on your property, you can get rid of them by calling pest control services. Various companies in all areas of Australia are ready to remove birds nesting under your solar panels and install bird-proofing systems.
Professionals will guide or push the pigeons out from under the panels in a way that is safe not only for them but also for your roof and solar panels.
Australia is home to many beautiful species of birds. You can admire them from afar, but you do not want them to nest under your solar panels. It could lead to damage to both your panels and your roof.
Consider bird-proofing your solar panels with bird mesh, roof spikes, fake owls, and other items. If you’re having a hard time doing this on your own, don’t hesitate to call pest control in your location and request bird-proofing services.