How to stop Pigeons Nesting Under Solar Panels

A pretty niche problem to have, right? Pigeons under your solar panels. Not to worry! This article right here will tell you simply the best ways to stop pigeons from nesting under your solar panels, how to get rid of them, and how much it will cost you to pigeon proof your solar panels. 

It’s probably best if you understand why pigeons will nest under your solar panels. Now, *disclaimer*, there are no pigeon behavioural experts here, at First Choice Energy Ltd. However, it’s pretty easy to put yourself in their nest, and wonder why your solar panels are so enticing. Pigeons aren’t exactly top of the food chain, and unless they are homing pigeons, it’s likely they have no shelter. So, why wouldn’t they make a beeline towards your solar panels? They’ll provide refuge from predators, shelter from the elements, and solar panels are most likely going to be warm- the perfect nesting spot! 

So what? 

Why should you have your solar panels pigeon proofed?

Please allow us to enlighten you-

  1.  The amount of nesting materials and bird poop that will accumulate on your solar panels will absolutely reduce the efficiency of them… costing you more than you should be paying in the long-run.
  2. Pigeon droppings are also quite acidic, so a lot of this on your solar panels can result in corrosion of the panels’ structure. 
  3. The excess of pigeon droppings under the solar panels will stain your roof.
  4. Any nests and droppings belonging to the pigeons can attract other pests such as rats… ew!
  5. Birds are unhygienic, and carry harmful pathogens! Pigeons are known for carrying lice, and bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella. When their poop turns to dust, as it does, it can spread through your roof, exposing you and your family to these diseases.
  6. Lastly, lice carried by the pigeons may also come through the roof, to find new hosts… hint hint… you.

Pigeons will ultimately end up damaging this very expensive asset to your home, and creating an unhealthy living environment for you and your loved ones.

So the question remains…

How can you stop these pesky pigeons from nesting under your solar panels? You have to pigeon proof them, of course!

How to pigeon proof your home

Pigeon proofing your home may sound like a joke, but it definitely isn’t! In an ideal world, your solar panels would have been pigeon proofed more or less straight after installation. Worry not, however, because it is 100% possible to pigeon proof your solar panels at any point in their life. Below, you can see our top 7 methods of pigeon proofing your solar panels. You can then decide which method is best suited to your home, perhaps taking some friendly advice along the way…

Solar panel pigeon mesh (screens)- this low-profile prevention method firstly requires a clean workspace. It then works by clipping securely, right the way around the solar panel sealing off the underneath whilst still allowing air to circulate. This will 100% prevent any pesky pigeons from setting up camp under your panels. The greatest advantage of this, is that it is not really unnoticeable, unless you already know it’s there! It is, however, extremely important that you do not screw or glue anything to your solar panels. If you do it could damage them, and nullify your warranty. As the most attractive, humane, and effective form of prevention, solar panel pigeon mesh would definitely be our #1 recommendation.

Bird spikes- these can be set up under your solar panels or around the immediate area. They are little metal wires, shaped into spikes, and they stop the pigeons from lingering long enough to build their nests. It does this by making it near impossible to land, and far too uncomfortable to squeeze under the panels. This form of pigeon prevention can be very effective. It is not, however, very humane. Although very effective, it wouldn’t be our first recommendation, here at First Choice Energy Ltd, due to the discomfort it causes the pigeons. Additionally, this approach is most certainly not discreet, and can make your roof look pretty unappealing.

Cleaning your garden- although this isn’t the most effective way to stop pigeons from nesting underneath your solar panels, it certainly helps! When keeping your garden clean and neat, there will be no source of food for the pigeons, and therefore, one less reason for them to invade your roof. So, always remember, close your bin lids, tie-up your bin liners extremely securely, and clean up any pet food that’s outside. Although not the most effective as a deterrent, it is extremely useful as a form of maintenance in ensuring that pigeons don’t end up as your unwanted tenants.

Bird netting- this method is pretty much the same as solar panel pigeon mesh. It is, though, not as weather-resistant, and can end up damaged. If it is installed correctly, though, it can last the test of time whilst providing an excellent way of stopping the pigeons from nesting under your solar panels. Another benefit of the Bird Net method, is that it’s significantly cheaper than the solar panel pigeon mesh, but as you’ve just read, can be vulnerable to the weather.

Pigeon deterrents- think of these as the scarecrows of the solar panel world. Be it a plastic decoy, an electronic pest chaser, or pigeon repellent gel. Yes, you read right! Pigeon gel. It’s pretty effective too, there’s nothing unattractive about it to us humans, but the pigeons just don’t like it. Its consistency is pretty sticky, and makes the pigeons feel a bit trapped, something they’re not a fan of (ever heard the phrase ‘free as a bird’?). So, just slather it on and it should keep the pests at bay. An electronic pest chaser basically emits a noise that only the pigeons can hear, and they really don’t like it! If this is installed onto your roof it will 100% help deter any pigeons from nesting under your solar panels. 

Even plastic decoys play a good part in pigeon repellent! Setting up a plastic owl can indeed make a world of difference. The pigeons will not want to nest and raise their young near a potential threat! This method of pigeon proofing is quite successful!

Solar panel maintenance- this is more or less just a way of staying dedicated to the upkeep of your solar panels really. However, it does definitely help keep the pigeons at bay. If your solar panels have no debris, and are kept clean, they will generally just be slightly less inclined to nest under them. Having them maintained professionally will also ensure a long, functioning life for them too. Highly recommended.

Hiring a solar panel pigeon control company- this is basically pest control. These professionals know exactly how to handle the animals and will remove them humanely. They will clean up after them using biocides, ensuring that any of the nasty diseases the pigeons are carrying are killed. It is best that these professionals are qualified within the government, for example the BPCA, to do any of these things.

How much does it cost to pigeon proof solar panels?

When pigeon proofing your solar panels, it is important that you;

  1. Ensure the company you’ve chosen for these services are BPCA (Bird Pest Control Association) qualified- this means that they are qualified to handle and remove any pigeons on your roof in compliance with animal welfare regulations.
  2. Check to see what services they actually offer- for example, not all companies will remove the pigeons from under your solar panels. This means you’ll have to hire another company to remove them before the pigeon proofing, costing you a lot more in the long term.

Here are the services that solar panel pigeon proofing companies have to offer;

Removing any pigeons from your roof in accordance with animal welfare laws.

Cleaning your whole roof and solar panels of any debris, or bird faeces, nesting materials etc.

Removing any dead pigeons and nests from your roof and under your solar panels.

Washing your roof with biocides that will kill and remove any diseases or bird lice on your roof and solar panels.

Install your chosen pigeon proofing method onto your solar panels.

In short, the total cost of pigeon proofing your solar panels, does actually depend on a range of factors. These include- the number and size of your solar panels, i.e., the bigger the solar panel, the larger the clean up, the more expensive the price. Another factor that will increase the cost of pigeon proofing your solar panels is whether the company can access your roof without scaffolding. If they can do the job with a ladder, it would be far more economical for you! Any repair costs will be incorporated into your end pigeon proofing bill too! So if your damage is so extensive as needing your panels re-wired or your roof retiled, it could end up costing you a lot more than your original quote! 

Many companies would quote approximately £300 for some of the cheaper pigeon proofing methods, while if you had in mind the more advanced means of pigeon proofing your solar panels, you’re looking at about £700 minimum. These prices do not include scaffolding or any repairs. It is, of course, a healthy investment, protecting your solar panels from being destroyed by these pests and costing you more in the long term.

How to get rid of pigeons under solar panels

So, it’s pretty obvious, there’s no point in pigeon proofing your solar panels if you already have a problem. The best options you have, as previously mentioned, are pigeon deterrent devices, or having them professionally removed and then having any pigeon proofing system installed.

Solar panels are such an investment into your home, saving you so much on energy bills whilst creating renewable energy. Allowing these pests to ruin this asset would definitely be a shame, and a disservice to your pockets! Pigeon proofing your solar panels, therefore is 100% worth the  money spent… Do you agree?