Solar Panel Bird Proofing
Rooftop solar panels need protecting from birds
There are over one million houses and office buildings in the UK with rooftop solar panels. It is necessary to protect solar panels from birds such as pigeons and gulls. This is because the area below the panels provides year-round shelter from the weather and predators making it the perfect space for birds to roost and nest.
Birds roosting and nesting on a roof can cause lots of problems:
- Nesting birds and their young are noisy.
- Large amounts of droppings smell unpleasant and make a building look unsightly.
- The droppings contain pathogens and bacteria which can cause very serious illness if breathed in (once dried) or ingested.
- Pigeon droppings are acidic which can corrode and erode brickwork, metalwork and stonework.
- Birds’ nests have mites, ticks, fleas and beetles which can find their way into the building.
- Nesting materials, feathers and droppings can block gutters and drains as well as reducing the effectiveness of solar panels.
- Birds can cause damage to the panels and fixings which may void the manufacturer’s warranty.
- Gulls can be aggressive, particularly in spring and summer when they breed and raise their young.
Why bird proofing is better than removal
Preventing pigeons from accessing the area under and around rooftop solar panels is easier than culling them and removing the mess and debris they make. The birds will continue to use this area unless they are deterred. Pigeons are particular about where they roost and nest and will be determined to return.
Bird proofing is necessary for all rooftop solar panel installations. Birds are learning that they provide a nice place to roost and nest so will seek them out. Over time they will pass this behaviour down to their offspring so it will be an ongoing problem.
Why stopping birds from dropping on solar panels is so important
A build-up of birds’ nesting materials, feathers and droppings on top of solar panels can reduce their effectiveness. By blocking the light from reaching the panel’s surface the current is prevented from flowing efficiently which can create an extreme temperature increase resulting in a ‘hotspot’. Hotspots lower the power output of the whole panel.
Bird proofing the solar panels will help to remove long term, avoidable maintenance costs.
How to protect solar panels from birds
- Deter birds from landing on or near solar panels by using Bird Free repellent gel,
- Prevent birds from pushing underneath solar panels to nest by fitting specially designed mesh around the sides of the panels.
- Proof anything on the roof which birds can perch on by installing spikes.
Bird Free repellent gel deters birds
Bird Free repellent gel is a harmless, unobtrusive and humane method of deterring birds. It can be applied to protect rooftop solar panels from birds. It creates a glow similar to shimmering fire whilst emitting a pungent odour which together cause an aversion response in birds.
Left undisturbed the gel remains completely effective for two years, even in the most exposed and polluted environment, without maintenance. The cost will vary depending on the size of the area that needs to be treated.
Mesh prevents birds accessing the area below the solar panels
Professionally installed mesh that is designed specifically for use with solar panels is a proven and effective way of stopping birds from accessing the area below the panels.
Strips of the mesh are fastened under the lip of each side of the solar panels using clips manufactured for this purpose. The mesh is folded over to improve its rigidity and prevent leaves from gathering.
Ventilation remains unaffected so the panels can function efficiently. Correctly-installed mesh will not compromise the manufacturer’s warranty.
We guarantee our installation of the mesh for one year. We have never had a situation where we have had to return.
Bird spikes stop birds perching
Bird spikes can be installed on anything on a roof which birds can use to perch such as chimneys, lights and tv aerials.
There are bird spikes designed specifically to prevent birds gaining access to the area below solar panels. The spikes are set at an angle to the base so that it is firmly attached to the roof. However we’ve found that birds have learned to push through the spikes to gain entry.
Accessing rooftop solar panels is difficult
PESTUK’s technicians are experienced in using roofing ladders. They have the correct equipment and training to work safely and effectively on most roofs. We have technicians who are PASMA certified to build scaffolding if required.
Our technicians have been fully trained to install solar panel mesh, bird spikes and Bird Free repellent gel.
The pictures below show one of our technicians installing mesh to protect solar panels from birds on a commercial building.
For an updated list of prices for all PESTUK services, please click here.
PESTUK are a member of the BPCA (British Pest Control Association).