7 Reasons Why You Don’t Want Birds Nesting Under Your Solar Panels

Did you know that solar panels are on track to meet as much as 77% of electricity demand in four of the five most populous Australian states by 2026?

Rooftop residential solar panels are a great way to supply your own power and reduce your carbon footprint. The problem is that solar panels attract birds. And solar panels and birds are a bad combination. 

Have you ever wondered, ‘can birds damage solar panels?’ The answer is yes, they can.

They poop on the panels which in turn reduces their output. They also attract other pests such as cockroaches and rodents that love to chew through the electrical wires. And if enough poop builds up, the acid can also corrode the wiring and solar panels.

Let’s dig into these reasons and more in greater detail. Then we’ll take a look at how you can protect your solar panel system.

Cause Permanent Damage

Pigeons and other birds are not respectful tenants. They love to create nests under solar panels because they’re sheltered from the weather and predators.

The problem is that they poop all over the place, and bird poop is nasty stuff. It contains a lot of harmful bacteria and uric acid – the stuff that makes it white. When this acid builds up, it can start corroding your panels. 

Finn Peacock from SolarQuotes observed: “Bird droppings left on the face of solar panels may also result in “hotspots” in cells, which could ultimately lead to cell and panel failures in extreme cases. While solar panels are quite cheap these days, the labour involved with replacing them isn’t, as this must be performed by a suitably qualified solar installer or licensed electrician.”

If you don’t bird-proof your solar panels, you could run the risk of having to make major repairs. You might have to replace whole panels much earlier than you normally would.

Reduce Energy Output

A solar panel system should allow you to harness the sun’s energy to generate electricity when you need it the most. But if the sunlight can’t reach the cells because of a layer of bird poop, it’s defeating the solar panel’s purpose. We shouldn’t downplay the impact of these innocuous-looking droppings.

Finn Peacock from SolarQuotes made a revealing comment: “In an array of solar panels connected to a conventional string inverter, if one of the panels has bird poop on it, this could easily reduce that panel’s energy output by 30% or more. Even worse, it could also reduce the output of every other panel in that string.”

Don’t let birds rob you of almost a third of the electricity you could be generating and cause your utility bills to spike.

Fire Risk

Birds create a fire risk in a couple of ways. Firstly, they surround your solar panel system with lots of dry, combustible materials. It should be of a particular concern for residents of Western Sydney where the number of days per year over 35 degrees now 15.4 and increasing – it’s a risk you don’t want to take.

Also, birds love to peck at solar panel wiring. Combine this with bone dry nesting materials, and it’s an accident waiting to happen.

Spread Diseases

Pigeons carry at least three diseases that can infect humans. They are:

  • Histoplasmosis
  • Cryptococcosis
  • Psittacosis

If you’ve got pigeons nesting around your home, their droppings can pollute the air. As they dry, the wind carries them around your house, making it easy for you to breathe them in. Protecting solar panels from birds is about protecting your health as well as your wallet.

Create Unwanted Noise

Did you know that the word squabble comes from the word squab, the name for a young pigeon? It’s appropriate because that’s what pigeons do – they make endless and irritating noise.

That might be alright when you’re walking through the woods, but when you’re trying to get to sleep, it’s a different story. Nobody wants the sound of a nest full of squabbling pigeons keeping them up half the night.

Bird-proof your solar panels, and you stop them from taking up residence on your roof and interrupting your precious sleep!

Cause Water Damage

Birds nesting under solar panels don’t just damage the solar panel system. They also accumulate lots of nesting materials which can quickly fill up your gutters. Gutters that can’t drain properly are a leading cause of water damage inside your house.

Not only is this expensive to fix, but it can also cause health issues. It’s easy for mold to develop, triggering allergies and respiratory issues.

Attract Other Pests

Birds’ nests provide a hospitable environment for other pests. The warm, dry nesting materials and the chance of food can attract cockroaches. Rodents can also raid birds’ nests looking for eggs.

As Finn Peacock from Solar Quotes observed: “Birds nesting underneath panels can cause also damage – and beyond the system. This includes attracting rodents that may chew on cables, and combined with dry bird nesting materials (or even without it) can create a significant fire/electrocution risk.”

Rodents love chewing through electrical wiring, and that can cause major solar panel damage. At best, you’ll need to call pest control to remove the nests and any critters hanging around. At worst, you’ll have to get an electrician or technician in to make major and costly repairs to your system.

The Verdict: Can Birds Damage Solar Panels? 

The answer to ‘can birds damage solar panels?’ is clear. They can, and if you let them, they will.

Don’t run the risk of needing expensive repairs or a fire breaking out on your roof. Invest in bird proofing, and you’ll stop all species of birds from building nests under your solar panels.

At Forensic Pest Management Services, our bird proofing system provides 100% protection and does not interfere with your solar panels.

Call us now at 1300 360 457 or leave us a message online and we’ll be in touch soon.

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