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Solar Panel Bird Deterrent Mesh

Jun. 17, 2024

Solar Panel Bird Deterrent Mesh

Bird B Gone Solar Panel Bird Deterrent Mesh is designed to prevent pest birds from accessing the area beneath solar arrays. Stop pigeons and other animals from nesting underneath your solar panels. The 100-ft roll is now available in two different widths, 6-inch and 8-inch wide rolls. Measure the distance between your rooftop and solar panel array to select the appropriate size. Solar Panel Mesh Rolls are Installed with Bird B Gone Solar Clips (sold separately).

Click here to get more.

Solar panel bird proofing | Do you need it?

&#; Birds can cause damage to solar panel systems when nesting

&#;&#; Most types of solar panel bird proofing can also keep out other pests

&#; Properly installed bird spikes can last for more than 15 years

As much as we love our feathered friends and other local wildlife, they can become an inconvenience for a solar panel system. The space under solar panels is prime property for animals looking for a safe haven &#; and if homeowners aren&#;t careful, they could end up with a set of nuisance neighbours who are difficult to remove. 

In this article, we&#;ll explore what you can do to safeguard your solar panel investment from unwanted visitors &#; whether they&#;re birds, bats or squirrels. 

To find out how much a solar & battery system (with bird protection) could save you in the long run, answer a few quick questions below and we'll generate an estimate.

Do you need to get bird proofing for your solar panels?

Bird proofing measures are essential for ensuring your solar photovoltaic (PV) system lasts for as long as possible. Birds can cause damage to rooftop solar panels by nesting under them, covering them with poo, or pecking at the wiring. And if you've ended up paying the high upfront cost of solar, it makes sense that you want to protect it.

According to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the UK is home to a vast population of around 170 million wild birds across 628 species, each with unique behaviours and nesting habits. This includes 18 million feral pigeons, who have a particular interest in nesting beneath solar panels. 

Considering there are almost 1.3 million UK households with solar panels today, that&#;s a lot of systems that could become homes for birds.

What problems can birds cause under your solar panels?

Birds nesting under solar panels can cause chaos, messing up everything to do with the panels' efficiency and the surrounding structures. In some cases, the damage can end up being an expensive headache. 

Let's look at some of these issues in more detail:

  • Reduced solar panel efficiency
  • Damage to the solar panels
  • Noise disturbance
  • Rooftop mess
  • Attracting other pests

Reduced efficiency

Your solar panels&#; efficiency is everything - it refers to what percentage of natural light is being converted into electricity, which obviously determines how much money you&#;re saving on your energy bills. Once birds have nested beneath your panels, they&#;ll start to poo on top of them, which naturally reduces the quantity of light that can get through. 

What&#;s more, bird poo is acidic enough to cause permanent corrosion to panels, and usually won&#;t be washed off by rain alone.

Damage to the solar panels

Nesting birds can disrupt wiring or damage components essential to the functionality of the solar panels, reducing their output.

Noise disturbance

If you've ever had the pleasure of being rudely awakened by pigeons squaring up to each other at the crack of dawn, you'll understand just how disturbing bird noises can be, especially when they're busy building nests on the roof above you.

Rooftop mess

Birds are a sloppy bunch. The accumulation of nesting materials and the aforementioned acidic excrement can create an unsightly mess on rooftops. Regular cleaning is a must, otherwise you'll end up with clogged gutters and drains.

Attracting other pests

A bird&#;s cosy nest can attract other pests like squirrels, bats, rats, mice, and insects who want in on the action. These fellow trespassers can exacerbate damages to both panels and the structure of the building. Plus, certain birds carry mites that can infest your home.

What does bird proofing usually consist of?

Solar panel bird proofing usually involves putting physical barriers around the edges of the panels, which prevent birds from nesting underneath them. However, there are a few other strategies. 

Common solutions include:

  • Installing wire or plastic mesh around the edges of the solar panels to prevent birds from accessing the space underneath
  • Placing plastic or stainless steel bird spikes around the solar panels to create an uncomfortable landing surface for birds. This is usually a lot tougher and more durable than mesh
  • Adding solar &#;skirts&#; to the edges of solar panels. These operate in the same way as wire mesh, except they are often the same colour as the panels and tend to look a bit more sophisticated
  • Acoustic deterrents like ultrasonic devices &#; we humans usually can&#;t hear these sounds, but they are designed to repel birds
  • Objects like reflective tapes, scare balloons, or fake predators (like owls or hawks) can be used as visual deterrents to discourage both land- and air-based pests from getting too close

How much does bird proofing cost?

Compared to the overall cost of installing a solar & battery system, bird proofing is relatively inexpensive and pretty essential.

Solar system size Number of panels (430W) Rough cost of bird proofing 2kWp 5 £250 3kWp 7 £350 4kWp 10 £500 5kWp 12 £600

As you can see, if you were to get a 3-4kWp solar panel system (which is approximately the right size for a three-bedroom property), you&#;d be spending about £400-500 on bird proofing.

Can you add bird proofing to an existing solar panel system?

In most cases you can retrofit bird proofing, but it's usually more cost-effective to do it when you install the solar panels (to make the most of the scaffolding).

What&#;s more, if birds have already nested under your solar panels before you add bird protection, there may also be costs for the initial clean-up process.

How long does bird proofing last?


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Bird proofing solutions for solar panels are built to last, often for aroundten years or longer. However, it depends on the type of bird proofing you choose - for instance, bird spikes are typically a lot more resilient and durable than bird mesh, and can last longer than 15 years - sometimes as long as the solar panel system itself (i.e. 25 years or more).

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Does bird proofing require any maintenance?

Most bird proofing systems are designed to be hardy, but they need a light touch to keep them effective. This mainly involves checking for any damage or wear and tear to mesh screens, skirts or spikes, and making sure deterrent devices are still doing their job. 

Also, stay on top of clearing out any junk or debris that builds up over time. Keeping your outside areas tidy and in good shape will make bird proofing more effective by making it less enticing for animals searching for a new home.

Are any birds capable of getting past bird proofing?

While bird proofing methods like wire or plastic mesh are generally effective, there's still a chance that some smaller or more persistent birds might find ways to bypass these barriers &#; especially if there are gaps or if the installation isn't thorough enough. It&#;s much better to use spikes or skirts, which are stronger and much more resistant to invading birds. 

Regular maintenance and checks will also help you to identify and fix any weaknesses in your bird proofing setup.

How to remove birds from under your solar panels

If you've already got birds nesting under your solar panels, be careful how you deal with it. Before anything else, make sure there aren't any eggs or chicks in the nest &#; it&#;s illegal to disturb or destroy occupied nests, so leave them alone. 

You&#;re free to remove any empty nests and clean the area thoroughly afterwards to discourage birds from returning. But given the height and contamination risk from lingering bacteria, we&#;d recommend calling in a professional pest control service to deal with the situation.

Are there any other pests that nest under solar panels?

Besides wild birds, other pests like squirrels and bats are attracted to the shelter, warmth and superior nesting spot that solar panels provide. 

Just like their avian neighbours, other pests can cause similar damage like gnawing on wiring and leaving their waste everywhere, so strong solar panel protection like spikes is essential. 

Summary

Solar panels are an excellent addition to any home in the UK, but it&#;s important that they don&#;t become a home for birds in the process. If you&#;re thinking of getting a solar & battery system for your property, it&#;s sensible to invest in some sturdy bird protection. 

To discover how much a solar & battery system could save you on your energy bills, click the button below and provide a few quick details - then we&#;ll generate a rough estimate.

Solar panel bird proofing: FAQs

How do I protect my solar panels from birds?

Keep birds away from your solar panels by installing physical deterrents like wire mesh or spikes around the edges and underneath the panels. Reflective tapes or fake predators (like hawks or owls) can also do the trick of scaring birds away. 

Regular cleaning will also discourage birds from settling there, as there won&#;t be any conveniently laid out debris to build a nest with. 

What is the best bird deterrent for solar panels?

The best bird deterrent for your solar panels will depend on your specific situation and environment. Wire mesh or bird spikes work well because they stop birds and pests from getting under the panels, with spikes being the stronger and more durable of the two methods.

Visual or acoustic deterrents, like reflective tapes or ultrasonic devices, can also be useful. But it's important to assess your individual needs and perhaps combine methods for optimal protection.

How much does it cost to bird proof solar panels?

The solar panel bird proofing cost will depend on the size of your solar panel system and the bird proofing method you&#;ve chosen. On average, you can expect to pay around £50 per panel.

For larger systems or more comprehensive combined solutions, the cost can be higher. Talk to a professional to work out the exact cost for your specific requirements.

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Written byMelody Abeni

Based in London, Melody is a specialist green technology writer who has been covering sustainability, climate action and ESG for the past five years, after gathering operational experience in green investing and financial services. She has written for various industry publications, including renewable technology advisor The Eco Experts, and she holds a Master&#;s degree in law from Birkbeck University.

Want more information on solar panel bird proofing mesh? Feel free to contact us.

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