Having solar panels installed on your home or business has never been easier. Solar panels are popping up everywhere – and for good reason. Between the energy savings, the boost in property value and the different rebates and tax incentives available from the government, it can add up to a pretty nice windfall. And you’re helping to save the environment, too! With almost daily advances in technology, it looks like solar is here to stay.
Of course, solar panels are also a real boon for the neighborhood pigeons, as well. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Pigeons are a lot like every other critter: they need food, water and shelter. Unlike a lot of other critters, they also have a tremendous sense of community. They want to live and hang out with other pigeons. Since they’re birds, living up high makes sense. The solar panels provide protection from hawks and other predators, a large enough area to accommodate a large family and close proximity to food and water on the ground. It’s the perfect storm.
So what’s the big deal? Why should you care if pigeons are living under the solar panels on your roof? The most important reason is your health. Nothing poops like a pigeon and their feces accumulates very quickly. As it dries, it breaks down into very small particles that become airborne and become a constant part of your air supply. That’s right: if pigeons are living under your solar panels, you and your family and/or co-workers are breathing their feces. All day, every day. Since pigeon feces is known to harbor many parasites and diseases, that ain’t a good thing.
If that’s not enough, wait – there’s more! Did I mention that nothing poops like a pigeon? Their feces is not only abundant, but also very acidic. So it damages just about any surface it’s allowed to accumulate on. That absolutely includes your roof (tiles, shingles, foam, rolled, etc.) and solar panels. We get lots of referrals from both roofing companies and solar installation companies. On top of that, it clogs up the drainage system which causes very nasty water to back up into the structure in many cases. So now we’re looking at all kinds of issues like drywall, flooring and even electrical damages. All because pigeons made a home under your solar panels.
Also, if pigeons are living under your solar panels, they are roosting and walking on your solar panels. And if they are roosting and walking on your solar panels, they are pooping on your solar panels. Just as sure as the sun is coming up tomorrow. That’s what they do: poop! The more they poop on the solar panels, the more damaged and less efficient the panels become. So the whole reason you made the investment in the first place was to save money and this don’t help.
There’s a better way. Have a professional pigeon control company install pigeon guards for your solar panels. Who do you call? Well, Goldshot, of course! But, whether it’s us or not, here’s what you want to look for when interviewing pigeon control companies:
- Are they licensed? They should have a valid business license through the office that governs the pest control industry in your state. In Arizona, that’s the Office of Pest Management. If they’re not licensed, keep looking.
- Are they insured? The OPM requires business liability insurance. So if a pest control company has a valid license in Arizona, they are probably insured.
- Do they have a website? If not, you may want to keep looking. A professional website equates to a modern, up-to-date company and should include resources for a potential client to research that company. If they’re good, they’ll want to make it easy for you to see.
- How does their online reputation look? As a pest control company, but also their pigeon control work, specifically. There are a lot of pest control operators out there that list pigeons on their truck and business card but don’t really know what they’re doing. I know this to be true because we clean up and replace their work. Every. Single. Day.
- Do they have a real plan of attack, and do they explain it to you in detail? If they are vague or unwilling (unable?) to offer a full explanation of their plans to solve your pigeon problem, run. Find someone who can demonstrate that they really do know what they’re doing and are honest enough to explain it to you.
- Is cleaning included with the installation? I’m not talking about a hand broom, dust pan and one of those small plastic grocery bags. They should pull a hose with a spray gun up onto the roof and spray the targeted surfaces/areas down. That includes the roof, the panels, the walls and the cement below. All of the nests should be pushed out from under the panels, bagged and deposited into your trash can. Then the area should be sanitized. It’s not rocket science: they need to clean up the pigeon mess as a part of their pigeon solution. Brilliant!
- Are they using quality products? Ask to see a sample of the mesh that they are using. We use a black PVC coated 1/2″ mesh that we purchase specifically for solar panel exclusion. If they are using the cheap hardware cloth or screening from Home Depot, move on. It looks terrible and it’s not as durable as what we use. You have to look at what they do to your home every day for as long as you live there, and so do your neighbors. If you’re going to spend money on this, make sure it’s something you can feel good about.
- Do they make the installation without actually attaching the mesh directly to the panels? Be careful here. If they glue or screw the mesh to the panels themselves they will likely void the warranty on those specific panels. We have the experience and take the time to install without ever attaching directly to the panels. That’s why we have a handful of solar installation companies that refer their customers to us exclusively. Make sure you ask any company you may be interviewing exactly how do they attach the mesh.
- What’s the guarantee? If you hire a pigeon control company to install pigeon guards for solar panels, they should provide a guarantee that pigeons cannot get under the panels for 5 years. If it’s less than that, call someone else.
- Last and pretty much least is price. Pigeon guards for solar panels is not a good place to save a few bucks. Price should only be a factor if you have to pigeon control companies that both check off everything on the list. If you feel equally good about both, then go ahead and save a buck. But I have to tell you: we are often the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th company a customer has hired. So did they save any money?
I hope this article helps shed some light on how to get rid of pigeons living under your solar panels. And I hope you’ll consider Goldshot Exterminating as your pigeon control solution. As always: Happy Hunting!
John H. Goldshot
P.S. Goldshot Exterminating is a proud sponsor of StreetLight USA. Check them out at www.streetlightusa.org and see how YOU can help stop child rape. What if it were your daughter?