Types of Animals that Live Under Solar Panels
A number of animals in New York and New Jersey are frequent invaders at homes and businesses. The gap between solar panels and a roof offer just one more place for them to get into. The ease of squeezing beneath an unprotected solar panel enables almost any pest that is small enough to build a nest.
Those that often nest under solar panels in our local area include:
- Birds – In NY and NJ, common pest bird species include pigeons, house sparrows, and starlings. All of these birds are small enough to get under solar panels and are already frequent nuisances around properties.
- Squirrels – Squirrels are able climbers, making it easy for them to get onto your roof. They also spend time gnawing through materials and can chew through the wiring behind your panels.
- Mice – Mice, like squirrels, will also chew through wires. They breed quickly and nesting on your roof can provide them easy access to the inside of your home through small openings, potentially leading to a whole-house infestation.
You can also find raccoons, rats, and more, all of which can lead to damage to your panels. Birds are the primary nuisance wildlife to nest under solar panels and to land on and around them. After you have had birds under your solar panels, other animals are more likely to follow as they are attracted by any debris and foods left by the birds.
Animals underneath your solar panels will attract insects as well. While bugs rarely cause damage to solar panels, this puts them undesirably close to your home or business and might necessitate seeking pest control to remove them.
Solar Panel Damage Caused by Animals
Solar panels are constructed of several delicate components, including the panels themselves, the wiring, and inverters that carry power to the home’s or building’s electrical grid. They are designed to withstand weather, but not the damage that comes from animal invaders. Damage to any of these components threatens the efficiency of the solar array, or can result in it not working at all.
Animal activity near or beneath your solar panels puts the components at risk, yet any deterioration they cause to the panels is generally not covered under the warranty. This damage will most often show as:
- Wiring Damage – Animals that chew or bump against wiring and electrical components can cause wires to become disconnected, weakened, or severed. This reduces the efficiency of the system and might require wire or panel replacement.
- Scratches – While the front of solar panels are often highly reinforced, the backs tend to be more sensitive to damage. Animals beneath the panels can scratch them, necessitating replacing a panel in severe cases.
- Droppings – Droppings on panels from bird block sunlight and the amount of collectable energy. In addition, animal droppings anywhere around your panels can harbor bacteria, attract pests, and cause staining or deterioration.
- Fire Danger – Bird nests and debris accumulated by animals is often combustible. In proximity to wiring, particularly if that wiring has been chewed through, can start a fire, putting your entire home and family at risk.
Animals can also harm the roof beneath your solar panels if they are able to nest there for an extended time. The weight of a nest can cause stress on roofs since they are not designed to withstand heavy, unbalanced loads that a nest could result in. Droppings from birds under solar panels are acidic and will begin to corrode shingles, weakening your roof.
Like solar panel damage, the effects of wildlife damage to your roof is often not covered under warranties. This leaves you with expensive repairs to both solar panels and your roof if animals are able to get underneath.
Because wildlife can be difficult to see under your solar panels – trapped debris will appear dark shapes beneath the panel if you are able to spot it – a nest can exist for months or longer undetected. This gives ample time for extensive damage to occur. If you have noticed reduced power production in your solar panels and cannot find the cause, animals may be to blame.
A regular visual inspection of your panels can help mitigate problems, but only wildlife exclusion can keep animals out completely.
How Our Solar Panel Pest Prevention Works
Solar panel protection goes by several different names – critter guards, bird deterrent kits, and pest abatement are some of the more common terms, but the method of protection is similar across all methods.
We place a special mesh around the perimeter of the solar panels and fasten it to both the roof and the panels with metal clips. This creates a secure physical barrier that even small animals cannot get through, but that still permits air circulation beneath the solar panels.
We use high-quality metal or plastic mesh that is weather resistant and cannot be torn by animals. With our professional installation, the wildlife proofing can last for the life of your solar panels and withstand sun exposure, wind, and snow. They also cannot be chewed through or torn out by animals.
Critter guards have the added benefit of also keeping out leaves, twigs, and other items that could become trapped beneath your solar panels. Like animals, these can cause cosmetic and technical damages. Mesh guards prevent these damages and reduce the need for regular cleaning.
We can also keep birds away from roofs and solar panels by installing bird spikes. Consisting of stainless steel spikes in variable measurements, bird spikes make it impossible for a bird to land on a surface. We install the spikes around the solar array’s framing to prevent birds from landing on, and potentially scratching, the panels.
Before installing any critter guards, we will first ensure that the area beneath the panels is clear. Because removing this debris on your own can jostle panel components or cause scratching, we can professionally clean up any remaining nesting materials with the proper tools.
Even if you have never noticed animals hiding beneath your solar panels, it is always a risk and a good idea to protect against what could be a costly invasion.
About NY and NJ Animal Control Trappers
We are a locally owned and operated company serving NYC, including all five boroughs, Long Island City, and townships throughout central New Jersey. We offer a full range of wildlife control services, including animal removal, attic restoration, and exclusion.
Our solar panel wildlife exclusion is guaranteed and we provide:
- Local Experience – During our work in the local area, we have gained experience with the wildlife who live here. We know which are most likely to threaten solar panels, the risk factors to look for, and how best to exclude animals.
- Knowledgeable Technicians – We have a team of skilled wildlife specialists. With the latest training in wildlife handling and extensive experience working with solar panels so that they can perform the work with extreme care for your property.
- Affordable Prices – Our competitive rates make it possible to secure your solar panel on almost any budget and offer a reasonable alternative to expensive repairs to unguarded solar panels in the future.
We are also wildlife removal specialists who can safely remove any animals living beneath your solar panels before they can cause further harm. We work in accordance with all federal and state laws, whether you are located in NY or NJ, so that animals are handled correctly and humanely.
Call NYC Animal Control to Protect Your Solar Panels
In order to get the most out of your investment in solar at your home or business, you need to ensure your panels are safe from natural dangers like wildlife. Our solar panel proofing works for residential solar panels and commercial rooftop solar panels. To get an estimate of the cost for protecting your solar panels from animals in NY or NJ, contact us at 646-741-4333.