Pooping pigeons show problematic for properties with photo voltaic panels

Pigeons are known for their ability to find their way home, but the numbers that settle under solar panels are a headache for owners.

Important points:

  • Pigeons flock to the suburbs and nest under solar panels
  • Feces from the introduced species can affect the effectiveness of the panels
  • Their nests and feces can also clog sewers and attract mice and cockroaches

Ivan Cindric, who runs a company that cleans solar panels across Brisbane and protects them against pigeons, says the opportunistic birds flock to the suburbs to breed.

“Seven years ago we pigeon-protected three properties in a year and now we wait two to six houses a day,” Cindric told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“That gap between the solar panels and the roof is a perfect habit for them.

“They go in there, build their nest and are safe from all predators.

“Once they start building their nests, they won’t stop because, as you can imagine, they are breeding.”

European pigeons choose to build their nests in space under solar panels. (Supplied: Ivan Cindric)

Block out the sun

Mr Cindric said pigeons weren’t the proudest tenants in the house and the mess they left behind could attract mice and cockroaches.

“The amount of mess they’re wreaking on the solar panels and your roof is absolutely … gross,” he said.

“Everyone has solar panels because they want to save money, but you can imagine all those pigeons pooping all over the modules getting pretty inefficient.

“The poop doesn’t stop because they’re a phenomenal poop machine.”

Solar panels covered with bird droppings. The clutter of the birds can make the panels less efficient. (Supplied: Ivan Cindric)

Birds’ droppings can clog gutters and create an environment for plants to grow.

“We’ve been to a lot of houses where the gutters were literally overflowing with pigeon droppings,” said Cindric.

“Pigeons themselves are also disease carriers – they carry a lot of lice.”

Pigeon droppings cover the roof around a solar panel. Pigeon nests can attract mice and cockroaches. (Supplied: Ivan Cindric)

An imported problem

Mr Cindric warned those looking for a DIY solution not to use chicken wire and a screwdriver to climb the roof.

“If you screw something into your panels, you have actually voided the warranty,” he said.

He also recommended using specially designed clips and meshes with openings that are large enough to prevent the panels from overheating.

“The hotter the panel gets, the less efficient they are,” he said.

Branches and bird droppings cover part of the roof. Branches and bird droppings from the nests can clog the sewer system. (Supplied: Ivan Cindric)

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said while there were a number of native pigeons, including the crested pigeon, the common gray pigeon was considered a pest.

“They are an introduced European species and must be legally euthanized,” Beatty said.

“We can’t put them back in the wild because they’re draining resources from native birds.”

The choice of house appears to be exclusive to the introduced bird – Mr Cindric said he has never seen native pigeons build nests under the solar panels.

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