Squirrels are adored animals to many, but there are some instances where these plucky rodents can become nuisance pests, and nesting under solar panels is one such instance. Unlike nuisance birds, squirrels are known to chew through wiring, which spells bad news when it comes to the efficiency and power that is generated through solar panels.
With this in mind, how do you get rid of squirrels under solar panels?
To get rid of squirrels under solar panels, the installation of wire mesh along the sides of the panels is the best overall method. This prevents the rodents from chewing through the wire mesh to nest underneath the panels. The use of squirrel trapping and deterrents can also be considered.
Are you having problems with squirrels nesting underneath your solar panels? This can be a cause for alarm for the panels, and it is best to allow a professional squirrel removal service to handle the situation. We can perform this service, and also implement procedures and methods to prevent future squirrel nesting under solar panels as well. Read on to find out more about why squirrels nest under panels and how we can help eliminate this problem.
Why Do Squirrels Nest Under Solar Panels?
Squirrels are attracted to panels likely for two different reasons: shelter and opportunities for gnawing.
A roof is easily accessible to these rodents since they spend most of their lives climbing and navigating high-up terrain and structures. The underside of a panel will offer a roof of sorts that will keep the rodents dry from the rain as well as a buffer to keep chilly winds from blowing into their nest. This area also offers the rodents safety from potential predators.
Additionally, and not quite well-understood, a squirrel has a sort of natural attraction for wires and strings. Wires provide a squirrel with a thick and durable material to gnaw and chew, which is one of the distinctive behaviors seen in nearly all rodents.
It could be that wires look like twigs, leaves, or even worms, which are all-natural things that a squirrel enjoys chewing on or even eating.
This of course is the worst nightmare scenario for homeowners with solar panels since the wires that are found under the panels are the lifeforce of the entire panel and its overall efficiency. Once the wires are destroyed through chewing and gnawing, the entire panel will need to be serviced and repaired, and there is no guarantee that a solar panel company will cover something like rodent destruction in the warranty.
This is why it is so important to address the problem immediately if you hear or notice squirrels on the roof as it is likely only a matter of time before they discover the safe shelter that is offered underneath solar panels.
What Are the Dangers of Squirrels Nesting Under Solar Panels?
Squirrels cause large amounts of damage to any structures in which they choose to make their nests largely through chewing and gnawing.
If Squirrels gain access to roof voids they can cause fires and floods by chewing through electrical cables including the wiring that is found underneath solar panels where they will likely choose to make their nest. They also pull out insulation material into an area to use as a drey, which is a double nuisance when added to the destruction they can cause to solar panels.
Additionally, a drey is much larger than what is seen with nuisance bird nests, and the vegetation and dry twigs and straw that are used in a drey can catch fire easily from the bright and unrelenting rays of the sun. The constant gnawing on wires could also cause a malfunction that results in spark emissions which can immediately catch the drey on fire and possibly persist to burn down your home in the process.
Squirrels will also defecate and urinate all over the roof and onto and underneath the panels. Squirrel droppings are normally 5-7mm long, almost spherical, flattened at one end, and pointed at the other. If you see these droppings on the patio or on the ground around your home, there is a good chance that squirrels are nesting on your roof.
At worst, squirrels can completely deactivate solar panels by destroying the wiring system that connects the panels to the power system. The rodents can also scratch and expel waste on the panels which can possibly devoid any warranty that came with the panels.
Squirrels can be noisy when nesting on a roof and their waste passes germs and pathogens all over the areas in which they nest.
Our Process for Removing Squirrels Under Solar Panels
At Malum, we can address this problem in every scope and concern including, the removal of squirrels, sanitation of the nesting area, and the installation of the best procedures for preventing access to the underside of your panels.
In most instances, an external squirrel trapping programme may be required to control the population prior to installation. All trapping is conducted under a general pest control license and the wildlife and countryside act 1981.
After removal and cleaning, we use heavy gauge wire mesh with solar mesh clips and metal cable ties as required. In most instances, inch by inch in size or 25mm x 25mm mesh.
Rather it is stainless steel wire mesh or solar guards, we’ll recommend the best proofing method and material and most cost-effective solution for each individual project.
We always use non-penetrative proofing methods – we never drill into panels because this voids warranty.
Can squirrels nest on top of solar panels?
When it comes to nesting, a squirrel will typically want to choose a nesting spot that has some sort of barrier above it to prevent rain or snow from getting into the nest.
For this reason, the top part of a panel is likely not going to be an attractive spot for a squirrel to build a nest. With this in mind, it is highly likely that these rodents will regularly perch and walk across the top of the panels, and their sharp claws will likely scratch the top part of the panel that is responsible for adequately absorbing the ray of the sun.
But the top part of the panel will likely not be a preferred nesting spot for a squirrel.
What are squirrel guards for solar panels?
A squirrel guard is a term used to describe protective and impenetrable guards, usually wire mesh, that is attached to all the sides of a panel to keep rodents and birds from being able to enter the underside of the panel.
Squirrel guards are made with material that will usually be impenetrable from squirrel gnawing and clawing, which is a bit more durable materials and products than what is seen with bird guards.
Once the guards are in place, squirrels will not be able to enter the area and you will also not have to worry about the rodents being able to chew through the material.
How do you get rid of squirrels?
The only method of control against Squirrels is to trap. A number of baited traps will be set within the affected area. Recommendations will be made to prevent other Squirrels from moving into the vacant territory after treatment.
Recommendations will include exclusion works and remedy potential access routes via low-hanging branches close to the property or cables attached to the property.
Apart from these more complex procedures, squirrel prevention also goes a long way in keeping squirrels off your property. If you want to keep these rodents away from your roof, a good prevention technique is never to allow branches to overlap over the roof or grow too close to the home.
Never feed a squirrel as this will alert the rodent that you and those in your home are not a threat or concern for worry.
Why Choose Malum for squirrel control?
At Malum Pest & Bird Control, we are available 24/7 to access your solar panels and remove rodents and birds on your behalf.
Plus, if you have a tall house or a large commercial property, then Malum can affix squirrel deterrents for you up to and including the installation of wire mesh to prevent rodents from accessing the underside of the panels.
By using the latest innovative technology, we can completely remove the rodents, clean the area, and then get to work in preventing squirrels from being able to access solar panels.
For more information and advice on keeping your panels free from rodents or nuisance birds, please contact us today for a friendly chat and a free, no-obligation quote.
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