Residential solar panels are often installed on your roof, which leaves them exposed not just to weather but also to wildlife. Birds and squirrels are the most common critters to damage solar installations. Squirrels like to nest under rooftop panels and chew through wiring. If they chew the right wires, they can cut the power off completely to your panels. This can end up in costly repairs. While birds don’t chew wires, they build their nests under panels to feel safe. They do this by dragging dirt, leaves, and trash up under your panels, risking a fire hazard and can lower your panel’s efficiency.


Animals are not the only risks to your solar panels; environmental debris can also end up causing harm to your panels. Leaves, twigs, and litter can build up under your panels from wind and act as a fire hazard. When dry debris builds up near the electrical wires, it can be just the fuel a fire needs.

Red cute squirrel or Sciurus vulgaris on the roof of a house

To avoid damage from animals and the buildup of flammable materials, solar providers commonly offer “Bird netting,” which are strips of metal mesh that sort of look like high-quality chicken wire. This netting is attached along the sides of rooftop panels. Solar panels are installed with a space between them and the roof for ventilation; bird netting can be installed to block critters from getting under and between your panels and avoid costly damage. They also block leaves, twigs, and other flammable debris from collecting under your panels and near the wiring, preventing a potential fire hazard.

For help with bird netting, give our office a call. 623.229.4389