LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Solar panels may save you some extra cash and help the environment, but some homeowners in the valley are getting much more than they bargained for. Pigeons are making the solar panels their home.
The Deleon family hired a company to install solar panels on the roof on their Summerlin home at the beginning of the year. Now their pool, trampoline, and backyard is ridden with pigeon poop.
"Excessive amounts every day," said Jackie Deleon. "I'm sweeping daily."
The Deleon's solar panels are acting as a free hotel for pigeons. The birds have a filthy reputation and are known for carrying diseases.
"I'm worried about it getting in the pool and the kids catching something from it," Jackie said.
Cody Harris with Preventative Pest Control says his company is often called out to clear out the problem. He says the solar panels provide perfect nesting grounds for pigeons.
"It's gross and it's dirty and it can cause problems for your panels," Harris said. "Where the roof comes to a 'V', poop will pile up upwards of 150 pounds and it'll be filled with maggots."
Pest control companies will install wire mesh around the panels, but Harris says it's something solar companies should be doing from the get-go.
"A lot of the time, it's an extra cost for them so they try to skirt it," said Harris.
Clearing out a pigeon infestation is labor intensive and dangerous which means it's also expensive. It can cost a homeowner anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
"It's another expense on top of the expense to get the solar panels to get it pigeon proofed," Jackie said. She says she feels duped by the solar company.
"They always say they'll look into it and then never return my calls," Jackie added.
Jackie is now sending out the warning to other homeowners so they know to avoid the same mistakes.
Some solar companies pair with pest control companies to avoid a pigeon problem, the customer just needs to ask for it.