Squirrels Under the Solar Panels of the Roof

Squirrels love to nest in human dwellings, wherever there is shelter, and the gap underneath solar panels is an attractive area. So, to solve the problem of squirrels under the solar panels, you basically have to block off the gap. You can:

1 - Drape netting over the entire panel structure. An example is a nylon quarter inch polynet. However, there's a chance that squirrels will chew through this type of net.
2 - Do the hard work of installing steel mesh around the perimeter of the panels to prevent access. You can go to Home Depot or any hardware store and buy quarter inch steel mesh (also called hardware cloth in some places) and cut it into long strips wide enough to cover the gap under the solar panels, and screw it into place, or caulk it into place. This will take some effort, but it's an effective way to keep them out.

If you don't want to, or cant, do the work to install barriers, you can try either of these methods:
TRAPPING - Continually trap and remove squirrels. For tips on equipment, bait, etc click on my squirrel trapping guide. Remember, this is possibly a temporary solution to the problem. New ones could come take the place of the old ones.

REPELLENT - Spray a lot of pepper spray under the panels, hoping that makes it inhospitable. This is a temporary solution at best, and at worst, won't work at all. You can read more about squirrel repellent here.

Squirrels are great climbers, and they like to go on the roof of your house. Read more about squirrels on the roof. They also like to chew, and they may chew on the solar panels, or the electrical wiring. Read more about squirrels chewing on electrical wires here.

Reader Email:
Hi David,
I have a problem which is not covered by your excellent web site. We have squirrels nesting under the solar panels on our roof. This would not in itself be a problem except they have also gnawed the cabling which will be very expensive to fix. I have tried to prevent the squirrels from getting on the roof and failed. Although these is no obvious access via trees they seem to be able to climb from via a garage roof onto the house roof. Any suggestions from preventing them from getting under the solar panels or deterring them somehow. Blocking the gap under the solar panels isn't very easy because there is a lot of it and it's an irregular shape. This must be a common problem these days and I'm happy to supply more information/photos etc. Any help would be appreciated.

My answer:
You can:
1 - Continually trap and remove squirrels.
2 - Drape netting over the entire panel structure.
3 - Spray a lot of pepper spray under the panels, hoping that makes it inhospitable.
4 - Do the hard work of installing steel mesh around the perimeter of the panels to prevent access.

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Hello David,
What an amazing time we live in, that I can find a squirrel expert on line and email him! Our problem, thankfully, is not in our attic.

Our problem is that there is a mama squirrel very determined to build her nest under our solar panels. Not a good idea, for her &, her family or us & our solar panels! We have been busily working on preventing her access, tracking every way we can of how she gets up there. We've moved one tree, cut down another, wrapped our river birches in 7' of sheet metal, wrapped our lilac, pruned back two other shrubs and measured the space between the doghouse basement entrance roof and the roof with the solar panels. (4'3"). There's a small cypress there that could provide access to the doghouse roof, but could she jump to the paneled roof from there?

We have a snow storm in a few days, and we will wait for it so that we can track her, if she's still getting up there after all of our interventions today.

I feel that her access to the area under the solar panels is a design flaw, and I want the company that installed the panels to devise a way to block her access.

I really appreciate your suggestion on your website to be kind to squirrels. We love our squirrels. It's just this one behavior that's a problem during nesting season. We were able to discourage her (or someone) the last two years, but this year she's quite determined! Thanks! I'd be interested in any ideas you might have.

Thank you!
Jerelle, Maine

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