06:45:08 pm on
Sunday 26 May 2024

Matt versus the Pigeons
Matt Seinberg

Last year, I wrote of a family of pigeons that took up residence under our solar panels and how I kept blasting their nests with my pressure washer. As soon as I blasted one nest, they were building yet another. They really were being pesky and not leaving.

Waving his cane at the pigeons.

My late father liked sitting in the backyard and yelling at the pigeons. He’d wave his cane in the air, as if that would do any good. Nope, it didn't; it looked they were just laughing at him.

When I saw the pigeons, I blasted them with the hose to scare them away. They moved a neighbouring house, where they sat on the roof peak or on one of the air conditioners. Then they would fly back to my home and go under the panels.

I had estimates last year for critter barriers to rid my house of pigeons. The estimates ranged from $1500-to-$3000. I didn't have that kind of money, even though it would remove the stress of wondering what kind of damage the pigeons might be doing.

Luckily, we didn't have squirrels under the panels. They can cause the most damage by chewing wires, the panels and even try, probably successfully, to get into the attic.

This year, after blasting these pesky pigeons, with water, three times in a month, I knew I had to do something else. As I was surfing Facebook, I saw a post in a solar group I follow. I chimed in with happened to me last year and the estimates I received.

The owner of a solar company responded. He said I should email him to see what we can work out; I did a couple of days later. He copied my email to his service people; they gave me a price that was much lower than what I had the previous year from anyone else.

Finally, ridding my home of pigeons

My answer was an emphatic, “Yes,” to getting the job done. I would finally be rid of those pesky pigeons. They also told me that all their new installations came automatically with critter barriers, which is a great idea.

Why wasn't I offered that when I put the solar system in four years ago? The owner said barriers weren’t the “in thing” last year. That’s progress, I guess.

My brother-in-law had put in a solar system. I asked if he was getting a critter barrier installed at the same time. He said yes, it came standard with the installation.

He also had to put a new roof on before the installation. It is not recommended to put a new solar system on an old roof, simply because eventually it will have to be removed to rip off the old roof and then re-installed.

After the barrier was up, my pigeons walked around the panels in an endless path, looking for a place to enter. I laughed the entire time, knowing they couldn't penetrate the barrier. There they were, waddling endlessly around the panels, repeatedly.

Eventually, they flew to the air conditioning unit on the house of my neighbour and even decided to have some private humping time over there. When I saw my neighbour, I told him of the pigeons. I suggested he may want to put up some sort of spike system on his air conditioning so they wouldn't stay on them and build nests.

When I walk around my neighbourhood, I notice all the solar systems and most of them don't have barriers. Some of them have a nest of some sort and some don't. I never see the homeowner to tell them about installing these barriers, and the headaches they can avoid.

Is a pigeon a winged rat?

To homeowners, they are just pesky. To most people, pigeons are rats with wings. To each other, pigeons are most deserving.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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