• VIC Pool Heating

Rubber Snakes - The Solar Pool Heating Ally!

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

You’re probably wondering what on earth does a toy rubber snake have to do with a pool heating system!? Well, actually it can be quite beneficial. We'll explain how such an odd yet simple solution can potentially save you thousands and how you can make the most of this modest tool.

In some areas Cockatoos can be an annoying problem for households with solar pool heating systems. They land on the roof, and chew and claw their way through (take out their frustration on) solar strips and manifolds.

Not only does this destroy your solar pool heating system and your swim-time, it is a very costly problem! Depending on where the damage is, large sections may need to be replaced. Not ideal!

This is where rubber snakes come in. The animal food chain has already determined that snakes are a predator to most birds (sometimes the other way around). With that in-mind, we can use it to our advantage and scare-off unwanted Cockatoos that could potentially wreak havoc on solar pool heating.

This may seem like a very simple and super cheap solution to a potentially big problem (which it is) but the shape and colour of the toy snakes is enough to make the most sceptical of Cockatoos hesitant to land on any roof!

This is a win-win solution for all! Households save time and money by avoiding costly repairs, birds remain unharmed and the toy rubber snakes are a super cheap solution.

Another awesome option is Scare Tape. You may have heard about it or used it in the garden to keep birds off veggies and fruit. The shiny, reflective, non-sticky tape can also be used to deter Cockatoos from your roof and solar pool heating system. The tape can be cut into approximate one metre length pieces and tied around strips of solar. When tying, leave the ends of the tape long so they can move in the wind. You will only need one piece per every 6-10 square metres of solar. Scare Tape usually comes in 30 metre rolls and costs between $5-$20 so this is another very affordable and humane cockatoo deterrent. We have complimentary rolls of Scare Tape on hand for solar pool heating installations or they can be purchased from your local garden supply store.

Now, for the Cockatoo infestations where rubber snakes just won't cut it, we have you covered! A surefire cocky-proof product is the Sunbather Suntube-2 Rigid Solar Pool Heating Panels. It is the toughest solar system made anywhere in the world and has been awarded the SPASA (Swimming Pool and Spa Association) Awards of Excellence - 2019 National Sustainable Product of the Year.

Here's how to get the most out of your toy snake solution…

Will any toy snake do?

It is best to choose toy snakes made out of a good quality material, such as rubber instead of plastic. This will ensure they last longer in the Australian elements. It can also help to use toy snakes with similar colouring to the snakes found in your local area - but this isn’t necessary. Good quality rubber snakes can be purchased from most toy shops and some department stores. We can also provide them upon request with our solar pool heating installations.

Whereabouts should they be placed on the pool heating system?

For optimal scare-factor snakes should be positioned on the flexible strip solar section and near the manifold. These are the areas of the system most exposed and tempting to Cockatoos.

How many toy snakes do I need on the roof to scare the birds away?

This depends on the size of your roof and pool heating system but usually one toy snake per 6-10 square metres of solar strip.

Do the toy snakes need to be moved around?

It might sound strange but birds can eventually learn that the toy snakes are, err, only toy snakes! That’s why it can be helpful to have a handy member of the household climb (safely) onto the roof and move the toy snakes into different positions. While they’re up there it might be ideal to check their condition and whether any need to be replaced.

If you don’t have access or feel confident climbing onto your roof, don’t worry, this step can be skipped.

Is cockatoo damage to solar pool heating systems something I should be worried about?

Yes it is, especially if you live in a cocky-prone area! Cockatoos are medium sized birds with large sharp beaks and strong claws. In order to maintain and sharpen their beaks and claws they like to chew and scratch at any thing they can get hold of. This includes your solar pool heating system. Also Cockatoos like to return to areas abundant with food especially if a neighbour feeds them - which is something to be mindful of!

Cockatoos like to maintain their beak by chewing on solar pool heating!

Will it look unsightly having random toy snakes all over the roof?

Snake-like shapes on your roof may not be aesthetically pleasing to some people and neighbours may stare and look confused! But the benefits will be worth it. Most of the dark coloured rubber snakes will blend in to the solar strips and depending on the position and slope of your roof chances are you won't even see your roof let alone notice the rubber snakes!

So if you're intrigued with the concept of toy rubber snakes deterring Cockatoos why not give it a try. It's a small investment for a potentially big pay-off!

Let us know - have rubber snakes saved your solar pool heating system!?

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