Critter Guard Blog

Read more and stay up-to-date about Critter Guard news, products, and tips!

The Benefits of Critter Guard for Power Utility Companies

utility worker performing maintenance on unprotected power line

When severe winds are forecasted, one of the first things we do is prepare for a potential power outage. This is a relatively rare occurrence, yet it alerts us immediately to a possible state of emergency. What we may not consider is the frequency of power interruptions caused by wildlife.

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Top 4 Critters that Caused Power Outages in 2019

squirrel on unguarded power line

Most people associate power outages with severe weather like thunderstorms and blizzards. However, a very high number of outages are caused by local wildlife each year. These normally harmless creatures can cause big problems for power lines without proper deterrents. Take a look at these top four power outage-inducing critters of 2019.

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What Are Squirrels Up To All Winter?

squirrel outside in winter prevented from gaining access to roof through use of line guards

Squirrels survive winter's cold temperatures much like humans. While they do not hibernate, they tend to stay in their dens as much as possible, keeping each other warm by huddling together. Their winter "coats" are extra layers of fat they put on before a hard freeze.

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Costliness of Power Outages to You as a Homeowner

power in home protected by line guard and pole guard systems

Though power outage is mostly regarded as a minor inconvenience, prolonged power loss can wreak havoc. Your home doesn't have to experience power loss for days or even weeks for the costs to start piling up. A recent survey reported a whopping 70 percent of Americans who experienced a power outage for at least 12 hours in the last two years to have faced unanticipated expenses as a result.

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Protecting Howler Monkeys from Unguarded Power Lines

howler monkey prevented from accessing power lines due to critter guard

Howler monkeys are one of the most remarkable animals in South America. As the largest New World monkeys, howlers have a body length of 22 to 36 inches and a tail that can grow up to five times that length. Howlers use their tails to help them navigate the forest canopy that they call home.

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Will Your Home Insurance Cover Damage Caused by Critters?

squirrel on roof of house after gaining access from power line

Pests such as squirrels, mice, and chipmunks can cause a great deal of property damage to your home. Squirrels and other critters commonly gain access to roofs and attics via power lines and utility poles. They can quickly chew through the exterior of the roof to gain access to the warm attic. Once inside, these animals build nests, chew through wood and wires, and quickly locate the food sources inside the home. Fortunately, Critter Guard is an effective method of preventing critters from entering the attic via power lines and causing damage to your home exterior.

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Protecting Raptors from a Dangerous Perch

raptor perched on utility pole

According to the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, raptors are carnivorous birds that share three specific characteristics: keen eyesight, eight sharp talons, and hooked beaks. Members of the raptor family include eagles, hawks, and even vultures. Many raptors are protected species in the United States and power lines and poles present a unique danger to these particular avian species.

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Substation Maintenance: Protecting Against Critters

power substation protected from critters

Substation maintenance is crucial to any utility company. Inspections should include troubleshooting equipment, testing substation relays to ensure they are operating properly, and making sure devices are cleaned thoroughly and properly.

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The Technical Aspects of a Power Outage

critter damaged power line causing city power outage

Power is an essential part of our day to day life, and when there is an outage, the economy can also suffer. Power outage within an area can be caused by a number of factors such as human error, transmission overload, natural causes, faults at the source of power generation stations, and damage to power lines caused by wildlife. Installing Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard systems can help prevent against the latter.

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Copper Wiring in Substations and Why It’s Stolen

copper wire used in power line

When it comes to wiring substations, there are two choices of wire: copper and aluminum. Copper wiring is the preferred choice to use in substations as it’s not only an excellent conductor, copper wires are also easier to work with, seldom require repairs, and are very versatile. The biggest problem with copper wiring, however, is that it's frequently stolen.

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Overarching Cyber Security Threats

squirrel running across power line in Missouri

In the 21st century, we depend on technology and electricity every day. Breaches in cyber security, along with damage to power lines and other forms of technology, can cause significant disruptions to our lives. Traditional security measures paired with Critter Guard’s Line Guard and Pole Guard can help protect against threats from both hackers and wild animals.

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Protecting Snakes from Electrical Lines

brown snake slithering on deck

Power lines can be extremely dangerous to snakes and other critters. At Critter Guard, we care about protecting snakes from electrical lines and our Line Guard and Pole Guard systems are simple ways to discourage snakes from crawling onto your utility poles and power lines.

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Trees, Squirrels, and the Biggest Blackout in U.S. History

a critter running across a power line between trees

Can one small glitch in the U.S. power grid create a domino effect causing cascading darkness throughout the country? The 2003 Northeast Blackout, the largest power failure in U.S. history, almost did--affecting 50 million people for two days, costing $6 billion and six deaths.

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How Power Outages are Measured

power outage in city caused by animal

One animal's misfortune can affect an entire community's ability to function. Because of this, it is important to implement safeguards against such accidents from ever happening. This is where Critter Guard comes through to not only protect consumers from inconvenient power outages that can affect their livelihood, but the critters as well.

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Creating and Maintaining Overhead Lines

maintained overhead power lines

Overhead power lines were created long ago, and we have seen multiple transformations of electrical lines since. Fast forward to 2019, and they've become higher in voltage and remain a low-cost solution for large masses of electrical energy. The conductors are the most commonly used source for overhead power lines, which should be protected from damage to retain a steady power source. The two most used metals for the conductors are aluminum and copper, with copper being the standard for electrical conductivity. A benefit of copper is that it is more conductive than aluminum, as aluminum is only about 61% as conductive as copper.

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Protecting Sloths from Power Lines

sloth hanging from tree

Sloths may be beautiful animals, but their instinctive need to climb and hang from branches can lead them to do so on power lines. Sloths and other animals that interact with power lines can easily be electrocuted and cause power outages in the process. Critter Guard's Line Guards and Pole Guards are designed to prevent sloths from accessing power lines.

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Curious Animals Can Damage Electric Systems

squirrel against green background

Proper maintenance is one of the most important keys to making sure the power doesn't go out during the next big storm. Regular utility inspections are required to make sure the lines and power poles haven't been damaged by time, weather, and critters such as squirrels, rodents, birds, and other animals.

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The Importance of Substation Design

view of substation

Preserving power for the individuals and communities dependent upon it is critical to life, health, and safety. An integral part of accomplishing this objective comes in the form of proper substation design and protection from squirrel and critter damage. Answering a series of questions allows us to identify how substation design affects those who depend upon it.

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Wildlife Interaction with Electric Utility Components

squirrel on power line

Human-wildlife interactions are inescapable, even in dense, urban areas. As our populations expand, animals must adapt, which sometimes causes expensive or dangerous damage to property. Power lines and utility components showcase a major conflict; they're crucial for maintaining our modern lifestyle but are attractive to wildlife like squirrels. Rather than turning to traps or poison that are inhumane and dangerous to pets and non-pest wildlife, physical barriers are extremely effective at blocking wildlife access to electrical components. Our Pole Guards and Line Guards act as deterrents and prevent costly damage.

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Protect Your Roofing Insulation from Rodents

3 small houses close together with electric line

The insulation for your roof system is generally found in the attic area or crawl space beneath the roof. Several different types of insulation materials are available to hold in the heat and cooled air from your heating ventilation and air conditioning system. Your pipes may also be wrapped with insulating materials, and various types of insulation can also be found in your walls.

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