Critter Guard Blog

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

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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How Do Squirrels Survive Winter Without Hibernating

squirrel on snowy ground next to tree trunk

When the weather starts to get crisp in the fall, you might notice local squirrels start putting on some pounds. This "fattening up" for winter reminds many people of what bears do as they prepare for hibernation. While tree squirrels have a few behaviors that help them survive winter, they don't actually hibernate. You'll see them running around in all seasons, so it's crucial to be wary of them and protect anything they may claw and damage year-round.

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Laws Preventing Power Shutdowns

pen sitting next to signature line of document

A power outage is often unexpected, especially from power lines suddenly snapping in winter storms, substation damage in icy conditions, or power equipment damaged from rogue rodents chewing or clawing through. These power failures are problematic. In the winter months when the temperatures can be fatally freezing, there are thankfully some state laws that prevent companies from shutting down power until temperatures reach a livable range without electricity. Also, many of these states have laws that protect those who have medical conditions, provided proper documentation has been filed with their electric company. Additionally, most states have a law with specific conditions and regulations within their state that prevents companies from shutting down power for people's safety. These are some examples:

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Predicting Power Outages Using a "Squirrel" Method?

electrical line truss in evening

Squirrels: those cute, little furry critters! Some say they're adorable, but they can wreak havoc on power grids by damaging and chewing through electrical wires. These creatures, along with many other potential causes of power outages, were the points of focus in a three-year study done at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Researchers designed an algorithm to predict causes of major long-term blackouts and possible catastrophic shutdowns of utility companies. The name of this study? "Squirrel"!

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Nutty Squirrels and Rodents Threatening Your Power Supply

squirrel on metal bar railing with autumn leaves on ground

Rodents on the Grid

In the heart of the city, on your hike in the woods, or in your very own backyard, squirrels are seemingly ubiquitous. These small critters are well-adapted to numerous locales across the country and the world. Did you know they are also the cause of a whopping 10-20% of power outages annually? Critter Guard offers humane protection from these 100% preventable events.

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Home Insurance Coverage for Pest Damage

set of keys with house keychain on wooden table

When looking at home insurance options, most homeowners want to know that they cover the basics. They want policies to cover them in the event of a fire, a flood, vandalism or burglary, high wind damages, and more. You can usually find an insurance company and customize a policy that covers those things. However, there is one disaster that almost no home insurance policy will cover, and it is also one of the most common things to cause damage that home and business owners often neglect to consider. You should search for coverage for pest damage, though many insurance companies don't cover it. Instead, look to preventative measures with Critter Guard's Line Guard and Pole Guard systems.

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Dictating Factors of Costs of Power Outages

power outage in city at dawn with sun peeking between buildings

Power interruptions have cost implications to both consumers and power utility companies. Hence, companies in the energy industry need to establish and know the actual cost of power outages, for blackouts affect their operations and reputation as well. Additionally, companies should know how to protect themselves from equipment damage with Critter Guard systems to keep up operations. Power outages are a nuisance and affect many parties. Here are the factors to consider to truly understand the impacts of power failures.

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