5 Ways Animals Threaten the Power Grid

When you think about threats to the power grid, natural disasters, snowstorms, and other catastrophic events likely readily come to mind. However, you might be surprised that common wildlife can cause as much damage to the power grid as a winter storm. In fact, wildlife is one of the biggest causes of power failures, second only to inclement weather. It seems implausible to think that critters are a big threat to your home's power until you think about how animals interact with human habitats, structures, and systems. Keep reading to discover a few ways animals threaten the power grid.

1. Birds Perching On and Squirrels Traveling Along Power Lines

Though they can sit or scamper safely on a single power line without disruption, when birds, squirrels, or other critters come in contact with multiple power lines, they can divert current, causing power failures (and electrocuting themselves in the process).

2. Nests Near Electrical Equipment

Outages can also occur when birds build nests on power lines that touch multiple lines or other conducting equipment such as overhead transformers. Further, accumulated animal droppings that fall from perched animals or nests and which are acidic in nature can corrode and damage equipment, leading to power outages.

3. Birds Colliding with Solar Panels

Some birds mistake solar panels for water and try to dive in. Of course, doing so can hurt or kill them and damage the panel itself, resulting in power failures.

4. Critters Breaking Into Substations

Much the same way critters try to break into your home, raccoons, squirrels, and more will find their way into substations. They'll gain entry and gnaw through almost everything, including electric cabling, until they find a dry, safe, and warm place to make their nest.

5. Birds Flying Into Wind Turbines

Another source of power outages includes birds flying into wind turbines. Even if a bird is able to avoid a fatal injury, a collision with turbine blades can disrupt power and damage components of the turbine.

These cases play out every day across the country, and when they do, utility companies, homeowners, and business owners find themselves scrambling to deal with the damage. Before you lose power and have to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars in costly repairs, it's best to prevent these critters from damaging power lines in the first place. By using Critter Guard’s Line Guard, Pole Guard, and BirdBloc solutions, you can help to prevent critters from traveling along power lines and accessing substations, reducing damage to the power grid. To learn more about our wildlife control products, contact us today!