Power outages are commonly attributed to natural disasters like thunderstorms or blizzards. However, critters of all shapes and sizes have emerged as formidable adversaries capable of causing significant disruptions to our electrical systems. Although these creatures are typically harmless, their interactions with power lines can lead to major issues if not properly addressed. Let's explore the top four critters that caused power outages in 2022.
These furry creatures have gained notoriety for their tendency to gnaw through insulation and even burrow into substations. Their persistent chewing can damage electrical wiring, leading to short circuits and disruptions in the power supply. In Marquette, MI, a squirrel's intrusion into a substation on March 3 resulted in a power outage for over 3,500 residents. This unexpected event disrupted the NCAA basketball game between Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State, causing an hour-and-a-half delay for both teams and fans.
Raccoons may not be as notorious for power outages as squirrels, but they tend to do a lot of damage to power lines. On June 15, 2022, 9,300 La Crosse, WI residents were left without power when a raccoon found its way into a substation. Outages were reported throughout the city, including the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and some traffic signals.
Large birds, such as hawks or eagles, can accidentally come into contact with power lines or transformers while in flight, causing disruptions. Over 2,000 Phoenix residents found themselves without power on Thanksgiving Day when birds entered a substation just outside the city.
Slithering reptiles like snakes may seek shelter or warmth near electrical infrastructure, including substations or transformer boxes. A snake rendered nearly 3,000 Horry Electric Cooperative customers powerless in Horry County, SC, on August 11, 2022.
Critters are naturally drawn to exposed electrical components such as power lines, utility poles, transformers, and substations, posing a risk to the animals and our power infrastructure. At Critter Guard, we provide humane solutions to ensure an uninterrupted power supply while prioritizing animal welfare. Our Line Guard and Pole Guard products are specifically designed to deter wildlife from accessing power lines and utility poles, effectively reducing both animal casualties and power outages. Contact us today to learn more about our products.