Power Line and Utility Pole Guards for Power Distribution Equipment

According to the American Public Power Association, squirrels are among the top causes of power outages across the United States. Depending on your region, there may be no “quiet” season as squirrels and other “Critters” can be active all year long.

Since you’re reading this – you likely already know the damage these critters can do and the cost, down-time, and nuisance it is to deal with the aftermath of an outage. Critter Guard is here to help.

Keeping It Simple - Protecting Power Lines, Transformers, and Substations

There are dozens (if not more) of devices offered to protect critical utility equipment. Many of these take the form of a cover or cage that fits over the conductive device, insulator, bushing, switch, or transformer. With the dizzying array of sizes, voltages, mounting options, and local installation conditions, a maintenance manager has a lot to keep track of in protecting the equipment.

Critter Guard took a different approach. All of those critical devices are connected by some kind of electric wire, cable, or conductor. By putting Line Guard, a physical barrier, on the conductor leading to any critical piece of equipment, the animal simply cannot pass the barrier and gives up and moves on. We block their access, rather than covering the device. As a result, the device is protected from crawling animals, and the linemen are happy they don’t have to take some “cover” off just to do their normal inspections and testing. Since Line Guard works on most overhead lines, this is a much simpler and more cost-effective solution than trying to individually cover every “at-risk” component.

Will Critter Guard Work for Your Animal Problem?

The Critter Guard products were originally designed for squirrel mitigation. However, since that time Critter Guard products have been adapted and used to prevent multiple critters from accessing critical equipment and homeowners’ roofs. The following are just a few animals deterred successfully with Critter Guard products:

power line protection for squirrels


Squirrels are the number two cause of power outages – exceeded only by weather alone. In fact, in some geographical areas, squirrel outages exceed weather related outages. Critter Guard was first designed as a solution for squirrel caused damages and power outages. As a result, we have a long history of success blocking squirrel access to critical components.

power line protection for snakes


Snakes are particularly active in flooding or other wet areas and easily climb power poles and scurry across power lines looking for bird eggs, young rodents, etc. Line Guard’s novel system of independent rollers keeps snakes off-balance and they either fall off or turn around.

power line protection for rats


Roof rats, sewer rats, and other types of rodents are easily repelled by Line Guard and Pole Guard products. Roof rats are expert climbers, but the hard shell of our products prevent the rodent from grabbing on and they slide off, unable to traverse your equipment.

power line protection for raccoons


While the frequency of outages caused by either opossum and/or raccoons is way down the list from squirrels, these animals are great climbers, and in the possums’ case, their tail often acts like a 5th appendage. But have no fear, Critter Guard will keep even these larger animals away.

power line protection for birds


We encourage our utility customers to think of birds in two different categories:

  • Birds of Prey which include Raptors such as Hawks, Vultures, Eagles, Owls, Osprey, etc. 
  • Flocks of smaller birds such as pigeons, swallows, wrens, etc. 

In addition to Line Guard being an effective perch deterrent, the roller, or wheel, will spin with the weight of the bird as soon as they attempt to land on it. Additionally, Critter Guard now offers a complementary product, BirdBloc, which is a proprietary scent-based bird deterrent. The scent repels all types of avian species. They simply can’t stand the smell - yet it is harmless to humans. BirdBloc can be easily hung in areas where birds will roost or nest. The scent last for several weeks, so even if the birds return, they won’t stay. We move the flock with the bloc!

What’s YOUR Plan to Prevent Animal Related Power Outages?

Many utilities have written plans and strategies to guide their organizations to be proactive in managing animal related outages and preventing these occurrences. For 20 years running, Critter Guard has served the animal mitigation needs of various utilities across the country. From local municipalities and rural co-ops to large investor-owned utilities, we hear one familiar comment from our customers, “once we install Line Guard, we have not had another animal outage at that site.”

At Critter Guard, we focus on prevention, not just protection. Our products block access so the critter cannot continue to use the conductor (or the pole) as the highway to get where he wants to go. Ultimately, they get frustrated and move on.

If your utility has not installed Line Guard on your overhead lines, it’s time to give it a try. Line Guard can be used on just about any type of overhead line (we do not support buried lines):

  • Telephone
  • Cable TV
  • Fiber Bundle
  • Electric Service Drop (Low Voltage to the Homeowner), Including Triplex Bundles
  • Shielded and Unshielded Distribution Lines
  • Substation Feeders
  • Transmission Lines (when compatible)

Pole Guard and Line Guard Products in Action

line guard protecting overhead power lines
pole guard installed on power utility pole
line guard products protecting power substation and transformers

Key Specifications of Critter Guard Products

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Content Written by John Sims