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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
We encourage our utility customers to think of birds in two different categories:
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!
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):
Line Guard is reliable, withstands UV and extreme weather, and has no impact on the functional characteristics of the line. 20 years of field experience and still going strong.
The IEEE Guide for testing the electrical, mechanical and durability performance of wildlife protective devices on overhead power distribution systems rated up to 38kv was released in 2010 and many engineers want to use this as a checklist of technical properties. As the name implies, this is a guide, not a test standard. Critter Guard’s proprietary blend of plastics, UV curatives, and colorants are specifically tested to the referenced IEEE 4 tests contained in IEEE 1656 for flammability parameters. In addition, our 20 years of field experience on line voltages even exceeding 38kV, in all kinds of hot, wet, windy, icy, and snowy weather demonstrates the reliability and predictability of performance our customers have come to expect from Critter Guard products. Please refer to our product specifications for more detail.
We stock our product and fulfill orders from our Distribution Center in Springfield, MO. Springfield is near the geographic center of the USA, so transit times to any location in the US is no more than 3 days. We keep ample stock on hand, so you don’t have to. Lead times on most orders are less than 1 week. Our default shipping service is UPS Ground, but we also work with the US Postal Service, DHL, and many LTL and 3rd party freight services as requested, including freight forwarders, customs brokers, and international transfer agents for our overseas customers.
For new commercial, utility, and industrial customers, please inquire about setting up an account with Critter Guard. This will give you secure, private login to the Critter Guard shop where you can order our products for fast and easy service. All prices are quoted in US Dollars, and Freight/Shipping is priced separately, except as noted. If you need assistance or have specific questions, contact us, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.