Animal Intruders: The Critters Behind the Outages

Feb. 27, 2023
When the lights go out, it could be due to a severe storm or a curious animal. Here are some of the top causes of wildlife-caused outages.

Mother Nature can cause her share of power outages. The second leading cause of power disruptions, however, is due to animal interference. 

When snakes slither into substations or squirrels gnaw on equipment or wires, they can cause widespread outages. In fact, animal-caused outages can cost utility companies between $15 million and $18 million per year, according Critter Guard's statistics page. 

The company, which produces devices to minimize animal-caused outages and protect wildlife, tracked outage statistics and created this infographic below. For more information, check out our  photo gallery of some of the most popular critters behind the animal-caused outages. 

Infographic by Critter Guard
About the Author

Amy Fischbach | Amy Fischbach, EUO Contributing Editor

Amy Fischbach is the contributing editor for the Electric Utility Operations section of Transmission and Distribution World. She worked for Prism Business Media (now Penton) for eight years, most recently as the managing editor of Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro magazine. She is now working as a freelance writer and editor for B2B magazines. Amy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.She serves as the national vice president of the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She can be reached at [email protected].

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