There’s been a huge increase lately in the amount of news stories about power outages caused by squirrels. The squirrels seem to do one of three things: 1) chew on a power line, 2) accidentally step on a hot power line, or 3) cram themselves into a transformer box. In all cases, they end up dead, and cause widespread power losses.
First, a few weeks ago, there was the highly publicized “flaming squirrel” in Bayonne, NJ, that chewed through wires, electrocuted itself and then fell on a woman’s car — setting it on fire.
Then, well, the news stories on outages really start to stack up, such as
Then, for the third time this year, a squirrel chewing through a power line causes a power outage at the University of Kentucky. (They are now buying squirrel guards, thank goodness).
And the Ivy Leagues are not immune, either — at Dartmouth, a squirrel is blamed for wiping out power to several areas of campus after it “the squirrel apparently attempted to cross between lines of a high-wire without removing its entire body from the line on which he previously perched.”
Then, in Bloomington, Ill., a squirrel worked itself into a power substation, leaving about 1,500 homes and businesses temporarily without power.
And finally (for now!), students had to go without power for some classes during an outage blamed on a squirrel at the University of Kansas. As the article explains, Doug Wulff, owner of Critter Guard in Columbia Missouri, said squirrels are the third leading cause of power outages. “Squirrels are a huge menace,” Wulff said. Thankfully, Wulff sells products to combat the menace — the Critter Guard.