How Does a Squirrel Cause a Power Outage in the U.S?

Ashley | 04 - 08 - 2021

The question may not be that big of a deal. But what if I say alarming amounts of tax money is spent to make good the damage caused by squirrel power outages?

Are Squirrels Responsible for Power Outages?

Squirrels are gnawers who have to munch on stuff continuously to keep their growing teeth sharp and shapely. We have often witnessed these bushy-tailed rodents run through power lines enjoying the summer. 

Ultimately they have also created a habit of chewing on these power lines, burrowing on electricity posts or simply making a connection between two power lines of different potentials.

What Percentage of Power Outages Are Caused by Squirrels?
  • A. 45%
  • B. 30%
  • C. 32%
  • D. 25%

Squirrel Power Outage Percentage

Power outages caused especially by squirrels stand at 30%. The American Public Power Association has a separate Squirrel Index to make a note of these damages. Though the damages are significantly small, the number of times they occur leads to a huge revenue loss.  

Why Don’t Squirrels Get Electrocuted on Power Lines?

Squirrels get electrocuted because they are not good conductors of electricity. We see squirrels electrocuted on a power line alongside big birds a few times. That’s due to them connecting two power lines with different electricity potentials while jumping from one line to another.

The same is applicable for humans as well. There is no chance of getting electrocuted until and unless we come in contact with two power cables that pass different voltages of electricity at the same time.

Squirrel on power line mishaps has increased due to the lack of trees that provide gnaw-worthy nuts and roots to sharpen their teeth.

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