NEWS RELEASE: Record warm winter may boost animal populations — and substation outages

We just enjoyed the warmest winter in recent memory across much of the U.S. Unfortunately, those unseasonably mild temperatures carry a potentially dangerous consequence: a population explosion among animal species known to wreak havoc on the nation’s substations.

TransGard, maker of patented substation fencing that prevents animal incursion, keeps close tabs on weather patterns and animal populations, said Bill Reichard, president of TransGard.

Warm winter temperatures enable the proliferation of squirrels and raccoons — climbing animals that cause hundreds of substation outages every year. In addition, scientists note that the unusually warm winter disrupts the natural hibernation and reproduction of snakes — also known for substation incursions.

Reichard notes the increased activity could mean trouble for unprotected substations.

“We’re seeing a larger population of squirrels and raccoons looking for food and shelter,” says Reichard. “Already this spring, climbing animals have caused substation outages affecting thousands in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and elsewhere — and spring is just underway.”

Warm weather is spurring animals to leave their holes and burrows much sooner than usual in search of food. Reichard said, historically, warmer temperatures can mean spring substation outages will start earlier and occur more frequently.

Squirrels, raccoons, snakes, other climbing animals cause substation outages in urban, suburban and remote locations across North America. A single outage can cost tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and man-hours, not to mention frustrated customers.

TransGard offers the only substation fence that delivers a mild electric shock that deters climbing animals but won’t harm them, or humans – a humane approach that offers the most effective barrier against animal incursion. For details, visit

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