Many people see squirrels and birds walking or sitting comfortably on the power lines without any risk of electrocution and think how it is possible that they do not get an electric shock.
Can Squirrels Walk on Power Lines? Squirrels can walk on power lines as they are poor conductors of electricity because they have a thick coat of fur. Moreover, they can walk on these wires when climbing trees, trying to reach the roof, and escape from predators. Furthermore, you can protect electric wires from damage by trimming trees, installing spinners, and using deterrent sprays.
Small squirrels with lighter bodies can easily move on the electric lines in the houses and streets to reach a safe place or move to the desired destination for food.
Why do squirrels walk on power lines?
Squirrels are fast-running small animals that can reach every narrow spot providing a route to enter. In the same way, they consider power lines as highways and run on them freely.
Chew the electric lines
They have larger teeth that never stop growing and need to be ground to keep their size normal. In addition, these animals need to chew continuously to keep their teeth at a healthy length.
Accordingly, they have a natural behavior of chewing almost everything that is possible to chew and eat, including hard food material or electric lines.
A pair of incisors is present that requires to be filed down by gnawing continuously. You can find them chewing on materials like lighting wires, power lines, and phone cables.
Moreover, they can also eat engine wires and Christmas holiday lights, pose a risk to your car and building, or are responsible for spoiling your festival.
It is fantastic to see the squirrels walking on power lines that are a few feet higher from the ground. Moreover, it can make you think about why these animals choose this path for walking.
They can move on the electric lines that are considered risky due to the possibility of electrocution when they have to avoid road accidents, as cars can hit them hard while crossing.
Moreover, there can be a risk of death after getting crushed by cars. The ground predators can also make them walk on such lines as cats, and weasels can make them prey.
They keep jumping from one tree to another and climbing on the branches when they are far from each other.
They can also walk on these wires to reach the next tree present on the sides of a highway.
It provides a suitable medium for these furry animals to reach the desired spot connecting the road’s right side to the left.
Moreover, they perceive it as a suitable runway to move on as there is no risk of getting a shock when they are moving on a single wire like birds.
Reach attic or roof
Most commonly, the trees are present close to the house, allowing squirrels to get inside the building to seek food and live inside the attic providing a dry and quiet place.
These fluffy-tailed animals prefer to live inside the attics as they provide a cozy and safe place to avoid predators.
Moreover, these power lines can help them reach inside the attic if there are no trees inside the house. They can also climb poles to access the roof and then enter the home.
They can safely reach the desired location because their bodies are poor conductors of electricity.
Additionally, they do not complete the circuit when moving on a single wire and do not get a severe shock.
Squeeze walking distance
These are considered the best route when they want to move to a new location or avoid the following predator.
They get the advantage of walking on the electrical wires, which is impossible for other animals due to their larger size.
They can quickly climb a pole and move on the wires as their tiny bodies and sharp claws can help maintain a firm grip on the narrow lines.
It helps reduce the total time taken to cross the busy highways that are full of traffic and makes it difficult for them to cross.
So, they can quickly decrease the time to move by walking on wires and squeeze the size of the route by moving straight on the wires without making any turns.
How do squirrels walk on power lines?
Astonishingly, birds and squirrels can walk and sit on the power lines without getting an electric shock. It is only possible due to the low conductivity of their bodies.
The current in the wires can run faster from the higher to lower end without traveling inside their bodies as their small size cannot store enough charge.
Additionally, the current does not pass through their bodies due to the same voltage as they are walking on a single wire having a unidirectional flow of current.
Moreover, a thick insulation layer in the form of a fur coat avoids the entry of electrons into their bodies. This thick coat of fur can efficiently withstand the high voltage of electricity.
They are only at risk of electrocution when the circuit gets complete when they accidentally touch another wire with a lower potential. This can damage the transformer.
This way, the wires will knock their bodies down and make them fall onto the ground, while some get attached due to current buildup and cause damage to cables.
Can squirrels damage power lines?
Squirrels can damage the power lines through their chewing behavior as they chew soft wires with their strong teeth and remove an insulation layer.
Moreover, the electric wires and phone cables are at risk of damage that can be responsible for power outages.
The exposed electric lines can cause a fire in the building, and damaged internet cables affect the internet and television service.
The current circuit can get disturbed when they come in contact with two different potentials, allowing the current to flow from a lower to a higher potential.
So, they can put your house at risk of getting extreme fire in case of severe damage; that’s why it is better to keep them off by covering wires with material that cannot be chewed.
How do you keep squirrels away from power lines?
It is easy to keep these animals away from power lines using deterrent sprays like chili pepper and bitter apple spray.
In addition, you can close the possible entry points and narrow holes by using hard metal sheets that are difficult to chew.
A PVC pipe of 1 to 2 feet in length and 1.5 to 2 inches in width is sufficient for covering the wires and protecting them from these chewing animals.
It begins to rotate and avoid them by affecting their grip as they cannot maintain a firm grip on the slippery rotating object.
Moreover, spinners are an excellent solution to protect the electric wires in streets and houses that can help reduce the cases of power outages to a maximum extent.
Furthermore, it is better to trim the tree’s larger branches using a chainsaw hanging close to the building so that squirrels cannot climb on them.