How a TE Connectivity engineer saved both the power grid and squirrels with one creative idea

November 18, 2020

Although they're cute and fluffy, squirrels are responsible for nearly 3.5 thousand power outages every year in the U.S.. Nobody knows exactly why they like to climb inside power stations, but it rarely ends well for the squirrel or the power grid. TE Connectivity engineer Laura Hiller was up to the challenge of saving both the squirrels and the power grid with one creative idea. First, she had to get into the mind of the squirrel, which involved long conversations with university biologists and a few too many online squirrel videos

With a solid understanding of her opponent, she got to work building a prototype after a few failed iterations. Laura unlocked the ideal combination of motion and length for a conductor line guard to outmatch even the sneakiest of squirrels. On top of being incredibly effective, her wildlife line guard was easy to install on a live wire using only an insulated pole called a hot stick. Thanks to Laura and her team, this patent will prevent thousands of power outages every year and save countless squirrel lives, making our world a safer and more connected place for both squirrel and humankind alike.

For more information on the WLG-60 line guard, please contact us by e-mailing Ryan Campbell at or calling us at (860) 678-8772.