Are Ultrasonic Pest Repellents A Scam

You might be wondering what exactly ultrasonic pest repellents involve. These are devices used for high-frequency emitting sounds for killing, repelling, or injuring household pests like insects and rodents. Whether they are a scam or effective at killing insects and rodents has been discussed by several bodies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and testing labs. Do you think they are a scam, and why? 

Studies and consumer product testing show that ultrasonic pest repellents do not work as much as advertised. The high-frequency sound claims to be perfect for preventing a household infestation, but the reality is that they are not as effective as it seems. This is especially true for larger insects and rodents, such as cockroaches or rats.

Others such as spiders and ants weren’t affected by these devices. As to whether ultrasonic pest repellents are a scam or effective therefore depends on many factors. 

In this article, we’re going to focus on ultrasonic pest repellents and why they are relevant. So keep reading to learn and understand more about Ultrasonic pest repellents. 

Why You Need Ultrasonic Pest Repellents

Pest control is required in your home for various reasons. First, when insects and rodents are left unchecked, they can transmit hantavirus, salmonella, and other diseases. Second, they could also cause potential damage to important buildings.

Some signs of rodent and insect infestation include chewed or gnawed foodstuffs, holes in certain materials, and droppings beneath sinks and near food. 

Cockroach infestation is arguably difficult to eliminate and a pervasive type of infestation. It’s mostly in urban environments, including commercial and industrial kitchens. 

The Cockroach eggs are found in areas that are hard to spot, including crevices and cracks in drains and kitchen cabinets. However, if you use ultrasonic pest repellents, there is a high chance that you’ll eliminate these pests. 

How Ultrasonic Pest Repellents Work

The application of audible sound for discouraging pests has been there for many years. For instance, the Chinese have been using mechanical repellent devices to distract rodents in their buildings and crops. 

Ultrasound involves sound frequencies above the limit capable of being heard by humans. The technique has been in use only for the past few decades. 

It works by plugging an ultrasonic device into your home’s power outlets, which will then release high-frequency sounds to disrupt pests. Unfortunately, the sound produces an audiogenic seizure response characterized by convulsions, possible death from a cerebral hemorrhage, and non-directional running. 

The principle here is that rodents or insects flee if destruction restricts them from breeding, communicating, gathering food, and building nests. 

The devices are appealing and popular to people because they’re easy to use. They are also silent and nullify the need for poison and traps.

Subsonic and electromagnetic devices are readily available and come in different designs that vary depending on signal frequency, rate, and intensity. 

Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellents Work?

As we have seen above, there are studies to look into the efficiency of pest repellents. Unfortunately, these studies have revealed mixed outcomes. 

For instance, there is ‘an extensive test done by Kansas State University in 2002,’ which found that ultrasonic repellents were very effective in killing and repelling certain insects, including crickets. However, there was little success with cockroaches. Others such as spiders and ants weren’t affected by these devices.

There has also been a rise in safety concerns. For instance, some people have reported that the sound from the repellents can cause muting in hearing aids and weaken telephone conversation clarity. 

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In some cases, the noise could also cause unintended suffering in rodent pets such as rabbits. Although dogs and cats can hear sound on the ultrasonic scale, they’re unbothered by such noise. 

There are some manufacturers of repellents that offer claims that aren’t supported by scientific evidence. 

That notwithstanding, several users of ultrasonic pest repellents have expressed their satisfaction with the success of the products. Customers are therefore encouraged to research more about brands before making purchases. 

It must be positioned in areas where the signal travels uninterrupted by furniture and walls for the device to work effectively. 

Videos like the one below show the Pest Reject device tested for 10 days on mice shows how the mice went right up to the device out of curioticy and seemed unphased by it. However, it's unknown if other pests were affected by the device as the video only monitored mice activity.

What Pests Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellents Claim To Work On? 

Most ultrasonic pest repellents advertise driving away various unwanted garden and home visitors such as:

  • Bed bugs
  • Cockroaches
  • Flies
  • Mosquitos
  • Birds
  • Mice and Rats
  • Silverfish
  • Ticks and fleas

In the below video, a baiting area was placed outside that both rats and rabbits were feeding on. Over several months the author stated that he noticed some decrease in activity but not a total decrease in activity and eventually the rabbits and rats seemed to have adjusted to tolerate the ultrasonic sounds.

Safety of Ultrasonic Pest Repellents on Pets

Most ultrasonic pest repellents release sounds with a frequency of over 20 kilohertz (kHz). The level of frequency that your pets can hear depends mainly on the type of animal.

For instance, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, pet rats, and other pet rodents can capture sounds of up to 90 kHz. Likewise, cats can pick up at most 60 kHz, while dogs can hear up to 40 kHz. 

The problem isn’t whether your pets can hear the sound from the ultrasonic pest repellents. Instead, the main concern is whether the sound can affect your animals or not. 

Safety concerns may arise on the long-term neurological damage to your pets because, unlike pests, they live in your home and are forced to stay within the vicinity of the ultrasonic devices for a long time. 

Unfortunately, however, there is no research to investigate the long-term effects the sounds have on cats, dogs, and other popular pets. 

If you own a pet, you should consult your veterinarian before purchasing an ultrasonic pest repellent. 

Considerations While Selecting the best Ultrasonic Pest Repellents

There are several things that you should consider while selecting the best ultrasonic pest repellents. First, you must do some background checks on developing the best pest control program from power sources to pest types. 

The industry applies ‘repellent’ and ‘repeller’ interchangeably. Repellents can involve both sprays, chemical dust, and repellent devices. Always focus on the factors below: 

The Type of Pests

Ultrasonic pest repellers can offer you a solution, whether it is everything with creepy crawlies popping up every night or when you’re preparing your house to keep warm-seeking mice away when outdoor temperature dips. 

Generally, ultrasonic pest repellents address rodent issues in your home. However, if the challenge is a rat or mouse issue, plugging a repellent into your outlets can assist.

Many products are also efficient against other pests such as ants, mosquitoes, fleas, snakes, bats, scorpions, crickets, fruit flies, cockroaches, and squirrels. There are even brands that can assist you in preventing bed bug infestation.

There is even a chance of you getting products that can repel cats and dogs from your yard. So if you have a friend who owns a dog visiting you, you should be selective on the product you buy.

Working Range

If you want your ultrasonic pest repellent to be effective, then you should provide enough coverage. Most available products cover an area of about 800 to 1,200 square feet. This range mainly applies to wide-open basements. Ceilings and walls might offer a limited range. 

If there are many walls around your home, you should have several repellents in your home to allow full coverage. The best approach is to have the repellents in troublesome areas such as near drafty doors, the kitchen, or in moisture-laden rooms. 

By having at least two repellents throughout your home, their range is likely to overlap and offer adequate coverage. 

Power Source

There are at least primary sources of power for ultrasonic pest repellents: battery, electric, and solar power. 

  • Electric repellents function well in a garage or home. The repellents are connected to standard 110V outlets to cover the garage, laundry room, kitchen, and anywhere else you would be experiencing pest issues.
  • Solar pest repellents are perfect for chasing out pests from your yard. The repellents stick into the ground and draw up the sun’s rays. Here, photovoltaic panels are used to convert the sun’s rays into stored energy. 
  • Battery-powered repellents are ideal for staying bug-free when you’re at an outdoor event, hunting, or fishing. They use batteries to repel rodents and insects. 

Longevity

There is no hiding that ultrasonic pest repellents offer long-term coverage compared to other types of repellents. However, traps, sticky dust, and poisons always need refilling from time to time. For severe cases, this can be once per week.

Since weekly maintenance is frustrating and expensive, you can use ultrasonic repellents, which can last for three to five years. They generate ultrasonic sounds that repel pests and rodents as long as they have power. 

Tech Features

Most yard repellents generate energy from the sun. For them to be effective at night, the repellents need to conserve power until pests show up. 

Several models employ motion sensors to detect any movement and then release sounds rather than releasing them throughout the night to save more energy in such a case. 

Several models have lights and work either as deterrents or nightlights. However, deterrent lights only flash upon detecting a pest, thus scaring it away in the process. 

You can even use the flashing lights for your home security to alert you when an intruder or dangerous animal is in your home. 

The Top 5 Ultrasonic Pest Repellents

Let’s look at some of the best ultrasonic pest repellents you can select:

Bell+Howell Ultrasonic Repellent 

The Bell+Howell Ultrasonic Repellent is an optimal option for the whole house. The product comes with six devices having three different sizes. 

As a result, you can use micro-designed repellents if you notice pests near cupboards, tabletops, or other places. Use a socket to plug in the device. 

The most significant design can be placed in the bedroom or living room, while classic designs are perfect for hallways and basements. 

This repellent is ultrasonic and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals. It’s effective against cockroaches, rats, spiders, or even ants. The good thing about the product is that it works silently for your family.

The product offers efficient ultrasonic waves of different frequencies. However, unlike other products on the market, pets can’t become immune or get used to this solution. 

ProsCons
Easy to install. Affordable price. It comes with six items in the pack. Ultrasonic waves of different frequencies. Effective against various pests.Not ideal near house pets. Rodents seem to show a tolerance buildup to the sound over time.

Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repellent

The Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repellent is a plug-and-use pest repellent that offers complete protection by generating ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves to help you chase the pests away. 

The repellent covers an area of about 1600 square feet. It’s applicable in hotels, warehouses, garages, and offices.

If you use this product, ants and cockroaches will crawl away, rats will run, and fleas will flee. It functions straight from the box and is 100% safe for both pets and humans. 

If you have bought the product and want to use it, plug it into your power socket and turn it on. The benefit of using the product is that it’s quiet and eco-friendly.

ProsCons
Eco-friendly. Easy to use and set up. Safe for pets and humans. Effective and silent. It has a lovely night light touch.It won’t offer instant outcomes if the pest problem is out of control.

AC12 Ultrasonic Pest Repellent

The AC12 Ultrasonic Pest Repellent is the perfect option for fighting off rats, fleas, bed bugs, mice, and other pests. To use the product, you need to connect it to a 100-240V with a power of about 4-6W for effective performance. 

One electronic plug repellent can cover an area of about 1600 sq. ft. in a room. If the pest infestation is in the whole house, then use several products. If you want effective performance, use the product for at least 1-2 weeks. 

ProsCons
No smells or odors. Deals with both insects and animals. It doesn’t kill but scares pests away.It isn’t suitable for outdoor use.

Crioxen Ultrasonic 5-in-1 Repellent

If you’re looking for a multifunctional instrument and safe product for large areas, then the Crioxen Ultrasonic 5-in-1 Repellent is the perfect solution for you. It can repel mice, squirrels, and other rodents. It’s the most eco-friendly solution to repel pests from your home. 

The good thing about this product is that it doesn’t kill but scares pests away. It’s also safe for children and pets. Plug the product into a 100-120V power supply socket. A single unit is designed for a 2000 square feet area. 

ProsCons
It’s universal. Provides a broad coverage area. Easy to customize and use.Not suitable for outside use. It can only be used in an indoor environment.

Verton VO1B

The Verton VO1B is an all-in-one solution and has every chance of turning out to be your favorite. It functions by generating ultrasonic waves of either 25KHz or 65KHz. Experts predict first results within a week and total pest-free life in 30 days. 

It’s suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. If you want to use this product, plug it into the socket and leave it on. A single device can cover 1500 to 2100 square feet. 

ProsCons
Safe to use where there are children and pets. Wide variety of target species. The device is easy to use and install.It takes almost one month to eradicate pests.

Conclusion

So, do ultrasonic pest repellents work? The answer is yes, but not perfectly. Ultrasonic pest repellents are not a replacement for cleanliness and pest control services and you should still utilize a local pest control company for problem cases and routine services.

HomeInspectionInsider.com is owned and operated by Hubert Miles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. HomeInspectionInsider.com also participates in affiliate programs with other affiliate sites. Hubert Miles is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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