What Are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers?

by Team eLocal
Close up shot of mouse peeking out of the dusty hole behind white furniture and under a copper pipe.

If you're struggling with a pest infestation in your home, you might be nearing your wit’s end. In searching for solutions, you may have come across ultrasonic pest repellers.

Many manufacturers tout these devices as an affordable, chemical-free pest control solution, but do they live up to the hype?

What Is an Ultrasonic Pest Repeller?

Ultrasonic pest repellers are electronic devices that emit high-frequency sound waves to deter common household pests. Some people use ultrasonic pest repellers as an alternative to chemical pest control methods, especially if they have pets or young children.

There are also ultrasonic pest repellers that attach to pet collars. Manufacturers claim that they can prevent fleas.

How Does It Work?

The theory underpinning ultrasonic pest repellers is that sound waves of around 65,000 Hz are unpleasant to pests and cause them to flee. Some proponents also claim that these sound waves cause an audiogenic seizure response in some animals, leading to confusion, convulsions and possible death. The sound waves are undetectable to human ears, which means that you won't notice the sound if you use an ultrasonic pest repeller in your home.

Many ultrasonic pest repellers plug into an electrical outlet. However, you can also purchase battery-operated and solar-powered models. Placing an ultrasonic pest repeller in an unobstructed location can help the sound waves travel through your home.

What Kind of Pests Do They Work On?

Some types of ultrasonic pest repellers are designed to deter small pests like spiders, mosquitoes and cockroaches. Others target larger animals, such as rats and mice. It's essential to read reviews to see if other users found the device effective against your particular infestation before purchasing an ultrasonic pest repeller.

Are They Safe for Household Pets?

Domestic animals can hear higher soundwave frequencies than humans, leading to concerns that ultrasonic pest repellers could pose a risk to household pets. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the devices could distress small pets like rodents and rabbits. Although dogs and cats can hear the sound waves emitted by ultrasonic pest repellers, they don't appear to bother them.

Are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Safe for Babies and Children?

Scientific evidence suggests that the sound waves emitted by ultrasonic pest repellers are generally safe for adults, but they occasionally cause mild tinnitus. According to Home Inspector Insider, these devices could potentially cause agitation and concentration problems in babies and children because they can hear higher frequencies than adults. Although any adverse effects are likely to be mild, parents may wish to take this into account when deciding whether to use an ultrasonic pest repeller.

The Bottom Line: Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Work?

Whether ultrasonic pest repellers are effective is up for debate, and there's scant evidence available to settle the matter. According to InterNACHI, scientific evidence shows that some devices can successfully repel certain insects, but they’re relatively ineffective against cockroaches, ants and spiders. Furthermore, studies show that some pests can get used to the sound and return when they realize that it doesn't pose a threat.

Ultrasonic pest repellers are also unregulated, which means that their efficacy is likely to vary across brands, or even device to device. Many manufacturers make claims about their products without any solid scientific basis.

However, many ultrasonic pest repellers have excellent user reviews, suggesting that some people find them useful. It's worth researching any brand you're considering to check that it has good customer feedback before buying a device.

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