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Ultrasonic Pest Repellents: Do They Work?

Closeup mouse gnaws wire plugged into wall outlet
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Pests are small creatures that can cause big problems in your home. Some pests can spread disease and agitate allergies, while others can destroy property. To protect your household and property from the threat of pests, you need to take steps to keep them from infesting your home and yard. Ultrasonic pest repellers are one of the choices you will find when looking for prevention options. The big question is, do ultrasonic pest repellers work? First, you need to know how these devices repel pests and then look at the evidence supporting or negating their effectiveness.

What are ultrasonic pest repellers?

Ultrasonic pest repellers are devices that produce sound at a level that, in theory, will repel, deter, or kill unwanted pests like insects and rodents. Ultrasonic devices emit a sound that is too high to be heard by human ears but can be detected by some types of pests. Some ultrasonic pest repellers target specific types of pests such as spiders, cockroaches, or mosquitoes, while others target larger pests like rodents. Ultrasonic pest repellers may also be advertised as electronic rodent repellent, plug-in repellent, all-natural pest control, and rat repellent sound devices.

The physical design of ultrasonic pest repellers can vary depending on the manufacturer. Some are battery-operated, others plug into an outlet, and there are even ultrasonic pest repellers run by solar power. All ultrasonic pest repellers operate in the same basic way by emitting an ultrasonic sound to try to eliminate pest issues in your home.

Do ultrasonic pest repellers work?

It sounds ideal — continuous protection against pests without chemicals or the need to reapply. But do ultrasonic pest repellers work?

To answer the question, you need to look for unbiased information on the topic. There is ample scientific research on the impact of ultrasonic sound devices on pest activity. Researchers at the University of Arizona examined multiple studies that tested the claim that ultrasonic pest repellers keep pests away. The consensus from each study was that ultrasonic pest repellers have little to no impact on pest activity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also found that the claims made by some manufacturers are not backed by scientific evidence. The consensus among researchers asking whether or not ultrasonic pest repellers work is that there is simply not enough evidence to support the claims that they do.

Many customer reviews on these products do claim it worked in some capacity, but there’s little proof outside of those testimonials. Let’s take a look at some popular ultrasonic repellers to see what they claim to do:

Examples of ultrasonic pest repellers

  • Ultrasonic Pest Repeller: This device uses a combination of ultrasonic sound and electromagnetic chips to attempt to repel pests. The manufacturer of this product claims that the two elements “disorient the hearing and nervous system of pests” to drive them away. Some of the pests listed as impacted include rodents, cockroaches, ants, mosquitoes, and spiders. The Ultrasonic Pest Repeller must be plugged into an electrical outlet to operate. Customer reviews on Amazon give this product an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. You can purchase a six-pack of the Ultrasonic Pest Repeller on Amazon for under $30.
  • Loraffe Battery Operated Rodent Repellent Ultrasonic Rat Deterrent: The manufacturer of this device states that it is designed to deter pests using a combination of ultrasonic sound waves and flashing LED lights. It is battery operated and can be used in places where you do not have easy access to an electrical outlet, such as attics and barns. Customer reviews on Amazon give this product an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars. A two-pack of the Loraffe Rodent Repeller will run you around $50 on Amazon.
  • Wikomo Outdoor Solar Powered Ultrasonic Pest and Animal Repeller: This device is designed to be used outside to repel pests such as rodents that can cause problems in your yard or home. The manufacturer claims that the device emits a sound that cannot be heard by human ears but is bothersome to pests. This ultrasonic pest repeller also uses motion-activated lights to help repel pests. The device is completely solar-powered and does not require batteries or an electrical outlet. Customer reviews on Amazon give this product an average of 2.8 out of 5 stars. The Wikomo Animal Repeller is $35 on Amazon.

Alternatives to ultrasonic pest repellers

Do ultrasonic pest repellers work? Probably not. This means that you should consider alternatives to ultrasonic pest repellers. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a few suggestions on the most effective pest control options including prevention and chemical treatment options.

Prevention is the least expensive option. If you can prevent pests from invading your home in the first place, you can avoid costly treatments. Effective pest prevention requires eliminating any potential food sources for pests such as spills, crumbs, or improperly stored food, so you do not inadvertently attract them into your home. Water can also attract some types of pests inside so it is important to deal with leaks or other water issues as soon as you notice a problem. Another essential element for pest prevention is to seal up any areas around your home that may let pests inside. Dealing with food, water issues, and entry points will go a long way toward helping keep pests out.

The EPA also outlines options for chemical pest control if you find that you do have an infestation. If you decide to take a do-it-yourself approach to pest control, the EPA recommends using bait as your first option and ready-to-use chemicals as the next line of defense, if needed. Hiring a pest control professional is another option if you want to deal with pests quickly and effectively with chemicals. The EPA recommends that you only consider hiring a pest control professional who is properly licensed in your state. Several chemical pest control options are effective against pests and safe around your family.

We’ve also identified some pest control strategies for raccoons, gophers, chipmunks, skunks, and more.

Frequently asked questions

Should I buy an ultrasonic pest repeller?
The research currently available on the effectiveness of ultrasonic pest repellers did not find any evidence that they are consistently effective against pests. Although some online reviews do claim efficacy, other alternatives should be employed to rid yourself of the pests.

Does an electronic rodent repellent work?
Electronic rodent repellent does not appear to work long term against pests when studied in controlled environments. Although some people use it as a backup to other methods, it doesn’t seem to prove effective by itself.

Where can I find ultrasonic pest repeller reviews?
Find ultrasonic pest repellers reviews on Amazon.com and other major retailer’s sites.

How can I keep pests out of my house?
The most effective way to keep pests out of your house is through prevention efforts like storing food properly, fixing water issues, and sealing up holes and gaps. Early intervention by hiring a pest control specialist, exterminator, or by using a DIY pest control solution is recommended once an infestation occurs in or near your home.

Do ultrasonic pest repellers bother pets?
Though the research on repelling pests indicates that it doesn’t have much of an effect, your pets at home, including rodent pets like mice and gerbils, may hear the device. There isn’t much research on the impact of these devices on cats and dogs, but scientists do think they can hear it, though they may not be bothered by it.


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