Ultrasonic pest control units advertise that they can help repel mice and rats. Plus, some people find that they also keep away spiders, ants and roaches too.
However, these devices almost seem too good to be true. I mean, you just buy a $25 gadget, plug it into your wall and you’re done with all of your rodent problems? No traps, poisons or even effort? Hmm…
It may not be so simple. So, I went ahead and tried them for myself – to find out the pros and cons.
What I Discovered About Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices:
1. Choose a Reputable Brand
First of all, I found plenty of these ultrasonic pest repellent gadgets under many different well-known brand names like Riddex, Black and Decker and Victor Pest. Plus, many of which I’ve never even heard of like uHome, Viatek, Bunnings and Bugzoff.
2. Get Ultrasonic + Electromagnetic Units
Second, I decided to boost my “repelling power” by getting a device that included both ultrasonic and electromagnetic technology.
From my understanding, the ultrasonic waves bounce off hard surfaces within the room and don’t travel through walls, while electromagnetic energy uses the wiring to radiate behind and within the walls. Essentially, electromagnetic wave pulse through the home via the electric circuits.
Therefore, if you get an ultrasonic-only device, you need to place one in every room. On the other hand, you can use a single ultrasonic + electromagnetic repellent for every 1,000 feet.
Not only can you cover more area within your home, you don’t have to buy as many units to keep mice away. Bonus!
3. Look for Non-Repetitive Waves
Third, I got a device that featured non-repetitive waves. This way, animals don’t get used to the sound over time. Some cheaper products don’t mention whether they emitted repetitive waves or not, so I just assumed they might be and didn’t buy them.
4. Utilizing Sound to Get Rid of Mice? Use Enough Units
Fourth, I made sure to purchase plenty of units. For my 2,000 square foot 2-story house – this came to a total of 2. (I actually bought 3 – just in case I needed to install one in the garage too, but I did not end up needing it).
From other customer/consumer reviews I read, I noticed that people who only purchased a single device didn’t seem to get rid of their mice. This makes sense, since you want to cover your entire home, not just part of it.
5. Don’t Block the Waves
Fifth, position the repellers to achieve maximum results. As I mentioned above, hard surfaces reflect ultrasound waves while softer surfaces absorb it. For this reason, you don’t want to place a unit behind a sofa because the sound waves will be absorbed.
Therefore, I plugged in each unit on an open wall where there was no furniture. In addition, I placed them in the larger rooms in my house.
6. Place Them Lower on Walls
Sixth, I located the units close to the floor. I read that some people heard clicking sounds from the units every time the LED indicator blinked. From my experience, the sound is barely audible, especially when plugged into a wall outlet near the floor.
7. Choose the Version with Side Outlet (if You Want)
Seventh, I opted for the product version that included a side outlet. This way, I don’t lose a plug space. This feature does cost more, so if you don’t mind giving up a plug space, go for the cheaper version.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
About Ultrasonic Pest Control:
1. How Do Ultrasonic Waves Work to Repel Pests?
Each device puts out high sound frequencies that bounce off hard surfaces and create intense auditory stress for rodents. This discourages them from building nests in the area, so they go elsewhere. The units start repelling immediately once plugged in.
2. How Long Do Pest Repellers Last?
Devices usually last between 3-5 years. Some last longer. As long as the LED indicator light is blinking, the unit still works.
3. Do Ultrasonic Sound Waves Bother Pets?
People often wonder how to get rid of mice in the walls without aggravating their pets at the same time. These systems don’t bother and are safe for dogs and cats. However, it can affect rodent pets like rats, hamsters or guinea pigs. So, if you have rodent-type pets, these electronic units don’t provide the best option.
4. Is Ultrasonic Noise Safe for Humans?
Of course, we all want to ensure our safety with the household products we use. Today, our environments subject us to a growing number of devices that produce ultrasonic noise, including burglar alarms, humidifiers, inhalers and pest repellents. Plus, commercial machinery and medical devices in the workplace.
In short, countries set health standards on devices and machinery in order to prevent negative effects of exposure to ultrasonic noise and hearing damage. Thus, we avert any dangers an keep our environments non-toxic altogether. For more information, you can read a study done in 2013 on how ultrasonic noise impacts humans in the working environment.
5. How Much do Sound Wave Devices Cost to Operate?
According to the Biocontrol Network, ultrasonic pest repeller units typically cost about 20-30 cents per month (less than a penny a day).
6. Do They Inhibit or Interrupt Other Electronic Devices?
Units do not interfere with pacemakers, garage door openers or any other electronic equipment.
7. Does the Frequency of These Units Deter Outdoor Animals, Like Squirrels?
From my experience, no. The range of the devices either doesn’t reach that far or affect squirrels. Good Life makes a battery powered unit called The Guardian ultrasonic 6-in-1 insect and pest control machine that you can use outdoors. Supposedly, it helps repel squirrels, chipmunks, cats, possums, deer, raccoons, bats, mice and rats. It can even send out predator sounds. That said, I have read mixed reviews and cannot speak as to how well it works. (It does not affect insects or birds like pigeons).
By the way, the Entomological Society of America states that these plug-in repellers do not work against bugs like bed bugs, mosquitos or cockroaches.
8. Where to Buy Indoor Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices?
You can easily buy them online at Amazon. In addition, home improve stores like Lowes and Home Depot also carry them (although limited in brands and typically higher prices). I’ve also seen them at Walmart, where they share customer ratings too. Check out the Youtube video below for more information:
Pros and Cons of Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices:
William D Fitzwater wrote a report titled, “Electromagnetic Repellers – Fact or Fiction?” which was then published by the University of Nebraska. It included 16 different tests and studies done on electromagnetic rodent repellents and their effects.
They concluded that “There appears to exist a scientific basis for the belief that electromagnetic forces can change behavioral patterns of mammals. However, experimental support data are based on animals confined in higher intensity fields that seem possible with field units.”
The report also states that measuring the exact magnetic force put out by these devices proves to be difficult. In addition, it’s hard to distinguish the effectiveness of products made by different manufacturers. (especially iPhone or Android apps)
Although I wouldn’t call these plug repel machines a “scam”, the FTC seems to think many make exaggerated claims as to how effective they are. (See FTC warns about ultrasonic pest-control devices)
Victor Pest recommends using ultrasonic pest control plug-ins in combination with other methods. For example, secure access points into your home and remove any attractants like pet food. In addition, using traps or baits can help maximize the effectiveness…