Ultrasonic Repellents. Do they work?

victor traps logo http://pestcemetery.com/Here at pestcemetery we’re always willing to hear what you have to say. (especially if you’re nice when you ask 😉 For me, the jury is still out on this and I always wonder Why not get service from a pro? However debated this subject is, the writer does seem to present some interesting and compelling facts. So with that, I’m happy to post her information and I’d love to hear what other pro’s and homeowners alike have to say;

There is a long-going debate into the effectiveness of electronic pest repellents, such as the popularized ‘ultrasonic repellent’. Scientific research positively suggests the use of ultrasonics as a means of repelling rodents. In addition to this, consumer reports also suggest a general satisfaction with the effectiveness with the products. Read on to find out more about ultrasonic repellents.


Sensory rodent repellents have always appealed to to homeowners. Early civilizations including the ancient Chinese used sensory repellent devices to deter rodents from agricultural crops and from buildings. These included wind and water operated sound and vibrational repellents.

How do they work?

Today’s modern ‘electronic repellents’ work using the same principles. Ultrasonic repellents are amongst the most popular pest control products. These devices produce ultrasonic frequencies of above 20 KHz that are not heard by humans, but cause great discomfort, and can bring about fear disorientation and even physical pain to rodents such as mice and rats.

Opposing studies have suggested that electronic repellents work initially as a means to repel mice, but as they grow accustom to the noise, they can in a sense overcome their fear and return. However, many modern ultrasonic repellents emit changing frequencies of sound, so that rodents cannot get used to them, whilst causing additional discomfort. From a humane perspective, repellents such as these provide a far friendlier option to simply eradicating rodents by traditional methods of baiting and trapping. Also, the fact that you are not killing the rodents means that homeowners are not given the additional responsibility of dealing with dead mice and rats.

Modern ultrasonic pest repellents stem from a phenomenon know as the audiogenic seizure response. Lehmann and Busnel (1963) found that rats displayed physiological distress signs when stimulated by intense sonic and ultrasonic noise. Frings (1948) also concluded that ultrasonic noise is a means of repelling rodents based on the audiogenic seizure phenomenon. Similarly, a 1984 study by the University of Nebraska found that decibels from 120 to 150 caused seizes and even death to laboratory mice.

Because ultrasonic repellents work using a high pitch sound frequency, they are most effective when used indoors or in confined spaces such as rooms and garages. Of course, you cannot expect a single repellent to sufficiently deter rodents from a entire home. We would recommend strategically placing them in potential areas of infestation. We would also recommend that you invest in sonic repellents that produce a varying sound wave to prevent any reinfestation.

Other electronic repellents

Other methods of sensory induced pest control include electromagnetic devices. These devices were said to generate their own magnetic field that could act as deterrent against rodent species. The electromagnetic field would interfere with rodents and with their natural instinct to feed and reproduce and thus, they will ultimately drive any potential infestation from the home. Although these products were extremely popular, little evidence is show to support the claims. Because of this we therefore we do not produce any electromagnetic products and are concerned with only providing products that are tried and tested.

Ultrasonic repellents continue to be a great means of pest control. The humane nature as well as the relative ease of installing them, they provide a great means of deterring rodents. The debate will continue, but we invite you to give them a try and judge the effectiveness for yourselves.

Written by Lynne Dickson, Marketing Manager at Victor Pest. Victor Pest is the global leader in rodent control and creator of the original snap trap. Victor offers a variety of rodent control solutions including ultrasonic pest control. For more tips and advice, please follow the links.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Doria Grobes

    Ultrasonic repellents are a great idea! Maybe we should try including this in the IPM toolbox. An informative as usual, Bug Doctor.

  • Eric

    Well, all I can say is that I cannot count the number of times that I have walked into a new customers home, and there is a ultrasonic device plugged into the wall! Guess they work really well!

    Eric Kroon
    PestKil Inc.

  • Even when you point it out-roach fecal matter and all-how many folks let you unplug em? The human psyche is an incredible thing…..

  • To be honest Doria, I won’t be putting these in my box….I’m happy for the content and perspective but I have to side with experience….as stated by Eric