do electronic sound producing pest repellers work?

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My mother in law uses a plug-in, electronic devise to repel bugs inside her home; 8 years now and no bugs, even though she leaves dog food sitting out, food sitting out etc.

We have been having a pest control service every 3 months, and at this time I haven’t noticed any bugs, but I am wondering your opionion on the plug-ins and if you sell them, and if so, what is price and how many would you recommend?

We have a basement plus 2 floors in a 3 bedroom house: 23,000 sf maybe?

First, are you sure your house is 23,000 sq/ft? 2300 would be more in lines with what I would call “common” or normal but I guess there are houses with 23,000 sq/ft of living space so I have to ask.

Second, we get asked quite a bit about electric pest repellers so here’s the “short list” that goes over the pro’s and con’s of electric pest repellers; what to expect, their limits, when they’re okay to use, etc.

Before I get into the list, it’s important to note that both insects and animals show a wide range of responses to sound. Some insects are attracted to certain sounds as are some animals. And clearly many more sounds can be repelling or “scary” to both insects and animals. Unfortunately there is not nearly enough data to identify what specific sound or sounds can be used to affect either insects or animals in a way that produces a desired response every time. And therein lies the problem with using sound as a reliable, effective method of pest control.

But lets say we know a range of sound that in general, nuisance insects appear to not like? Couldn’t we create that sound range via a little black box and then send the sound out over an area we’d like to keep pest free? Well, in fact that’s what several units being sold claim to do. So even though any given unit might emit a sound in a range that common pests don’t like, it’s not likely that all of these pests would actually not like it and it’s not likely that the sound would affect every single member of a given species the same way. In other words, it’s possible that 9 out of 10 roaches may avoid a certain sound but the 10th roach is attracted to it.

With that being said, lets take a closer look at some other truths about electric pest repellers.

1) They’re not insect specific. So as cited above, there is no doubt a range of sound that might be offensive to spiders but this same sound might not bother ants. This means the unit you employ would have to have a wide range of sounds emitted to have the best overall performance.

2) Sound is limited in it’s coverage. So this means if it’s deployed in a room, it’s not affecting the attic, crawl space, areas outside the home, etc. Since most pests originate from either outside the home or from interior wall voids, sound repellers don’t address the crux of the problem.

3) Sound repellers are just that: repellers. They don’t kill or control anything. So even if they are offensive to a particular pest and you’ve got a unit deployed in your kitchen, the best you could hope for would be that the target pest wouldn’t show itself in the kitchen. In other words, the same pest could still live in the wall, the attic, the living room, the bedroom, etc.

4) The sound range that seem to affect insects the most are well within the range of audible sound to humans. And though some units on the market advertise they use “ultra sound”, for insects true ultrasound (sound people cannot hear) doesn’t bother them. It appears they can’t sense or hear the sound waves and when they can, it’s not repelling them.  This means installing electronic repellers and keeping them on all the time will most likely be an annoyance to any people or pets in the home. The only exception to this would be older residents and older pets. As we age, our ability to hear the frequency range needed to repel insects decreases so it is possible for some elderly people to not notice the sound. But certainly most any pet, child and young to middle aged adult would hear the unit and find it annoying.

5)  One would have to install many units to get decent coverage. Essentially one per room. And don’t forget the garage and other living spaces like basements, patios, porches, etc.

The above list is just 5 of the reasons why relying on electric pest repellers is at best an unreliable way of doing pest control. But there are places and applications where they can be deployed with sound logic.

For example, if you don’t have any pests and don’t want to get pests, do some exterior pest control every 1-2 months by applying LAWN GRANULES to the turf, pine islands, flower beds etc. Next, spray the exterior of the home with 1-2 gallons of mixed material using an active like BIFEN which works on just about any pest. Lastly, install electric pest repellers in the home where you don’t want pests to be seen. The outside treatments will no doubt keep pests out and in the unlikely scenario of anything getting inside, the repellers would keep the pests out of sight.

And installing electric pest repellers in crawl spaces, attics and other hidden voids or open areas not used for living spaces would be okay and actually “smart”. Now the 64,000 dollar question; what unit do we recommend?

Well, since we’ve been in business for over 20 years, we’ve seen a wide range of pest repellers come and go. But the only ones we’ve seen that will repel animals and insects is the TRANSONIC. So if you want to try using electric pest repellers either in living spaces or areas like crawl spaces or attics, this would be the one to use. Hope this helps!

Lawn Granules:

Bifen IT:


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