How does pest repellers work?
In the simplest terms, pest repellers work by annoying your pest such that they want to go somewhere else. This can be accomplished in several different ways.
Bird spikes and scare tape make if physically difficult for birds to navigate and land; Castor oil fouls up a mole’s taste buds; and motion activated sprinklers gently swap away intruding pests.
Meanwhile some pest repellers are more scientific or clinical in nature. Many companies have invested lots of time and money into figuring out how to take advantage of our pests’ biology.
- Sonic devices emit high frequency noises which annoy pests and send them scurrying away. Not only do pests find noise annoying, just as we do, but it also messes with their instincts. Animals and insects use their delicate hearing to sense danger or seek prey. If these survival skills are impeded by the ultrasonic devices then they are likely to seek our more hospitable surroundings.
- Visual deterrents work well with predatory and prey animals. These animals have a keen sense for survival and are happy to move along to safer hunting grounds if they feel threatened. Scarecrow and motion oriented devices generally fall within this category.
- Scents and sprays make up a third category of repellents. Along with refined hearing, many pests have a very developed sense of smell. This allows a range of opportunity for repulsive or just overwhelming scents that impact a pest’s ability to hunt for food. If food becomes difficult to locate, you can count on that pest moving along. For larger animals, like deer, scents mimicking territorial markings will encourage them to move along as well.
If you are consistently having issues with a single type of pest then a single line of attack may be all that you require. However, if you have multiple pests or a particularly tenacious critter then a combination of methods may be required to round out your offensive. Use some strategic thinking to determine why these pests have invaded so that you can attack them while also diminishing the value they’re seeking from your home or lawn.
Is this pest repellent safe?
Yes, most repellers rated for sale in the US are safe for use, though an understanding and adherence to the product user guides are recommended.
This is important not only for safety, but also for effectiveness.
Devices which plug into the wall should be given their own outlet and not left in an extension cord. Many of these devices use your home’s in-wall circuitry to amplify and distribute their pulse. Additionally, such a device is designed for constant use, however, most extension cords are not. Therefore, better to avoid the risk of overloading or overheating an extension cord.
Note, the pulse these devices return through the electrical circuitry are within tolerances and do not pose a threat to your electrical system in and of themselves, provided your electrical system is up to code.
Chemicals or poisons should be granted their own set of unique considerations. Most products would not kill an adult but could be fatal to small children. Be very careful when handling or using such products.
As a rule, consider the nature of the product your using. If you want to “annoy” and run off a pest then ensure the product doesn’t also annoy you. If you want to kill a pest, then consider that the product, if abused, could land you the same fate.
Is the ultrasonic device safe for my family and pets?
Generally speaking, these products are safe. However, you should take into consideration the similarities between the pest you want to repel and the pet you want to protect.
Additionally, if you live in an apartment or share walls with a neighbor, you may want to consider letting them know in advance.
Ultrasonic pest repellers work by emitting a high frequency sound that is inaudible to humans but inhospitable to many pests.
Here are the usual hearing ranges for common pets and pests:
Guinea pig 54-50,000Hz
What you’ll notice is that, above 64,000Hz, the only animals hearing anything are rats and mice. If you’ve got a pet around the house, then make sure to get a product that sounds off at a high enough frequency. Please note that these are ranges and that variability does exist between these ranges. For example, a smaller dog will be able to access the higher end of the dog range than a larger bred.
Also note that some animals and humans may be sensitive to high frequencies without being able to hear them. So be sure to monitor your family and pets when you install a new ultrasonic device to ensure everyone remains safe.
For more information on hearing ranges please check out this academic study on deafness and hearing ranges.
Is the ultrasonic device safe for my pregnancy, pacemaker, and hearing aid?
Pest control devices are not known to cause any problems for people with pacemakers and hearing aids as the frequencies that the devices operate at are not high enough to interfere with either medical device. Modern pacemakers have been designed with everyday living in mind so there should be no problem. Similarly, hearing aids are designed to mimic the usual range of human hearing so you should not pick up any interference if your hearing aid is functioning correctly.
Expectant mothers are also safe around ultrasonic devices because it is volume or decibel levels that can impact a baby’s wellbeing rather than the frequency.
What is the best approach for placing these devices around my house?
There is no single right answer for this question. The size and layout of individual homes along with the nature of each specific pest allows for a range of opportunity.
Here again, we want to approach this in a strategic manner. Even the right product may not be effective when deployed incorrectly.
Where are the pests entering your home? What are they after? As you start to define these cases you’ll also start to narrow down your list of ‘best options’ for your repeller placement.
Generally, each floor should be treated independently as most deterrents lose their efficacy across floors. Read your product’s labels and indications for more details.
Most products will offer a square footage rating. While this is a good metric be sure to consider the age of the home in addition to the number of floors. Many newer homes boast open floorplans while older homes may separate each space more discreetly. These subtle differences can impact a repeller’s impact.
Remember that time is on your side and that you’re well advised to allow room for some tactical patience. Removing an infestation is rarely an immediate result. Rather, organize and plan your attack. For example, if you live is a multi-story home you’ll want to start at the top and work your way down over time. This will help to guide the pests out of your home by allowing them a clear exit path.
Make it easy for the pests to leave by not blocking their exits. This might be counter intuitive as you may think of blocking their entrance. The key point is that you be thoughtful in your approach.
Every device is subject to differ so for the absolute best direction you’ll want to consult with your user manual or the manufacturer’s website. That said, most battery powered ultrasonic devices fall into one of two categories. Single or Multiple LEDs.
Single LED devices direct connect the light to the same circuit as the device. Therefore, the level of brightness corresponds directly with the power remaining within the batteries. To ensure steady and consistent pest repelling emissions be sure to replace the batteries when the lights start to fade.
Devices using multiple LEDs tent to relay on the traffic light system. As you might imagine, Green indicates full power, Yellow is diminishing power, and Red indicates low batteries or another issue with the system.
How do I deal with pests in the walls?
Without resorting to fumigation, sonic deterrents are your best solution to the problem of pests in your wall. These devices make use of your internal circuitry (and in some cases plumbing) to carry their signal deep into the walls of your house. While their signal is unlikely to reach other rooms, by using your wiring, the high frequency sounds will continuously annoy any pests inside the walls.
Alternatively, you may wish to leave out poison, in the hope that a pest will take the poison back to its nest and kill off its friends. This can be especially effective if you are dealing with a new nest of mice since a sonic device is unlikely to cause a mother to leave her babies.
As always, be especially cautious with poisons if you have pets or small children.
Once you’ve dealt with your infestation, be sure to check out your insulation to ensure you haven’t lost any of your energy protecting coverage.
How do I get pests out of my house?
Sonic devices are probably the most cost effective and human-friendly solution to pests inside the home. Scents inside the home are likely to cause you some level of discomfort whereas sonic devices will drive away most common household pests without you even noticing it is there.
If you are dealing with fleas, mites or bedbugs then a thorough application of an effective poison will make sure that the infestation is stopped before it gets out of control. Pets need to be carefully monitored and treated accordingly and dirty children can often bring insect eggs into the house after a day of outdoor play.
Move quickly once evidence of pests begins to appear. You can more easily roust ‘new’ pests before they grow too comfortable. Additionally, pests bred pests and not just a burgeoning family tree. Your pest is likely the preferred treat of another pest and the longer you allow the first group the take hold the more fertile a hunting ground you provide for something else.
How do I keep pests away from my garden?
Gardens can be quite tricky to protect, since a beautiful garden provides a massive temptation to a large number of pests. As such, you will probably need to deploy a wide range of devices and tools to help get the job done:
- An effective physical deterrent, such as a bird statue can be moved around the garden every couple of days. This will stop any animal becoming accustomed to its presence and keep them spooked.
- A sonic device, such as the Sonic Spike, can be placed around the garden at regular intervals. This will help keep away low living pests, as well as insects and underground dwelling animals. Make sure that the sonic devices cover your entire garden, including the entrances to your house – this will stop any creature seeking refuge inside.
- Where possible, make things as difficult as possible for animals. E.g. If the neighbor’s cats keep trying to eat fish from your pond, don’t give them anywhere they can sit and strike.
- Depending on what animals you are dealing with, a scent repellent may come in handy though any pet owners will probably wish to avoid it as it may cause your pet distress.
What gives, I bought this device but the pests don’t seem bothered by it at all.
There could be more than one cause for this type of outcome. Let’s start with acknowledging that animals and pests have a keen ability to adapt. They are resilient and can be quite territorial, even if that territory is your home.
Consider that rodents thrive outdoors, in subways, caves, and even sewers. By nearly any measure, your home is a more hospitable environment so ousting the pests isn’t likely to be an overnight sensation. Just keep that in mind and know what you’re fighting against.
So when you begin a pest repelling regiment, have patience as it may take time for you to notice measureable results. Each pest and product will vary so review your product’s directions and recommendations.
Review your implementation strategy. Have you allowed and escape route for your pests? For example, start at a high floor and “push” the pests our floor by floor.
Check the simple stuff like batteries or be sure the outlet is getting power.
If you’ve carefully followed the above steps then it may be that the product you purchased is simply not effective against the specific pest you’re facing. This can happen. Some pests can adapt to specific frequencies and others display a frustrating yet strangely impressive immunity. In this case a multi-frequency device might help.
For physical deterrents like scarecrows, bird spikes, or motion water sprayers be sure to move them around so a wily pest won’t crack your code.
Did you find an answer to your question? If not, please let us know so we can continue to build out this resource for you and future shoppers.