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 Electronic Pest Devices

Other Question and Answer Pages:

Submit a question             Submit an answer       (Please make note of the question number you wish to answer)

Note: The volume of questions is much greater than we are able to post on this page.
We have selected questions that we feel are of interest to most of our web site visitors.
Electronic Pest Devices
Question #122*
Do any of these electronic pest control devices work to rid household pests i.e. mice, bugs, insects by omitting waves through your household wiring.  Hildegard.  St. Catharines, Ontario
Webmanager's comment: Is there anyone, anywhere that has had any good results using one of these devices?  If so please let us know.
This question has been asked a number of times and we have never had any favorable comments from a pest management professional. If you read the fine print on the packaging it usually states "this product is effective when used in conjunction with normal pest control procedures." Until someone proves it to me otherwise, I will consider these devices a scam that should be declared illegal. I would definitely not accept any advertising from one of the manufacturers on this web site.  Read some of the comments from others on this page.
Please would the "experts" here take the time to learn the difference between a sonic pest controller, and one that disrupts the frequency in your home wiring. These two types of device work very differently, yet information about one is being used to answer questions about the other.
I have been using the xxxxxxxxxxxx brand as well as one of the other people who have answered this question, and it is fantastic! This old house had many rodents when we bought it, two years ago and after only 2 weeks of using xxxxxxxxxxxx, there was never another rat or mouse until just this week. The drawback to these units being only that they wear out after about 2 years. At that time the light stops working so you know its time for a replacement. I found this website while looking for somewhere online to purchase a replacement. Please don't trash all electronic devices, they are not all the same.  Corinne, Newfoundland.
Thank you Corrine for your input.  We do understand there is quite a difference between ultrasonic other types of electronic pest devices, but we still feel that neither is an effective way to control pests. It is not uncommon to find large rodent populations in vacant buildings and for most or all of the rodents to leave when the building is re-occupied, especially if no new food source is introduced. The lights in these devices are no different than the lights in many other electrical devices.  They burn out.  This does not mean the device is worn out.  The light is only there to make you think the device is controlling pests.  It will probably become increasingly more difficult to buy these devices as regulatory authorities take action on the false advertising claims. Until we see scientific evidence from an unbiased reliable source (a university study) showing the efficacy of these devices, this web site will not endorse their use.  We invite anyone to send us such information.   If they were effective, every pest management professional in the industry would be selling and installing them. Most professionals rely on the opinion of rodentologists like the world renowned Dr. Bobby Corrigan who have nothing good to say about the effectiveness of these devices.  It's your money.  Waste it as you please.
According the USA Federal Trade Commission, these devices do not work as claimed:  J.F.

According to the FTC's complaint, "the respondents do not have a reasonable basis for claims that ultrasound will eliminate or repel pests, including rodents and many insects, from a user's home. The complaint charges as false the respondents' claims that some [product name deleted] devices drive away pests by altering the electromagnetic field of home wiring. .... the respondents have no basis for their claims that particular devices repel or eliminate pests in a space of a certain size (e.g., 2500 square feet) or that other products repel deer, raccoons, skunks, or similar animals from a yard." 
I am normally very careful of gadgets but the cleaning firm we use to clean our office swore that the ultrasonic bug chaser really worked. We have had it for three months, plus and there has been no difference whatsoever. We live in northern Ohio and have a real problem with centipedes. We have no basement. We brought them with us when moving from an apartment with a damp basement. We spray once a month but they are still a problem. Embarrassed in Ohio.
I really wish there was a way to let people know the extent of the SCAM of these products. First, there is a distinction between ultrasonic devices, and those so-called electromagnetic devices (the ones that are plugged into a wall and supposedly use the wiring of the house to repel pests). Rodent ultrasonic devices do have a real effect, but unfortunately, they are often promoted as the "be-all and end-all to solve problems". Added to this some manufacturers also promote them as a useful device to repel lots of other pests. I have never seen any evidence yet in the scientific or trade literature that would suggest that they work on other things at all. As for mice or other rodents, the simple truth is that the cost of these devices is better spent on mechanical devices for control such as snap traps, and on sealing up points of entry. The real problem with the ultrasonics is that the manufacturer who makes them and the retailers who sell them (even some very well known multi-billion dollar corporations) are protected by the "fine print of details" on the package which usually lets them off the hook. At best, the larger corporations such as Home Depot will just give you your money back as it is a very tiny part of their market. I actually went to a considerable trouble to communicate the reality of ultrasonics to Home Depot with respect to claims of efficacy I saw in a particular store where they offered a choice between messy traps and baits and this total solution. While they were polite, it took some persistence to speak to someone in charge, and even at that, they fell back on the fact that it was a minor miniscule part of their market, and they would handle any complaints. As for the other type of device, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that these do anything at all. Those are a total complete rip-off. These devices appeal to the person who is looking for an easy solution that doesn't require any real effort other than throwing away their hard earned cash. The appeal of something like that is wonderful, but the truth is that these devices do nothing at all. At end, it is "BUYER BEWARE". Sad really that it is hard to find true integrity in the marketplace, but it is out there. It just takes an informed buyer.
Sam Bryks
Manager, Pest Control TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corporation)
We use to get about 6-10 mice a year in our house !We have been using pest offence for the past 6 or 7 months and we have had only 1 !! Don't know if it is because of the device or the warm climate .We'll see over the winter what happens. I will keep you posted as to the outcome.   David.  Rexdale, Ontario
We have placed several Ultrasonic Pest Repleers around our house. And I am amazed that we haven't seen or caught a single mouse for about 3 months. Previous to this it was typical to catch 1 - 2 mice per week in spring traps. We have tried to find and plug all openings, but they were still coming in.BillEau Claire Wisconsin
I work for an electric co-op in Montana and I researched these "ultrasonic pest repellers" with help from our state department of health as a possible service to our customers. there are no double blind, scientific studies available for these devices. you can only find anecdotal "evidence". All of them are a scam. It's a shame to see respected businesses manufacturing them. The phrase let the buyer beware couldn't be more appropriate.
Buzz A.,  Corvallis, MT
Question # 17
Have you or anyone you know tested the product called Pest Offence. Just wondering what you know about it.  David
This question is similar to question 4. Check the response. I find it difficult to believe the statement made in the ad: "It will drive the pests out of the walls, where they nest and breed. It works by creating an intermittent signal in the electrical field around the wiring of your home. The signal creates an irritating environment that affects rats, mice, and roaches."  If these devices work that well (there are many others) every pest control business in the country would be selling them.  I have never seen one of these devices displayed at a professional pest control conference and have not heard any entomologist or rodentologist make any favorable comments about these devices.
I once found a carpenter ant nest 8 inches above one. Perhaps they liked the heat it generated. Larry. 
Question #4
Do electronic devices like "Pest Offence" really work?  Have there been any consumer studies on these products? I'd appreciate your help.
Lee B.
There is very little evidence to suggest that these devices are effective deterrents. Over time, the target pests can become acclimatized to these sounds, and in fact, when associated with a food source, they can elicit a pavlovian effect -- actually attracting the pests.
Jamie K.,  North Shore Pest DetectiveVancouver
Not really a question but a comment. A  lot of people have been asking about the ( XX brand) devices. I reluctantly tried them in my home and found that they did exactly what they claimed. Within 48 hours the mice became very active during the day (which is unusual because they are nocturnal by nature) After noticing this increased activity, I used snap traps to rid myself of the mice. In 72 hours I had eliminated 11 mice. I have since stopped setting the traps, and with the ( X brand) units still in the walls, I haven't seen any traces of infestation in over 14 months.   David B.,  Toronto.
Question # 70
I live in a multi unit dwelling and am having problems with silverfish. Do silverfish respond to ultrasonic pest control devices? If so what frequency or type would be the best? I do not want to use chemicals as we have cats that we do not want to expose. Thanks. Aaron
Most pest control professionals consider Ultrasonic pest devices a total rip-off. Check the answers to questions 43, 17, 4.  Silverfish are often found in homes with high humidity levels.
Do your best to reduce the humidity by using bathroom fans, stove hood vents and keeping some window slightly open. You can read more about them on this web site: Canadian Pest Control, Vancouver    
If other residents in the building have the same problem, ask them to consider the same solutions, otherwise the silverfish will survive and multiply in the common walls. 
Question # 43
We have been having a problem with bats. One even got into the house, we have learned that our neighbors have also had problems with them and are taking measures to evict them. I however think that they will return by making new holes. I have found an electronic pest control product on the American market that you plug into the electrical outlet and it omits an electronic interference to the pests. My question is do they work and where in Canada if at all can you find them. Thank you for your time, Mrs. Bonny --------. 
The best solution to bat problems is to screen them out. In British Columbia bats are considered beneficial and are a protected species. Read this short information sheet and check the links on this page.   BATS    It is not likely you will be able to buy an electronic pest control device from a professional pest control service business in Canada. 
A word to the wise about this whole group of "miracle electronic pest repellers"... none of these work.. they do nothing.. except make those who market them a bit richer. Solving bat problems takes a professional who knows something about bats. In Canada the two most common species in houses are ... the little brown bat and the big brown bat.. Those are not merely ways of describing them, those are the actual common names of these individual species. The little brown bat does not stay in structures during winter. They leave and overwinter in other locations. The big brown bat, as I recall, does stay in structures. A bat specialist can learn which species you have by checking the bat "scat"... or .. for if you are lucky enough to get someone who really knows bats, they actually measure the pitch of their ultrasonic squeaks... and identify them that way.
If you live in an area where there are lots of mosquitoes you might even consider installing a bat house on a tree nearby.. The bats do return to the same location if it is little brown bats. You can prepare for their return by having a professional learn where they are getting in, and blocking this area.
There is an excellent resource for bats on the web.. it may even be on this site. I can't remember the name at this second, but it may be Tuttle... A small booklet that is available on the net and gives you a truly complete perspective on getting bats out of your home. If it is not on this site, I will post the actual location of the book on the web for you.
Sam Bryks,  Manager, Pest Control MTHC,  Toronto. email: 
Question #139
The (brand name omitted by webmanger) ultrasonic rodent repeller applauds Canada's "strict registration process" and displays its product's registration numbers  of the "Pest Control Products Act". Is their claim accurate and do you consider this product to be an exception to your generally unethusiastic response to ultrasonic pest control devices?
Tim.   San Francisco.
We can not condone or criticize the registration process and standards used by Health Canada. If the product is effective, many pest professionals would be installing them properly or selling them to customers with rodent problems.  I have never seen any effort by the manufacturers of these devices to market them through obvious knowledgeable outlets, pest control professionals. Why?  I personally have made numerous service calls for serious rodent problems where these devices had been used and were not effective.
Modern technology has resulted in many changes in the industry but these devices have not proven effective enough for a professional to use and risk his reputation.
I provide monthly mouse control services at a private house. The location is in the crawlspace. The owner has an ultrasonic pest repeller device in the crawlspace, pointed at the area where I have my snap traps maintained. The device is always on, and about 6 feet away from the 10 or so traps I use, baited with peanut butter. I always capture mice in this location. Obviously the device is not effective.

Some interesting notes to consider:
1. Packaging information of these devices may claim that "pests" are repelled. If you consider something a pest but someone else does not consider it a pest, will it be repelled by the device?

2. Ultrasonic sound waves decrease in intensity by the square of the distance, the same as for light. Ultrasonic waves cannot penetrate objects and leave a shadow of unprotected areas behind obstructions such as posts, desks and boxes. Ultrasonic waves travel in a direct line form the device and cannot go around corners. The ultrasonic waves cannot penetrate walls. These are scientific facts. Given this information, How can an ultrasonic device situated in a room repel rodents inside a wall? How can an ultrasonic device situated in one room repel rodents in other rooms?

3. Ultrasonic waves are waveforms related to sound waves, they are just in a higher frequency which we cannot hear. I have been in many households and businesses where music is constantly played, and there are lots of noises, but these places have pests present. Why would ultrasonic waves repel "pests" but not sound waves?

4. Dogs can hear ultrasonic sounds. You can buy a dog whistle which dogs can hear but humans can not. It gives out an ultrasonic sound. If you have an ultrasonic sound device in your household and you have dogs, is the sound being produced affecting your dogs?

5. Some ultrasonic devices claim to repel "pests", but not "good" creatures and insects. What mechanism does the device use to differentiate between a "good" creature and a "pest"?

6. If these ultrasonic devices are so great, why do reputable pest management companies NOT use them?   Alan Vaudry,  PES Professiional Ecological Services Ltd. 
Victoria, British Columbia. email:

Question #137
Are commercially available ultrasound electronic devices an effective way of controlling rodents and insects? Esteban,  State College-PA (USA)
No. Read the answers to the other questions on this page.
Question #134
Do you know of any supplier in Canada who sells the electronic mole chasers? If so could you please respond. Thks. Debra,  Ontario











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