Those who deal with a pest problem, sooner or later come across an electronic pest repeller. There is a variety of them available in stores but the question is whether they are effective or not. The matter is that scientists do not hold in high regard ultrasonic pest repellers claiming that these pest control devices are either completely ineffective or have a short-term effect. Meanwhile, tests have been carried out, with some progress made along the way.
We decided to try out one of such devices on our own and tested a new product, PEST VENATOR - ultrasonic mouse repellent designed for the indoor use.
How We Tested the Pest Repeller
Problem. I live in a detached home and since this fall, mice have been driven crazy my wife and me. A house (the main building) and a small storage (an old shed) are located on our plot of land. The latter is a place to keep gardening tools, old household items which will never come in handy anymore but it’s a pity to throw them out, as well as some supplies of vegetables and cereals. And this is what makes mice more than happy. First, the building is heated, secondly, mice have something to feast on.
I was sick and tired of coming across torn bags with sugar and mouse droppings in lug boxes with potatoes. At first, I applied poisons and set typical traps but it seemed that it was not something to frighten today’s generation of mice.
And then mice came to our house! They were scratching in wall voids and we heard small stones falling down and impinging upon inner metal structures. In the hush of night, one may go mad. My wife was really scared that they would be able to gnaw through the walls and devour us, a scenario much tougher than “IT” horror movie.
I made a decision to buy and test PEST VENATOR device because, according to the instruction, ultrasonic pest repellers are safe. They affect neither humans nor pets, driving mice out instead of killing them. Although these small rodents put me out of temper, I go against killing.
Results. It took four days to assure myself of the efficiency of this pest control device. A complete surrender of mice in a week! A strange but sweet feeling. Just plug the ultrasonic repeller into a socket and that’s it! You will not even see or hear this device working whereas it is effective.
How it works
This is the emission of sonic waves. In principle, they do not differ from those emitted when listening music on a mobile phone, watching TV, hearing voices. But there is a detail — ultrasonic frequency is above 20 kHz, in this particular case, it ranges about 50 kHz. Whereas the range of human hearing is at most up to 20 kHz, on average it does not exceed 18 kHz. In other words, the frequency is 2-3 times higher than that a human can hear. That is the tricky part.
I perfectly understand the mode of operation of PEST VENATOR repeller: it is about a high-frequency impact on the pest nerve system. Mice, rats and, by the way, all kind of hamsters will not be able to withstand such a pressure.
Manipulating biological advantages of rodents, the homo sapiens with a poorer hearing ability wins this war. And it is not just human but also cats and dogs who will be safe.
What Is Inside The Ultrasonic Pest Repeller?
Since I am a tech-savvy, I was curious to know what was inside that item. I even made some effort and disassembled one sample of PEST VENATOR repeller. For those who are interested, this can be done easily, one screw at the bottom and one securing latch at the top.
It was nice to see a proper plated circuit, not some discrete components of backyard production. The set of elements is standard and was no surprise but what delighted me was the presence of a cutout. That meant that my house would not be burnt under possible voltage fluctuations.
An ultrasonic radiator is of good quality and has a protecting casing. Well, I must say that I did not have any particular doubt about whether the device would work.
Ultrasonic Rodent Repeller And Pets
Within a week of testing PEST VENATOR, my cat remained absolutely indifferent and the ultrasonic sound did not bother it at all. Moreover, I even put the pest control device on the cat but our homegrown V.I.P. did not move a muscle and seemed to be enjoying a new toy. You can see this in a picture below.
Another picture shows a laid-back cat beneath this ultrasonic mouse repeller. Also, ultrasonic sound is safe for other domestic animals such as hens, cows, and pigs. Therefore, you can safely install an ultrasonic pest repeller in a hen house or standing stall.
In case you have a pet ferret, guinea pig or other species of rodents to worry about, this is not your option. The ultrasonic pest repeller will kill these living creatures.
Pros of PEST VENATOR Pest Repeller
- In 7 days, mice have eventually gone while my family is alive and kicking
- My cat absolutely does not care about this ultrasonic repeller
- One set (4 items) is enough to cover a moderate-sized house or a building extension
- The device can also function as a night light — one diode will not affect your electricity bills
Cons of PEST VENATOR Pest Repeller
- Actually, the diode is pretty bright. The criterion is subjective but even the TV indicator light bothers me at night. It was only the lobby where I left the device on.
- On the first day of the test, my wife had a headache. The first thing that came to mind was that it was the repeller to blame and that it affected the human brain. However, as it has turned out later, it was not about the device. Turning the repeller on and off did not influence her headache in any way. We finally came to the conclusion that my wife had caught a chill due to the cold weather in the fall. As for me, I neither felt nor heard anything when testing this mouse and rat repeller.
Where to buy: Pest Venator is available on Amazon.com for a price of ~$28.89 (4-pack) Check the current price
How Does It Work? What Scientific Experiments Show
In order not to be confined to one case of personal experience, let’s have a look at scientific experiments carried out in laboratories. The study described below shows the behavior of rodents affected by an ultrasonic pest repeller. What scientists wanted to know was whether the critters would be able to eat under such conditions and habituate to the device.
The experiment was conducted in two stages — at the first stage, they planned to reveal the rodents’ reaction to the mouse and rat repeller activated the first time. At the second stage, scientists observed a behavior of the rodents exposed to the repeller during a long period of time.
In the first experiment, typical domestic mice were placed in an aquarium with their favorite food, cereals, and an ultrasonic oscillator directed at a feeder. Mice had not received food for quite a long time so that they were hungry enough to immediately flung themselves on the food. As soon as the rodents fell to eating, the electronic pest repeller was turned on. At first, the hungry mice were consuming the food and nothing bothered them. With the pest control device was switched on, it became apparent that the mice were feeling its impact.
The mice stopped eating and attempted to assess the situation and in several seconds left the maximum impact area. Meanwhile, they did not have enough time to satisfy their hunger and, for that reason, made an attempt to return to the feeder. However, ultrasonic radiation turned out to be stronger than their survival instinct and the mice retreated. Finally, they moved to the corner far from the rodent repeller and stayed there.
During the second experiment, the mice had been exposed to the ultrasonic repeller for a long period of time. This time, the aquarium with the mice was divided by a cardboard into two parts. The first one was adopted to rodent life, with a drinking bowl and a shelter protecting from the repeller’s exposure. The second part of the aquarium contained a feeder and the device in front of it. The experiment lasted for 10 days, with the repeller being switched on for 4-5 hours. After that, the researchers made a pause to let mice be at ease and eat without being disturbed.
In the first days of the experiment, the rodents attempted to get to the feeder even when the pest repeller was switched on. Once affected by ultrasonic radiation, they retreated. Such runs were made repeatedly but subsequently were observed less and less. The mice formed a habit of feeding at the time when the pest control device was turned off. The experiment showed that it was easier for the mice to tolerate the hunger rather than to be exposed to the ultrasonic repeller once again.
On the last day of the experiment, the scientists decided to check whether the mice might become habituated to the ultrasonic repeller and resorted to a trick. The device had worked, as usual, for 5 hours while the mice remained in their improvised shelter in the left part of the aquarium. Then the pest control device was switched on. By that time, the mice grew extremely hungry as five hours without food for rodents is too much and can be compared to several days without food for humans. One adventurous mouse made its way towards the feeder and fell to eating. At that moment, the pest repeller was turned on again.
It is noteworthy that over the course of ten days, the mice have become accustomed to living near the device and made it a habit to feed at the time when the device was off. For that reason, the actuation of the device placed them in a difficult position, something that the researchers needed. So they had a chance to see whether during the experiment the rodents had become accustomed to the repeller’s signal enough for withstanding its impact. With the ultrasonic repeller switched off, the hungry mouse was comfortably eating from the feeder. As soon as the device was turned on, the mouse stopped eating and left the area of the repeller coverage.
It did not seem that the mouse got used to the device. The reaction was absolutely the same as during the first experiment when the repeller was switched on for the first time. It was also noticeable that the mice did not foresee that turn of events. At first, the rodent was thrashing about in the search for a way out. Then, the mice remembered the route it used to get into that part of the aquarium and returned to the safe zone.
By the way, an interesting observation was made during the experiment. At night, when the device was turned off, the mice dragged pieces of a cardboard from their shelter located in the left part of the aquarium into the right part and piled them up on the repeller trying to cover the device. That was another evidence of mice intelligence even when the matter concerns ordinary house rodents. They have learned that the repeller was their major threat and have been doing their best to eliminate it.
How Ultrasonic Devices Effect Insects
Scientists from Ohio State University have done a research proving that these pests are virtually not affected by ultrasound. They exploited as many as 4 devices that are marketed as solutions repelling bedbugs in order to make their tests as close as possible to real life.
“We found that female bedbugs were equally likely to occur in arenas with or without sound produced by ultrasonic devices. These devices did not repel or attract bedbugs during choice trials,” they concluded. Only a small effect was reported — more bedbugs preferred the middle corridor between the arena with ultrasound and the arena without it. And yet, this should not be considered a success, isn’t it?
Specialists from North Arizona State University came to the same conclusion. None of the tested repellers affected the behavior of bedbugs. So, if these pests cause problems to you, laundering and vacuuming are still the foremost measures to be taken.
Perhaps many of you have seen bunches of cockroaches popping up out of nowhere, despite all traps and insecticides sprayed all around. This is a good reason to try something new and modern, something that will operate day-and-night without harming neither the house residents nor their pets. Ultrasonic insect repeller would be a great relief, however, it all comes down to scientific evidence. Once again.
Colorado researchers have listed some products that are said to repel roaches by means of ultrasound. These are Pest Offence, Pest A Cator, and Rid Rite. Another solution, Home Sentinel pest control device is marketed as a product deterring cockroaches not only by ultrasound, but also using electromagnetic, and ionic pest control. Do they work? According to the Federal Trade Commission, claims about the effectiveness of an ultrasonic insect repeller must be scientifically credible.
The experts note that commercially available ultrasonic insect repellers have been tested by numerous researchers with the aim of revealing their repellency against German cockroaches. “The final evidence, supported by many other studies, concluded that the ultrasonic devices were unable to repel the German cockroaches. In contrast, one study conducted in 1984 suggested that the ultrasound was able to repel the cockroaches,” the state.
Ants are capable of emitting ultrasound themselves, however, there is no scientific data proving that these signal could affect their behavior. Scientists from Kansas State University have conducted a study in order to find out whether ultrasound affects ants. Three commercial ultrasonic bug repellers were used against three common ant species. The experiment has shown that ants do not respond to ultrasound.
But when it comes to ants, everything is very ambiguous. Another trial conducted by scientists from The University of California produced positive results. Three species of insects, crickets, red harvester ants, and ladybugs, took part in the experiment. The results showed that the activity levels of all three species were increased after the ultrasonic insect repeller was turned on.
“The crickets activity level was increased the most by 467% average over when there was no ultrasonic sound. The ants had the second most increased activity levels with 167% more than with no ultrasonic sound,” the document reads. Nice little ladybugs have turned out to be the least affected by ultrasound.
Well, it seems that it is worth trying ultrasonic insect repeller in ant control. Try to take a complex approach, for example, a push-pull tactic involving baits or creating an ultrasound barrier.
What Should Be Taken Into Account
You may have heard opposing opinions regarding the effectiveness of ultrasonic repellers. Some people say that these pest control devices deter rodents while others suggest the contrary.
The thing is that the ultrasonic mouse repeller effectiveness depends on a number of factors and they should be taken into account in implementing a pest control strategy.
First of all, assess the severity of a pest infestation. It is as clear as day that in the situation when a house is overrun with mice, only a complex multiple-stage approach will help to solve the problem.
Furthermore, the environment is something that really matters. In case the house infested with mice is located in an urban area, one may expect poorer results achieved when using all kind of sonic repellers. This is due to the fact that noises made by humans affect the animals living in the area, altering their natural behaviors, making it difficult to find the food or communicate. Such phenomenon is called the noise pollution of an environment, with its impact well described on the website of the Australian Academy of Science.
So, we may assume that the effect of ultrasonic devices is poorer in the areas with the high level of noise pollution as there are other noises, sometimes much more powerful. At the same time, ultrasonic repellers should show better results in rural areas located far from hustle and bustle of towns. On the other hand, the scientifically proven fact that the animals are affected by an urban noise is another evidence for the usefulness of sonic repellers.
Another important factor is prevention. The truth is that it is much easier to drive mice out from the house when they have just arrived there than trying to eradicate settled rodent colonies. Protecting their young in nests and fighting for the discovered sources of food, mice will turn much more resilient and inventive.
For this reason, it will be a smart move to install several ultrasonic mouse repellers before these creatures have invaded the house. This measure will scare rodents out from your house on their first visit there and will make them realize that the environment of your house is not favorable for them to breed and live in.
Where to Buy?
Pest Venator is available on Amazon.com for a price of ~$28.89 (4-pack) Check the current price