Do Ultrasonic Electronic Pest Repellents Really Work?

By: Julie Day

ultrasonic electronic pest control device

Ultrasonic electronic pest and insect repellent devices claim that their high frequency sound waves are intolerable to rodents and insects. However, simply plugging in one of these devices probably won’t end your pest woes. It’s important to understand exactly what these devices can do before investing in one.

In 2001, the Federal Trade Commission sent a warning to manufacturers of ultrasonic pest control devices, demanding that claims of effectiveness must be backed up by scientific research. Thanks to the FTC intervention, package claims on ultrasonic rodent and insect devices are a little less preposterous than they used to be, and many product websites have links explaining their research methods and results, such as these from Green Shield and Victor.

If you dig a little deeper into the various products, you’ll find that the studies have mixed results. Overall, some ultrasonic pest control devices show some results with certain pests ‚Äď how’s that for convincing? These products are by no means a quick fix, and none of them claim 100% effectiveness on any pest, so they need to be kept in perspective as a possible contributor to an overall pest management system, not as a magic weapon.

Sonic PestChaser box
If you’re thinking of adding electronic repellents to your pest-control system, keep in mind:

  • Keep Trapping: The best results for both rodents and insects come from using ultrasonic pest repellents along with trapping. Simply put, the sound waves cause the pests to scurry around, which drives them right into your traps.
  • Expect Diminishing Returns: Pests such as rodents become accustomed to the sound from ultrasonic devices over time, so results may only be temporary.
  • Have Realistic Expectations: Even the successful research on ultrasonic pest control devices shows a percentage of decrease, not a total elimination of rodent and insect pests.
  • Device Location: The sound waves from ultrasonic pest control devices are short range and very weak, so they’re easily blocked by furniture, walls, and corners. To test out the location of your device, place a lamp next to the device, turn off all the other lights, and note the beams and shadows from the lamp. The repellent sound waves will pretty much only be active where the light reaches.

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59 Comments on “Do Ultrasonic Electronic Pest Repellents Really Work?”

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  • Lola Says:
    April 13th, 2017 at 9:26 am

    These devices don’t work ….insects cannot detect the signal and rats get used to it in days. A scam…save your money and get old fashioned traps

  • HellcatM Says:
    March 23rd, 2017 at 7:52 am

    From what I understand whatever you’re trying to repel gets use to the sound. The idea would be to get one that does random sounds at different frequencies so they don’t get use to the pattern. I’m not sure if there is a product that does this?

  • Nancy Perry Says:
    February 25th, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Will it work on bedbugs or fleas

  • Mike I Says:
    February 7th, 2017 at 8:11 am

    I have bought various ultrasonic pest repellents. They tend to work for a short time only. For really great results we bought an electronic mouse trap. The trap is as easy as throwing a piece of chocolate digestive into the tunnel like structure. You then switch the device on and wait. We caught our first mouse within 10 minutes and were surprised to catch 21 others over the next week. It’s a little expensive, but, really does the job for those of you who need an effective and non-messy way to get rid of Mice or Rats. Here’s a link to it on Amazon

  • scott Says:
    December 23rd, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    We had a bad rat problem that sounded like they were doing olympics in the attic every night! My wife bought the Pestacator 2000 from Home Depot. She plugged it in and that night not a sound. We have been rat free for 5 plus years.

  • Colleen Says:
    December 12th, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I bought 4 of them – still have a problem with mice and insects. Wasted my money big time! Going back to traps, spray, vacuuming every other day, and maybe a couple of cats!

  • Michael Says:
    December 8th, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    None of these reviews actually discussed the purchaser’s experience with the ultrasonic device, nor answered the question about if it works or not. Perhaps 1 or 2 out of twenty actually said that.

  • dave briar Says:
    November 23rd, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Most of the praise coming from comments below are because they’re including links to try and SELL you these devices.

  • Marian Says:
    November 15th, 2016 at 7:26 am

    They definitely worked for me, after plugging them in it took about a couple of weeks then no sign of mice I put traps and poison down as well just to check for activity
    I don’t know about insects because I don’t have a problem with them

  • dave briar Says:
    November 15th, 2016 at 2:17 am

    What these actually do is cause rodents to panic so they shoot off in all directions. If your infestation is really new, the pests may decide to move elsewhere but otherwise, like any other noise, they will simply get used to it as part of their daily life. In my experience with mice and rats, the only sure thing to do is make sure ALL food is out of their reach and lay good, old-fashioned traps. If you don’t like kill-traps, remember to release your humane catches *at least* 3 miles from your home and preferably the other side of a busy road or river to make sure they don’t simply return.

  • Andrei Says:
    November 12th, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Hey, just wanted to add my 2 cents here.
    Guided by a benevolent neighbor i bought a “cheap” rat poison ($48+shipping). It was a bad investment; found 1 squirrel dead, 0 rats.
    Decided to try some traps, guess what !? Spent another $60 for 2 traps in vain. No rats were caught in almost a month, nevertheless rats became less and less shy, sometimes appearing in broad daylight.
    We have a bird feeder that is the most incentive for rats in our yard, and they started nesting beneath our shed wall.
    With our last hopes, we found an article online about a rat spray that was said to make miracles. We thought it was impossible that a $5 spray would do any good, but what the heck, we’ve place our order. In two days, our package arrived, and in the next day the rats were.
    I don’t know how this worked, they were just gone. No dead bodies in sight, no bad smell from hidden dead rats, just gone. The spray has a pleasantly mint aroma, which seems the rat hates.

  • Bonnie Says:
    October 19th, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I used one electronic ultrasonic pest repellents, it works very well.
    $13.99 for Amzdeal Pest Control Ultrasonic Repellent with coupon code: GEXBLLRK

  • irena Says:
    October 14th, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I haven’t used them yet but I bought 5 of them for 2 dollars n some change each off eBay ….so I spent 11 dollars n change all together for 5 of them…..I got a new apartment. .the neighbor has a infestation of there where roaches..and spiders..omg.. I used insect fogger in each room …a boric acid ..and roach gel in the corners and crevasses…I haven’t moved in yet ..even though I’ve only seen 1 roach everytime I visit…so I just hope these ultrasonic things work..and keep everything out ..I have a 1 year old..we can’t live in there until every insect is out

  • granny Says:
    October 3rd, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    I live in an apartment had have used ultrasonic pest control for 10 years. A few months after moving in we had a mouse problem, put down those sticky pads and bought my first ultrasonic plug ins and have been using them since 2006. After the initial problem, we spotted a rodent in Nov, 2011, rfreshed the units and no more problems until Sep 2015, which kind of surprised me because we change them every 18 months. We replaced the units and replaced them again in April of this year. It is now October and we have suddenly becme infested even though. Even though the units were replaced just 6 months ago,, we replaced them yesterday, and put down sticky pads. I’m hoping this will get rid of the disgusting things at least for the next 6 months (when we plan to move). I don’t know what happened. The plug ins worked for us for 10 years. Now I feel dirty and feel like everything in the house needs to be scoured, but I need the rodents gone first. I do have a spray I can use, but it smells so bad It kept everyone around here choking for hours.

  • Frank Says:
    September 24th, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    We had mice in our kitchen and garage, but it’s been five years since we installed ultrasonic units and we have seen no sign of them! So from our experience the Homeowners report was too conservative.

  • The pestkiller Says:
    September 14th, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    There’s a bug spray thats available at kmart. Spray around the outside of house. Wont hurt your pets, dogs , cats ,fish, lizards, Then spray at base boards on inside of house. NO spiders , bugs, When the bugs come out there a pain. those mosquito plants work. And I used Bell &Howell Pest Repellers as far as I could tell they were working with the mice. Bugs come out from April to October. But I used Decon for my mice. Put pest Repellers in every room of house & basement. Use inside & outside spray as needed.

  • Jude william Says:
    September 12th, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Bats are pestering me. Are these ultrasonic pest repeller effective against them?

  • Kemberly Says:
    September 11th, 2016 at 1:47 am

    I moved into my newly built home one year ago, I had some ants last year and lots of those black long bugs with the pinchers on the tail and a couple other types of bugs, had a mouse the first night I slept here. I bought a six pack of repellers at Costco and have them all plugged in one in garage and four of them in second floor.
    I dont have any pests whatsoever, I don’t live in he city and we have dirt roads so there are definitely bugs around so I have to say they work.
    I think it depends where they are plugged in, my outlets are minimal and builder put them in sideways, I didn’t plan how to put them in I just put them where I could but they work. I live alone so I can’t call someone to kill bugs for me and I am terrified of bugs so I am happy.

  • Ktdorey Says:
    September 6th, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I’m visiting Canmore, Alberta, Canada from the US and the Canadian Tire I was just in definitely sells 2 brands of ultrasonic rodent devices. So the gentleman that said they are banned in Canada is incorrect. Sept 6 2016

  • Burble bee Says:
    August 28th, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Im a bass player and whenever Id be practicing loud I’d be hearing all this scurrying in my ceiling. Yeah I have rats in my attic and my bass guitar was pissing them off. Rats don’t like Intrasound waves vibrating them so along with traps and tons of decon and shaking them up with my bass I’ve been killing lots of them.

  • Neil Says:
    July 22nd, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    In a word for squirrels,no

  • Wayne Says:
    July 12th, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Haven’t really tried electronic pest controllers but I think they must work on some or all pest especially ants I’ve noticed when their on my counter and I cause a vibration they instantly run around frantically like they’ve lost all control of direction

  • David Says:
    June 13th, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Insects don’t have ears, and rodents get used to the sound.

  • Simon Says:
    May 27th, 2016 at 8:13 am

    There is one, having tried many that actually works here in Spain. It is a free app for iPhones and iPads and you can download it from iTunes here

  • M G Says:
    May 17th, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I purchased one, a week ago, to control fleas and bugs. Also, we have some spiders. The fleas activity was reduced. I don’t want to say that it stopped totally yet. My arms are getting a chance to heal now from the bites I get when sleeping. I believe the product works. I have not seen a single spider around. It’s important to get rid of clutter around the house because ‘things’ will absorb the sound. It may depend on what product brand you purchase. I purchased the “Transonic Pro Electronic Pest Repeller”. I got mine from but you might find them somewhere else also. Give it a week or two to see results. My husband agreed about the change in our home.

  • Brenda M Wolfenbarger Says:
    May 7th, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Alas, these are utterly ineffective in our home. I should have read reviews before I purchased.

  • rick lockeby Says:
    May 1st, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Do they work on snakes.

  • Ginger Says:
    April 9th, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Sometimes takes a few days but they work! Something about the vibration they don’t like and eventually leave. Have them plugged in every room!

  • Chrystal Germond Says:
    March 5th, 2016 at 10:44 am

    I have chinchillas. Will this hurt them?

  • Koockie Krusher Says:
    February 17th, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I purchased some from Wal-Mart yesterday. A 3 pack. One in the kitchen, my daughter’s room and my room. Sitting here on the bed and see one run right pass the one plugged into my daughter’s wall…think I’m going to go get my money back!!! I will figure out another way!

  • Alphonce Says:
    January 31st, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Folks, Do as I say… Find, Bengal Roach Spray. It’s made in Baton Rouge,LA, I believe. Spray it near your doors inside and out and trust me, after they crawl out to die, that’s the last you will see for months. It’s odorless. Matter of fact, it’s so odor free, I wasn’t even sure if it was actually spraying.
    I use it around the perimeter of my house outside and that’s pretty much it.
    Good luck

  • sarah Says:
    January 19th, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve purchased recently Ultrasonic pest repeller from amazon “” i am really happy with it, I have a detached garage and we put everything in there as our storage room. I have a contract with pest control monthly and no matter what they do mice still coming back because we stored some dry foods in there like dog foods,dry cereals and etc.I’ve tried everything to get rid of them but they only stop for days and then coming back again. So i knew i need to do something else permanent to get rid of them and this Best Indoor Electronic Plug in Pest Control is doing a great job it does what is supposed to do. We used to have alots of crickets, waterbugs and spider too but now since i plug this pest repeller in my garage i have never seen any sign of them anymore no more mice and no more bugs and insects inside my garage. This repeller has been working really good and im so happy with it.

  • Muhammad Saqlain Says:
    December 8th, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Hi Sir/Madam,

    We are looking for pest control device which control lizard, mouse, and cats in my business place. Can you please review the best solution and advise.

  • Sameer Says:
    December 2nd, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    After reading many interesting comments, thought I should share my experience. I have used two bigger ultrasonic pest repellent units (Black & Decker EP1100-A) for last ten plus years for rodents and similar larger pests – One in backyard and one in garage; and didn’t have a single rodent or similar pest anywhere near the house. I don’t have anything to prove the cause and effect relationship, but we do think it works, at least for larger pests. We also have a few smaller pluggable units inside house and never had a single cockroach in the house.

  • Lee Says:
    December 1st, 2015 at 5:14 am

    I have been using some of the expensive ones of these [electro-magnetic and ultrasonic][advertised on TV] for about 5-6 years with good results. My Dogs don’t seem to be affected. I gave one to My Son as he had mice but His Pet Lizard was VERY affected by it. I have one in a large metal garden shed and it seems to keep most things out of the shed. My two other sheds do get mice or rats occasionally which I kill with baits. I put one of these in another Sons Apartment which had lots of cockroaches, and the tenants next door complained about all the cockroaches they had.. lol. As lizards don’t like these, maybe snakes don’t either?
    One of these I was using in My house, could be heard by some people, but My wife and I couldn’t hear it.
    Lee in Australia

  • Cheryl B Says:
    November 2nd, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I purchased two Bell & Howell devices from Ross Stores for $7.99 each. Can’t say for sure yet whether or not they are working. Just about the time I get comfortable is when I see a new roach. I keep a swifter floor mop handy and smash them to death. The surface is nice and flat, I just have to be quick enough. My next option is to move back to the Northeast where we never had roaches, just spiders and mice.

  • Tom Says:
    October 30th, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    We had mice in the kitchen and garage. I put one plug-in reller in the kitchen and two in the garage. After about a week, no more mice incidents at all. That was over a year ago. Now to tackle the backyard with more powerful models to see if that will be a success as well.

  • kamlakar dwivedi Says:
    October 24th, 2015 at 2:09 am

    From all the comments it seems these products may not really be permanent solutions…….at best a short term solution.


  • Gloria Says:
    October 21st, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I bought an electronic device (pkg of 3) approximately 4/5 years ago. I was upset about mouse droppings on my kitchen counters and running around my rooms. I can honestly say that since that time I do not see mice anymore. I do make sure the devices bounce off a solid wall, and I have one in three rooms. I also have one in the basement. So I am a believer!! I purchased at a big box retailer. As far as the device for bugs, I had two in my winter home over the summer. I also sprayed, used fabric softener sheets and had pretty good success. Again it needs to hit solid wall.

  • Rajeev Pillai Says:
    October 16th, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    was planning to buy one from a tv online shop. however after going through comments, i am backing out. cant afford such an expensive night lamp! lovely comment by someone asking this to use as hammer ūüôā

  • Anne Says:
    October 15th, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks Stephanie. I was thinking of buying one of these sonic devices to keep snakes away (I have a small cat and live with very large pythons outside) If it’s going to disturb the cat and the dog, then I can’t

  • Tammy Says:
    September 27th, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve had one of these in my kitchen for 2 yrs, didn’t know that pests can get used to the sound. Nevertheless I bought a few more of them for some other rooms in my home. I’ve been seeing a lot of spiders in the house, so I will know if it works on them. I do recommend them, no ants, roaches that I seen. I do think that I will unplug them for a short while and then plug them in again.

  • Casey Says:
    September 21st, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Lol, I love these stories. And these things really don’t always work. they may work for one bug out that group, or one animal out that group, but forget it, I don’t think they really work that well.

  • Tam Says:
    September 20th, 2015 at 7:27 am

    We caught chipmunks in our backyard with the department store cages. I decided to use the big corded ultrasound device, that my dad loves having in the basement for bugs, on a chipmunk in a cage. On all 10 supposed frequencies this God-mode device has, like the loud one for squirrels and down to the anti-bedbug, the chipmunk didn’t react one bit!

  • Stephanie Says:
    September 9th, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Like Mark says above, when it was plugged in, my dog reacted to it immediately. I tested this by plugging and unplugging it, and it was obvious that the sound of the repellent (not audible to us) was bothering him.

    I didn’t see anything about this on the package, but I am returning it because of this.

  • brenda Says:
    August 30th, 2015 at 10:37 am

    We had field mice come in, bought a plug in repellant, we put poison down and got rid of them. We kept the repellant plugged in since this was 3years ago. Now, for the past few evenings we have heard noise in the loft. Thinking it could be a squirrel we went and had a look. Going by droppings could be a rat. No damage so far so put poison in, but wondering the plug in could be working. Also, it works through the electrics in your home. Hopefully sonic noise driving it crazy.

  • mark Says:
    August 24th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Please be aware the sound is 25,000 hertz just out of the human hearing range. Cats can hear 70,000 hertz and dogs are around 45,000 hertz. ¬†Every pet but birds can hear the sounds. The sound is a varying high pitched constant sound. It works great for mice in the attic but if used in the home the sound will bounce off of walls and under doors. ¬†I shut the door in ¬†my bed room and 3 cats and 2 dogs reacted in the other room. ¬†Your pets may get used to it and most people don’t ¬†know. Since my animals reacted I knew it was in their hearing range. ¬†I did a little research and found they are not allowed to be sold into Canada. ¬†Their government protects it’s citizens. ¬†Our military service also does not allow purchases of electronic repellers do to false claims and no proof of effectiveness. Attics and garages are fine, if the pets are not in that area. ¬†Customers please spread the words to your friends on social media. ¬†All electronic repellers are same and people dont know. I tested on ants and fleas who had no reacton. ¬†I¬†think it works for rodents and squirrels in enclosed are areas. ¬†If the company responds i¬†want facts and no bs fake talk. ¬†If it really worked for fleas and bedbugs and ants prove it with facts. ¬†Show me a video or send me the testing results. ¬†¬†

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Hi Kathleen,
    Thanks for the feedback about your experiences. Let us know if it makes a difference over the long run.

  • Kathleen Says:
    August 19th, 2015 at 4:36 am

    I’ve just plugged one in each room in my house a couple of days ago, and so far it’s just increasing the activity of the mice. It’s not a quick fix and if you’re petrified of mice, like I am, these electronic devices don’t really help.

  • nikki Says:
    August 11th, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Every home I lived in I would purchase an electronic repellent. I did because I am terrified of rats. well I never had a rat in my home or around it from my knowledge but I felt like it was because I’ve always had the repellents plugged in. Well in this new home im in lately I’ve been seeing them run across my privacy gate. I have the plugs all around the house and its not working seeing them on the fence and just tonight actually seen one on the ground. Sorry for the long story but no they do not work!!!!! Plus there’s lizards and other type of little bugs that be by my back door even with the 3 plugs plugged in

  • S R Shetty Says:
    August 5th, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Is it harmful for a lady who is pregnant?

  • Dragon Says:
    July 17th, 2015 at 8:33 am

    oooh, groupon price was 10US$, but half the price in alibaba etc (not include shipping then)—

    not sure I should be happy or not
    maybe I should buy those sticky tape trap or chemical ones to use along with the electronic device

    came home at 7pm, seldom see cockroach in that time (usual , they meet each others at midnight time), I seen a tiny cockroach 1cm , wondering around the kitchen sink, on the flat surface — in the past, they like the floor or in the vertical tile on top of sink

    so, just one day — 24 hr is ON — should I be happy, I don’t know

    conclusion — there should be some effect with these electronic device (mine is EI3110), but does it drive the cockroach wondering around, or they listen to the disco theme music (the LED light periodically go brighter and dimmer continuously) and come out , having a party of their lives —– who’s know

    will turn it on, probably got some traditional traps later on, and reduce rubbish storage in the kitchen, see whether it works or, they pick further away place for their new homes (could be)

  • Dragon Says:
    July 16th, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I bought one from Groupon, only 15US$ I just try it today, try to get rid of cockroach, 2 inches big one from my kitchen. I wonder, will it drive it out of the kitchen into my living room? By the way, the using the device as a hammer comment was funny.

  • Dragen Says:
    June 9th, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    blueeyes: Because your daughter have keener ears than adults. Meaning, the younger you are the wider spectrum of sound frequencies you can hear. This will diminish as you age.

  • blueeyes Says:
    June 3rd, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I just purchased the electronic pest repeller and i only saw one roach so far and I just put them in two days ago. But my daughter says she can hear it, it said on the box that us humans cant hear it. So why is she hearing it?

  • delfina Says:
    April 17th, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I found an increase in activity to begin with each time I have tried it brings them out but months on and are alot less around

  • Pretty Says:
    March 17th, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    I bought the Electronic pest repeller 2 months back and all I have seen is an increase in the number of pest. Really disappointed.

  • PT Moore Says:
    October 14th, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I purchased the electronic pest repeller and plugged it in. Later in the day I saw a roach, grabbed the electronic pest repeller out of the wall socket and smashed the roach with it. The roach was deffinately dead. The device was 100% effective, and the easy storage in electrical outlets makes it handy. I’m going to purchase one for every outlet in this roach hell hotel.

  • Kimberly Reed Says:
    August 19th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I just bought a Ultrasonic Pest repeller..I am wondering if it gets rid of “earwigs” down here in FLorida. I get a lot of them come up to cracks of my front door and back sliding glass doors. I have a plug outlet near my front door..maybe a good place to plug it in. Will it keep them from coming undr my front door if the device is just inside the front door?…also…Had a small snake outside my front door..does it get rid of them too?

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Do Ultrasonic Electronic Pest Repellents Really Work?