When I was back in college pursuing a major in biology, people didn’t use electronic devices for repelling the disease spreading pests. So when I faced the rat problem at my own premises, I was extremely interested in testing these gadgets and seeing for myself if they really worked.
This article is my humble attempt at summarizing my quest for the most effective method for coping with the rat infestation. I’ve specifically targeted various ultrasonic devices in this guide, because I spent a considerable amount of time researching the issue and testing the gadgets, so I know exactly what I am talking about.
Here is what you’ll learn from this guide: how ultrasonic rat repellents actually work, what these devices can do, if there is any science backed-up data on their effectiveness, how to choose the best one for you, what the benefits are, and what tips and tricks you can employ to enhance the repellents’ effectiveness.
I’ll also review TOP 7 popular ultrasonic repellers to narrow down your list and choose the right one for your specific needs.
- 1 How does it work? Warning: Sciency language!
- 2 6 Savvy steps: follow to ensure the success of your rat hunt
- 3 TOP 7 effective ultrasonic rat repellents
- 4 How to choose the best rodent repeller
- 5 Benefits of using the ultrasonic rat repellents
- 6 My story
- 7 Usage tips to help you use the electronic rodent repellents more efficiently
- 8 Comparative chart of Ultrasonic Rat Repellents
How does it work? Warning: Sciency language!
As you may have already guessed, ultrasound pest control devices are, obviously, not a subject for a light-hearted. Many academic articles contain bewildering explanations, which may leave one wondering what the heck she just read. So I’ll try to be as conversational as possible and will explain how these complex devices work in a very simple and comprehensive language.
Ultrasonic pest repellent devices claim that their high frequency sound waves are intolerable for rodents and insects, however, cannot be heard by humans and considered safe for pets and children.
Ultrasonic repellers fall into “pesticide devices” category, which doesn’t require a registration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nevertheless, these devices are regulated and checked for “false or misleading claims” that cannot be made about the effectiveness of devices without relevant scientific data to back up the statements.
Tip: Whenever you are looking for a device to buy, see if the manufacturer provides any information on the performed laboratory testing or any other scientific research to prove the device’s effectiveness.
Although, there are a lot of conflicting data, reviews, and research on the ultrasonic devices, there’s still some scientific evidence that proves the electronic repellers work under certain circumstances.
For example, in a Comparative Analysis of Electronic and Chemical Pest Repellents found at Berkeley’s website, the researchers concluded that both tested methods (chemical and ultrasonic) were effective compared to control area, but the sound based product was not proved more effective than the chemical one. It means that the ultrasonic device was as effective as chemicals, but not more effective.
The study reinforces the idea that non-toxic alternatives are safer and as effective for use in households.
The reason there is little research on ultrasonic devices is that they are considered “low priority endeavors”; and research mainly consists of testing commercially available products that is usually initiated after consumer complaints. Also, there are no specific criteria and standards of repellency, by which to judge the efficacy of such devices.
Tip: If you decide to buy and experiment with an ultrasonic device, do not expect a miracle to happen. There’s little research available, and the existing studies are conflicting. What might work for you, might not work for your neighbor, and vice versa. You need to consider other factors and methods when tackling the rat problem. Read on.
6 Savvy steps: follow to ensure the success of your rat hunt
Placing a device where the rodents travel or plugging it in and leaving, might not be enough to end your rat problems.
These are the important steps you have to follow before using any method or technology to take control of your pests, especially if you are using an ultrasonic repeller:
- Get rid of the garbage, clean up your house, especially kitchen area; keep trash cans tightly closed and outside your premises.
- Keep food in plastic or metal containers with tight lids. An ultrasonic device won’t work, if you leave plenty of food for your mice to indulge in, they will go for food even through intolerable pain.
- Put pet food away after use, store it high above the ground, and do not leave it overnight.
- Seal up: look for holes, gaps, and cracks inside the walls, around the fireplace, floor vents, pipes, or basement. Practically, you’ll have to inspect every area of your house to ensure rodents can’t get in.
- Ultrasound is rapidly absorbed by soft-textured materials and obstacles in its path. So you might want and need to rearrange your furniture: ultrasound waves cannot go through soft furniture, thick curtains, cabinets, cardboards, corners, angles, etc.
- Ultrasound loses intensity rapidly as one moves farther from the source, thus you need to buy a few of those devices to cover larger area.
If you follow the steps above, you’ll drastically increase your chances of a successful rat hunt.
In case you still have questions related to the above instructions:
Does the ultrasound penetrate through walls?
No. Ultrasound is reflected by hard surfaces and absorbed by soft surfaces. For examples, in an area with a lot of hard surfaces, like kitchen, the ultrasound will bounce back and forth ensuring greater coverage area, while in a living room or near soft furniture it can be absorbed and will become less effective.
How many repellers do I need?
Depends on the particular premises and the device. For example, you’ll need to buy a few to cover larger area, especially if you have obstacles on ultrasound path. Generally, the manufacturers recommend one unit per each room.
Now, when you are ready to buy, read the following reviews of TOP 7 effective ultrasonic rat repellents: their key features, things to consider when buying, and differences among the competitors.
TOP 7 effective ultrasonic rat repellents
Pest Soldier Insects and Rodents Repeller – average check
The device needs to be plugged into the socket and is not intended for use outdoors. The gadget should be installed vertically 12 inches off the floor.
The manufacturer says you might see increased rodent activity for the first few days, but the mice and rats will eventually go away after about 4 weeks.
Several devices have to be used to cover larger area and different premises.
The item is small and light-weight. It has an unblinking night light which may not be very convenient when you try to sleep after a hard day at the office, so consider buying something else for your bedroom.
Pest Venator Mice and Rats Ultrasonic Repeller – for those who care about their finances
The device comes with a pack of 4 and an e-book. One Pest Venator gadget covers an area of 260 sq.ft, and the 4 of those will be enough for 3200 sq.ft.
The device has to be plugged into a socket; and supposed to be noiseless. The manufacturer comes out in the open saying the results can vary from 3 days to 4 weeks, depending on the property, followed instructions, area and intensity of infestation, and other factors.
According to the manufacturer, you can use it outdoors in the temperature range from -4 ºF to 104ºF, as long as there is a socket.
When I came across a youtube video where a guy was covering this particular device, I wanted to buy one for myself. And I actually did! But more about my story a little bit further on.
T3-R Triple High Impact – suitable for outdoors
T3-R utilizes three speakers that transmit ultrasonic sounds at three different locations on the device. Each of these speakers does a specific job and repels in different ways to maximize rodent repelling results.
The device stands on its own and comes with a 6ft. plug-in cord. One of the main advantages of T3-R repeller is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors, as it is 100% waterproof.
The manufacturer promises results after 16 days, 6000 sq ft coverage area per one unit, and 5 to 6 years of use.
Based on the shape of the unit, it is supposed to cover over 180 degrees around the unit.
There are also multiple operating modes.
But all of the above features come with a hefty price tag: almost $55 per one unit.
Pestbye Battery Operated Electronic Repeller – no need for a socket, easily portable
In case you don’t want to use a socket or there is no socket on the premises where you want to use ultrasonic repellent, then Pestbye is an option to go for.
The repeller is battery operated and suitable for indoors (including sheds, greenhouses, and lofts)
Covers an area of 2500 sq ft. through 360 degrees.
Vensmile Under the Hood Electronic Rat Repeller for Cars – in case you drive
Vensmile ultrasonic rat repellent is made of fireproof materials.
It’s easy to use and operate: just connect the two connectors into the car electrical circuit, black lead/cathode(-), red lead/anode(+).
Multi-directions wave scattering design makes the rodents stay away from your vehicle.
The manufacturer claims the device doesn’t consume much power.
Aspectek – 5-in-1 Home Sentinel – in case you also need an ionizer
Aspectek utilizes three types of technologies: ultrasonic, ionic, and electromagnetic. Based on the manufacturer’s claims, the device covers an area of up to 1200 sq ft. There is also a smart night and day control feature: the device turns the lights on during the night, and turns them off when the sun rises. However, you can easily switch off the automation if need be. There are actually three types of LED status lights.
Requires a socket; comes as a single unit, so you’ll need to buy more of those to cover larger area or more rooms.
Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repellent – if you need to cover larger area
Neatmaster device utilizes both ultrasonic and electromagnetic technologies. The device has three modes: green for minor infestation, purple for average, and red for large and serious infestation.
The manufacturer claims that the gadget covers an area up to 800-1200 sq ft. But whatever the coverage area, the ultrasound can’t travel through walls and solid objects anyway, so make sure you remember that fact. Can be used indoors only; requires a socket.
How to choose the best rodent repeller
- Look if the manufacturer provided any scientific related information on its website or product description to assure the device is safe and effective.
- See if the product requires a socket and can be used outdoors. Obviously, if you need to use the product outdoors, you can’t afford to buy one that works indoors only.
- Look for the coverage area. Of course, ultrasonic repellents’ waves can’t travel through walls, but if you have a larger room, perhaps, you’ll need to buy a couple of small devices to ensure greater coverage or otherwise commit to a more expensive but powerful gadget.
- Look for cues, comments, and usage tips in buyers’ reviews to ensure you buy the right product for your premises or enhance the device’s productivity and effectiveness.
Benefits of using the ultrasonic rat repellents
By using the electronic mouse and rat repellents, you can expect the following benefits:
- Humaneness: you will not kill the rats, they will just go away by themselves, or relocate to a different area, far away from your house.
- Safety: the device is safe for kids and pets. Contrary to popular belief the ultrasonic repellents are also safe for birds.
- Eco-friendliness: chemical-based repellents are extremely dangerous for an existing biodiversity, thus different repelling methods should be used to ensure other species are protected.
- Ease of use: just plug it in or switch it on and that’s it, you don’t have to do or use anything else.
- Multi-functionality: some devices utilize different technologies, such as ultrasonic, ionic, and electromagnetic. So you can buy a device that can handle different tasks or serve other purposes, like air ionization and purification.
As I mentioned earlier, I stumbled across a video on youtube, where quite an amusing guy was sharing his story with the Pest Venator rat repeller. I decided to go for it as well, since it was relatively cheap and I didn’t want to commit to buying something expensive without finding out first if the ultrasound actually worked.
The other important points that I considered when buying were:
- There should have been a few units, so I could cover the whole perimeter of our huge kitchen.
- The devices should have been small and elegant enough, because I care deeply about the design when it comes to my house.
- The gadget should not have disturbed my cat, because my little feline friend is greatly dear to me, and I didn’t want to hurt her in any possible way.
- The device should have been noiseless. I can’t sleep even if I hear just a slight buzzing noise; it will keep me up all night.
- And of course, the device should have worked against the rats, because we had plenty.
All of the above points were incorporated in the Pest Venator: it came in a pack of 4; was small and elegant; promised to be noiseless and safe for cats.
So I bought a couple of the Pest Venator packages and installed them in the kitchen, bedroom, and attic.
We had to throw out some old garbage from the upstairs, so it didn’t interfere with the ultra waves, and had to do a little bit of a rearranging in the kitchen as well.
Unfortunately, one unit that came in one of the packages was quiet noisy, and I could not bear it in the bedroom and had to put it in the garage instead.
Also, the LED light was so bright that I couldn’t sleep for a couple nights, but then I had to get used to it, because the rat problem was becoming out of hand and we had to deal with it as soon as possible.
Apart from that, I was pleasantly surprised, when I discovered the rats started to go a little bit nuts for the first two days – it seemed like the device was working.
And then after a week and a half, the rats appeared to be gone for good. Ain’t it something?
To be honest, the Pest Venator was not the only device I used. I initially put the snap traps here and there, and caught a dozen of those in the first few days, but then the traps were empty, I guessed the Pest Venator just drew the rats away.
Usage tips to help you use the electronic rodent repellents more efficiently
Let’s summarize the tips that will help you use the electronic mouse and rat repellents more efficiently:
- Check if the manufacturer of the device of your choice provides any laboratory testing that proves its efficacy.
- Clean your premises, so the ultrasound can travel freely.
- Check if the device works outdoors and 100% waterproof, if you need to use it outside.
- If you also need an ionizer, then buy the device that utilizes an ionizing technology.
- If one of the ultrasonic rat repellent units comes too noisy, put it where you won’t hear it, like a garage.
- If you are on a tight budget, then choose the cheapest option, as they all work pretty much the same.
- If you need to cover larger area, go for the most powerful option.
- Unfortunately, you cannot use the ultrasonic devices near your rodent pets, such as hamsters, ferrets, guinea pigs, and rabbits, among others.
- Read other people’s comments and usage tips.
Comparative chart of Ultrasonic Rat Repellents
Although, there is little scientific evidence and laboratory testing performed to prove the efficacy of ultrasound devices, they still work for most of the buyers, as they did for me.
To ensure your success with ultrasonic pest repellers, you need to follow the steps outlined above in this article, like keeping away food, removing unnecessary objects, etc., as well as using several devices to cover larger area. I personally recommend using several methods to ensure total eradication of rats.