Electronic pest repellers: summary.

Nathan A. M. Lulov lulov at zariski.harvard.edu
Sun Jun 13 18:14:43 EST 1993

About a week ago I posted a question regarding pest repelling electronic
devices. I've got several messages and would like to thank all those who

Everybody says that the ULTRASONIC DEVICES DO NOT WORK.

Regarding the magnetic field device not much was said, but probably it is
the same case.

I enclose my original post and the replies I got.

Nathan Lulov		lulov at math.harvard.edu


I am looking for pest repellers for a household use.
I am not a biologist, nor a reader of the group.

I have seen two models offered in popular catalogs:

1. Description:
   ... safe ultrasonic waves chase away mice and other common pests.
   range -- 300-500 sq. ft.
   non-toxic, non-polluting, safe for dogs, cats, birds.
   Brand unknown. Price about $10 at a discount.

2. Description:
   ... generating a pulsating magnetic field that will safely and
effectively get rid of rats, mice and soft shell in-sects within walls.
   range -- 2500 sq. ft.
   doesn't affect household pets ( except hamsters, gerbils and other
rodent pets ).
   Brand: Pest-A-Cator. Price about $30 at a discount.

I have also asked around and was told:
  1. A first-hand experience with an ultrasound device for an outdoor use (
battery-powered ): NO EFFECT AT ALL.
  2. A zoologist's observation: a magnetic field makes fly's wings bit with
another frequency so the fly can't fly ( this is the reason why there is no
mosquitos under high power electric lines ).
  3. It is doubtful that any of these devices can affect cockroaches.
  4. Using the devices with a different frequency of the power supply ( in
Europe via a 220v/100v transformer ) -- 50 Hz vs. 60 Hz -- would change the
output frequency, but shouldn't make an impact on the pest-repelling.

QUESTION: what is known about any kinds of electronic pest repellers ? 
Any information will be appreciated.

I am not a reader of the group, please reply by e-mail only.
I will summarize to the net.

Nathan Lulov	lulov at math.harvard.edu


From: young at clpd.Kodak.COM (Rich Young)
Organization: Clinical Diagnostics Division, Eastman Kodak Company

	Consumer Reports has done one or two quick things in the "Once Over"
	section of their magazine and the conclusion regarding the ultra-
	sonic devices is: "Don't waste your money!"  That applies to "deer
	whistles" too.  I can't supply exact references because they don't
	index the quickie reviews in the "Once Over" section, but I'll bet
	you could call their office in Mt. Vernon, NY, and ask them.

	I don't know anything about the low frequency electromagnetic
	devices, but I'd be VERY suspicious and get return privileges in
	writing before I bought one.

-Rich Young (These are not Kodak's opinions.)


From: Frank Kulcsar <KULCSAR at ABRSLE.AGR.CA>

                     June 4, 1993 3:45 pm MDT

   I read your posting on BIO-FORM and thought that I would pass along to you 
an e-mail address for an entomology discussion group on bitnet.  I am sure 
that they can give you all the information that you may need.

   Their address is:

                     Frank Kulcsar
                     Agriculture Canada
                     Lethbridge, Alberta


From: "Jack DeAngelis" <deangelj at BCC.ORST.EDU>

  In my experience none of these products work as claimed. They just
don't work!

Jack D. DeAngelis
Department of Entomology
Oregon State University
TEL: 503-737-5499
FAX: 503-737-3543
deangelj at bcc.orst.edu


From: (Peter Belton) <belton at sfu.ca>

   Electronic devices can affect insects that hear them, e.g. ultrasounds
affect some moths that are listening for bats.  Male mosquitos can hear the
sound of females flying. Crickets, cicadas etc. can hear mates, rivals.
   Some are registered (Agric.Canada PCP Act) as rodent repellers. Unlike
EPA, we require evidence of efficacy and some rodent repellers are labeled
"for use with other methods of control" indicating that they arent
effective alone. They affect rats, mice, dogs, and other mammals with
ultrasonic sensitive ears. Not many state their output frequency or level.
   As a well worn pest manager, I'd say other techniques like exclusion or
selective pesticides work better for most problems.
                   Keep us posted! 

Peter_Belton at sfu.ca  
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. V5A 1S6
Phone (604) 291 4106; Message:291 3705 or Home 420 3181.
Fax   (604) 291 3496


From: af524 at freenet.carleton.ca (Stewart Rowe)

Some years ago the USEPA did a study on the ultrasonic devices and
found them completely ineffective.

-Stewart Rowe usr2210a at cbos.uc.edu


From: Ed Beary <BEARY at uno.cc.geneseo.edu>

	I've attended several pest control conferences that have discussed
the use of the sonic repeller and the consensus is - they do not work"  The
magnetic type was not mentioned.

	Ed Beary

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