Rodent control sound waves

Rodent control sound waves DEFAULT
Mouse in house chewing through power cord

Ultrasonic electronic pest and insect repellent devices claim that their high-frequency soundwaves 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 more understated than they used to be, and many product websites have links explaining their research methods and results.

If you dig 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 — 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, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep Trapping: The best results for both rodents and insects come from using ultrasonic pest repellents along with trapping. Simply put, soundwaves 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: Soundwaves 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.


Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.


Have you ever been taunted by a group of rats and mice mocking your feeble DIY attempts to rid them from your home? Then this is the blog post for you!

There are plenty of myths surrounding which DIY mouse and rat control methods work the best to help drive out your unwelcome house guest (or should I say 'pest!' ). But how do you know which techniques and products actually work?

Do DIY mouse repellents really work? Find out from the Rentokil Pest Control Experts in South Africa

Natural Mouse Repellent and Home Remedies

When thinking of natural mouse repellent / home remedies, peppermint, moth balls, and ultrasonic sound waves come to mind - but they don't actually work... at all!

They may limit your sighting of rodents, but they don't remove them from your home and/or workplace.

Rats and mice are clever little creatures. They know that it's a dangerous world out there for an animal of their size, so once they have found a safe haven away from predators and external elements - plus throw in a constant supply of food; they will continue to live in your home - rent free. They would rather put up with ultrasonic sound waves and herbal remedies than risk leaving their very cosy, new home.

Do Mothballs Keep Mice Away?

To put it simply - No.

Mothballs are seen as a DIY mouse control method because they contain naphthalene.

Naphthalene is a pungent smelling white, solid substance. When it is inhaled or consumed it can cause blood cells to lose their oxygen-carrying properties. This is why it was/is believed that moth balls would be an effective rat and mouse repellent.

Mothballs aren't an effective mouse repellent

It is believed that by placing mothballs near a mouse nest you will get rid of your rodent problem. However, this is not the case:

  • The amount of naphthalene found in mothballs is a small dosage. It's enough to deter moths and other insects, but for mice, this is no problem. The levels of naphthalene needed to repel mice and rats is the same needed for humans. There have often been cases where mice have walked over the mothballs paying no attention to them whatsoever.
  • Even if rats and mice were bothered by the smell from mothballs near their nest entrance they would soon find another. This would be either by fitting through a gap the size of a R5 coin, or gnawing at a surface to create a new passage.

The herbal route: Peppermint Oil

It makes your home smell nice and gets rid of rats and mice. The perfect rat and mouse repellent right? WRONG!

Is peppermint oil an effective rat, mouse and rodent repellent? Find out more from the Rentokil Pest Control Experts in South Africa

The reason why peppermint oil is assumed to be a good mouse repellent is because in high concentrations, peppermint can be quite strong, and both mice and rats have a very sensitive sense of smell.

Come to think about it, rats and mice live in countless areas - including sewers. If they can put up with the smell coming out from the sewage systems, then peppermint oil must be a dream!

Another reason why peppermint oil isn't an effective rat and mouse repellent, is down to pure physics. Most gases and fumes, including peppermint aroma, rises. Rats and mice are quite small and stay close to the ground, thus although (if it was possible) in the beginning, the peppermint oil repelled the rodents. But, as it rose upwards, it would no longer be as pungent to them.

Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent devices

There are a few ultrasonic rodent repellent devices available on the market. However, these devices will keep rodents away for a short period of time but they are not the most efficient and best solution to get rid of rats and mice that pester your home.

One of the biggest issues when using an ultrasonic rodent repeller is the placement of the device. These repellers rely on plug sockets to work. If there is no plug point close to where the rodent activity is in your home then the device will be unsuccessful.

As mentioned earlier, mice and rats are quite resilient and adaptable compared to other pests. Much like Naphthalene, it is suggested that the frequency of ultrasonic sound waves needed to successfully repel rats and mice would be strong enough that it would cause damage and harm to humans and pets. Because of this, commercial ultrasonic rodent repellers available don't emit sound waves of this frequency so that it is safe for human usage.

An ultrasonic mouse repeller may work in the short term until the mouse learns to avoid the area affected by the ultrasonic sound waves, or adapts to the background noise.

Tips for preventing Mice and Rats

When it comes to repelling mice, and rats, the best course of treatment is preventing them before they become a problem.

If you have an existing rat or mouse problem, you should contact a professional as they will be able to successfully manage your pest problem.

DIY Rat and Mouse Control

There are some methods that you can put in place to secure your home and prevent any unwelcome guest from living in your home - rent-free!

Repair your Home

A great way to protect your home and/or workplace from rats and mice is to repair any damages to your home. This will help ensure that you prevent rodents from gaining easy entry to your home. This includes small gaps as mice can fit through gaps the width of a pencil!

A good material to use is sheet metal. Rats and mice can climb, and chew, through almost anything besides sheet metal.

Fill holes and gaps with Steel Wool

Mice and rats are known to gnaw through just about anything, especially if they think food is on the other side. But, there is one thing they can't chew through -Steel Wool!

Be sure to fill any gaps or holes in your home with steel wool to stops rats and mice from accessing your home. This can be placed anywhere from air vents to hole in your kitchen cupboards.

Keep your Home Clean

Giving your house a good clean will help keep mice away. They have a keen sense of smell so it is imperative to keep food in airtight containers. This will assist in ensuring that they won't be following the food scent all the way into your home.

How to Catch a Mouse or Rat

As previously mentioned, if you have noticed the warning signs of rats or mice in your home, then you should contact a professional.

If you have spotted one mouse, then it's family is always somewhere nearby.

However if you are looking to give the DIY mouse control and rat control route a try, here's a few tips to help get the job done.

The Best Bait For Mice

First of all if you are going to try a catch a mouse you need to know what bait to use.

Do Mice Like Cheese?

Do mice like cheese? Find out from the Rentokil Pest Control Experts in South Africa

In most cases, when you think of mice, you think of cheese. Did you know that mice aren't really that passionate about cheese? That's not to say they won't eat it, just that they won't go out of their way to snack on it.

Mice love peanut butter, so that would be your best bet in attracting them!

DIY Mouse Trap

Looking to make a humane mouse trap to solve your rodent problem? Then here's one you can try out.

Steps: how to make a mouse trap:

  1. Take an empty toilet or paper towel roll tube and place a teaspoon full of peanut butter at one of the ends.
  2. Place the roll on the edge of a surface with the peanut butter end hanging off the edge.
  3. Below the roll, place an empty plastic container with the lid near by.
  4. Wait for the mouse to take the bait...

When the mouse enters the empty roll to help himself to the yummy peanut butter, its body weight will cause the roll to drop and fall into the plastic container. When this has happened, place the lid on the container and set the mouse free in a safe area away from your home.

If you are looking at alternative forms of mouse control products, be sure to follow label instructions carefully and place these products in areas that are out of reach of children and pets.

See more tips to get rid of mice and rats

Professional Rat and Mouse Control

The reason why it is best advised that you leave taking care of a mouse or rat problem to a professional is due to the skills and knowledge needed in doing so, as well as the time scale.

Since rodents are such clever little critters, this can make relocating them from your home quite challenging.

How do you get rid of mice when they breed rapidly - find out from pest control experts at Rentokil South Africa

In terms of baiting it takes a while for a mouse to accept the product laid down. This is because the item is new and strange to them. Tests carried out on mouse behaviour showed they were far more susceptible to bait laid out in a dirty tray, which they have used before, rather than a new one. This is because they would rather gather food from a location they know is safe.

Meet the #RodentRebels from Rentokil South Africa


Follow the adventures of the#RodentRebels and see what they get up to!

Our technicians know exactly how to effectively control a mouse, or rat problem by using specific treatments and products which have been tried and tested in order to make sure your home is completely rodent free.

Need help getting rid of a mouse problem in your home? Contact a member of our team, who will asses the situation. Or, for more insights like these straight to your inbox Subscribe to our Blog.

Subscribe to the Rentokil deBugged blog for regular pest insights

Have further questions about our rodent services? Or perhaps there is a topic that you would like for us to explore further on our blog? Send us your questions using the form below and you may find your question the topic of our next blog!

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Does Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent Work?


We all know that the best rodent problem is the one that never happened, right? Sure we can buy mouse traps and try to alleviate the symptoms, but that won’t help prevent them in the first place. For this reason, ultrasonic rodent repellents are highly appealing to homeowners for the proclaimed ability to repel rodents from overstaying their welcome. They’re also easy to obtain – you can find them at a variety of home improvement stores and supermarkets.

While these all sound like major pluses, how effective are ultrasonic rodent repellent devices? And how do they work? Here’s the breakdown.

How ultrasonic rodent repellents work:

Ultrasonic rodent repellents are small devices that emit high-frequency sound waves that are claimed intolerable to rodents. Humans and pets, however, cannot hear them. It is advised to use these devices in key areas where you have seen a mouse or other rodent, or where you have seen signs of one (droppings, track marks, etc.). To the mouse, the frequencies will sound like a loud jackhammer. This isn’t just insufferable to rodents, but the product claims to repel insects as well.

So, do ultrasonic rodent repellents really work?

The short answer is no, ultrasonic rodent repellents don’t work. Some homeowners have noted an immediate effect at first, but over time the rodent problem will continue to persist. Mice are fairly resilient and adaptable, so while the sound may bother them at first, eventually they will grow accustomed to it or find an alternative route. The frequency of most also don’t travel very far from the device, usually about 10-20 feet.

The real reason you may have a rodent problem has to do with structural issues, which this product alone will not help treat. Rodents are often invited indoors through gaps in the exterior of your home such as vents, damaged roofing, drain pipes, cracks in the foundation and even slipping underneath doors.

Rodent Prevention Tips

Even though ultrasonic rodent repellents ultimately don’t prevent rodents, prevention is key to eliminating rodents in your home. Here are a few reliable prevention methods:

  • Use door sweeps to limit rodents’ ability to slide underneath.
  • Keep potential hiding places (firewood, outdoor furniture, etc.) far from your home’s entrances.
  • Cover vents with mesh to block entrances.
  • Look for holes in the exterior of your home, especially where cables or pipes enter your home. Some of these spots are large enough for mice to sneak through. A good, quick fix is steel wool or caulking these areas.

Contact Wil-Kil for Effective Rodent Control

If your rodent problem continues to persist, call in an expert. Wil-Kil has been providing residential and commercial pest control services since 1924, so we’ve seen it all. We can help identify places you may have overlooked, and reinforce prevention and treatment methods with exclusion. Give us a call or contact us online for an inspection and plan of action.


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17500Hz \u0026 20000Hz Ultrasonic Mouse and Rat Repellent (11 1/2 Hours) Wall Penetration Extreme Version

Are ultrasonic pest repellers effective?

Unfortunately, the science behind ultrasonic pest repellers is ultra-shaky. Seems like an attractive idea though, right? Just plug a charger-sized device emitting undetectable sound into the wall, wait about 2 weeks, then BAM, your garage oasis is insect and rodent free without the use of chemical pesticides or inhumane traps. Sounds great! Too bad these devices have never been proven to actually work. But let’s take a look at the theory anyway.

Ultrasonic sound waves have a frequency higher than what human ears can hear, but invading species can detect them. The sound is meant to irritate pesky critters and prevent them from making homes near the source of the noise. I’m pretty sure this is similar to how I feel about Montreal’s constant construction – in all fairness, I would move away too if I had the choice. But this only makes sense in theory. In actuality some animals seem to habituate to the noise, and others just don’t seem bothered at all.

Some studies conducted in perfect laboratory conditions show that ultrasonic sound can be fatal to certain species by critically increasing their body temperature or causing audio-induced seizures. So the humane notion of pests simply scurrying out of your garage with a massive headache isn’t quite right either. But due to the variable nature of pest invasions, these findings have not been replicated in actual homes. Researchers using higher quality ultrasound generators have shown that sound can be effective at disrupting mating or eating habits of particular animals. These generators, however, are several grades above any device available for consumers which can’t replicate the complicated patterns of sound and turn out to be pretty much useless.

Additionally, the studies done on commercially available devices are very limited and often lack a control situation. Thus when some studies show that pest infestations do decrease, they have no way of proving that it was a result of the ultrasonic sound. For these reasons, researchers strongly advise against buying into these devices. There is simply not enough evidence. But this doesn’t stop companies selling these products from making claims. This device – one of many similar models available on Amazon – claims to use “safe & effective technology to extremely irritate rodents and insects thus causing them to run away from your home”. Well, they are definitely right about them being safe, safe for humans and pests alike: don’t be fooled.

“But Linda swears by these devices, she never gets mice”, you might say. Well it’s very possible Linda got very lucky. Pest control is messy and extremely variable between homes, so save yourself the $19.99 on Amazon and try some other old fashioned methods: like endlessly sealing up holes and shaking your fists angrily at the pesky critters.



Sound rodent waves control

Expert Tips for Using Ultrasonic Repellents

When it comes to rodent removal, one of the most natural ways to get rid of mice and rats is to place an ultrasonic repellent unit. Ultrasonic pest control products from Victor® use high-frequency sound waves to drive away mice and rats by creating an unpleasant environment for them.

Electronic repellents are capable of preventing a rodent infestation before it can even start. Plus, they are safe to use around children and non-rodent pets because they are inaudible to anyone but rodents and they don’t use any chemicals or poisons!

Location, Location, Location

First, identify a room that has signs of rodent activity. Rodents are nocturnal creatures, which mean they rarely surface during the daytime. Begin by looking for the signs of an infestation, including:

  • Chewing or gnaw marks
  • Droppings
  • Small tracks
  • Rodent nests

Once you’ve identified an area with rodent activity, plug the unit into an outlet that is open to the rest of the room, not behind furniture where the sound waves may be blocked. Note, hard surfaces reflect ultrasound, while soft surfaces absorb it.

In a room with mostly hard surfaces, like a kitchen, ultrasound will "bounce" around giving coverage that is more effective. The ideal placement would be one that allows the sound waves to cross in front of an entrance way.

Use Multiple Units

Ultrasonic waves behave more like light than sound. For example, music from your stereo can fill your entire house. Ultrasound cannot penetrate solid surfaces (walls, floors, ceilings) or travel around corners. This is why you need a unit for each affected room.

The rule regarding square footage coverage is simple: an ultrasonic device can only cover the room in which it is installed For example, in a 10' x 10' room it covers 100 sq. ft., in a double car garage it covers 400 sq. ft. With obstructions, you will need to install more than one unit for maximum effectiveness.

electronic repellent placement

Monitor Rodent Activity

Monitoring the signs of rodent activity will allow you to correctly place the units in high-frequency areas and allow you to direct the unit towards their entry points. Additionally, regular checks for the signs of recent rodent activity will allow you to confirm the population is dissipating. Remember, rodent populations can tolerate unfriendly changes in their environment for only a short time so you can expect to see a reduction in activity after 6 to 10 days on average.

Combine with Other Rodent Control Methods

For best results, ultrasonic devices should not be used alone to control an established infestation. Use traps as well as sanitation and rodent-proofing efforts in conjunction with ultrasonic repellents. In fact, ultrasonics are great for use as a herding tool to force rodents into areas equipped with traps and baits. Once the infestation is under control, continuing using the devices to keep rodents from coming back!

Ready to start repelling rodents from your home? Shop our wide range of ultrasonic repellents! You can also join us on Facebook to share your mouse-repelling experiences. Don’t forget to subscribe to our eNewsletter for more tips to help with your rodent issues and for exclusive updates on our products!

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How do Electronic Rodent Repellents Work?

Electronic mouse repellents operate under the idea of using high-frequency sounds to drive mice away from food sources and nesting grounds within human homes.

Sonic or ultrasonic devices have been touted as repellents for everything from roaches to insects to rodents, specifically rats and mice. There are multiple brands of these electric devices that are said to emit either a sonic or ultrasonic wave, which these pests allegedly find irritating. Some are sold specifically to repel rodents. However, there is little data that these devices repel insects or are effective in rodent control.

Rats and mice emit high-pitched sounds and may communicate using these sounds. Devices that use sound that humans can hear typically have no effect on the rodents. Sonic devices are also used to deter birds, but there is only temporary relief, if any. In fact, in areas with large populations of birds, birds have been observed roosting on top of sonic units. Humans can hear some sounds heard by rats and mice; however, much of the rodents’ hearing range is above the human range. This range outside of human hearing is called “ultrasonic.”

The theory of ultrasonic repellents is to create a sound irritating to rodents, but yet at a frequency out of the range of human hearing. Even though sound may be created that can be heard by rodents and not heard by humans, there is little data to support that these devices repel rodents.

These sounds are supposed to be alarming to mice and discourage them from settling or feeding in affected areas. However, the sound emitted by these repellents cannot pass through walls, and furniture may limit their range. Data on these tools show little to no effectiveness. If mice are present in a home, it is best to contact a pest management professional, since mice can be destructive and spread contamination.

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    Ultrasonic Pest Repellers: Solution or Scam?

    by Nick Gromicko, CMI® and Kate Tarasenko

    Ultrasonic pest repellers are electronic devices that emit high-frequency sounds designed to repel, injure or kill household pests, such as rodents and insects.  Whether they're actually effective at doing so has been disputed by testing labs and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

    Left unchecked, rodents and insects can transmit salmonella, hantavirus and other diseases, as well as cause significant building damage. Signs of a rodent infestation include droppings, especially near food and beneath sinks, gnawed or chewed food packages, and holes in structural materials that can provide entry into the home. 

    Cockroach infestation, which is arguably the most pervasive and hard-to-eliminate type of pest infestation, especially in urban areas and industrial and commercial kitchens, is evidenced by the pest's droppings, which are pepper-like specs, typically found in kitchen cupboards, as well as their egg sacs, which are often spotted in hard-to-reach locations, such as cracks and crevices in kitchen cabinets and drains, and behind dishwashers and refrigerators.  Ultrasonic pest repellers are claimed to eliminate even these types of household pests.


    How They Work 

    The use of audible sound to deter pests is an old strategy; the ancient Chinese used a number of mechanically operated sensory-repellent devices to deter rodent infestations in agricultural crops and buildings. Ultrasound, which is defined by sound frequencies beyond the upper limit of human hearing, has been used as pest control only over the past few decades, however.

    The ultrasonic devices are plugged into a home’s electrical receptacle outlets which then purportedly emit high-frequency sounds that are disruptive to pests. The sound supposedly causes a physiological response known as audiogenic seizure response, which is characterized by non-directional running, convulsions, and possibly death from cerebral hemorrhage. The theory behind the devices is that confused rodents eventually flee when the disruption prevents them from gathering food, breeding, building nests or communicating. Ultrasonic devices are popular and appealing to consumers because of their ease of use and the fact that they are silent to human ears and allegedly eliminate the need for traps and poison, which are thought by some to be inhumane forms of pest control. Electromagnetic and subsonic devices are also available, and all designs vary by signal intensity, rate and frequency.

    But Do They Work?

    Studies designed to investigate the efficacy of ultrasonic pest repellents have shown mixed results. One extensive test performed by Kansas State University in 2002 found that the devices were effective at repelling some insects, such as crickets, but the same devices had little effect on cockroaches. Ants and spiders were unaffected by any of the devices. Of the pests that seem to be bothered by the noise, some tests have shown that they soon become habituated as they realize the noise is harmless. Even models proven successful in tests are unlikely to perform adequately in real-world situations, where signal strength rapidly diminishes and can be blocked by walls and furniture.

    Safety concerns have arisen, too; some users have reported that the sound can weaken the clarity of telephone conversations, interfere with burglar alarm systems, and cause muting in hearing aids. The noise may also cause inadvertent distress to rabbits and rodent pets, such as guinea pigs and hamsters. Cats and dogs can hear in the ultrasonic range, but they appear not to be bothered by the noise emitted by these devices.  

    Manufacturers of ultrasonic pest repellers make claims that may be unsupported by scientific testing. In fact, more than 60 companies received warning letters from the FTC in 2001 stating that “efficacy claims about those products must be supported by scientific evidence."  Two years later, one company was sued by the FTC for violating its warning.

    Nevertheless, many users have reported success, so customers are advised to research specific brands before they purchase an ultrasonic pest repeller. The devices should be placed in areas where their signals will travel uninterrupted by walls or furniture.


    Better Options  

    InterNACHI inspectors may inform their clients that many more reliable forms of pest control, such as chemical pesticides, traps and even cats, are effective and inexpensive.  Many InterNACHI inspectors are also qualified to perform wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspections, which can further identify and possibly diagnose insect infestation problems to help homeowners devise workable solutions.  Inspectors should always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when inspecting areas of a home that could be a refuge for pests.

    In summary, ultrasonic pest repellers emit high-frequency sounds that manufacturers claim reduce household pest infestation, but laboratory tests have shown that the majority of such devices do not work as advertised, in violation of FTC guidelines.  Homeowners with pest problems should rely on a qualified inspector who can help them identify their particular pest problem and advise them on practical and effective solutions.



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