Ultrasonic flea and tick repellers are the latest weapon in the arsenal against fleas and ticks. These devices are affordable, non polluting and compact and also quite safe to use. They are said to repel many kinds of parasites such as fleas, ticks and lice apart from household pests like rodents, ants, lizards and cockroaches. But do ultrasonic pest repellers actually work and how do you use them? Let us find out.
What are ultrasonic flea and tick repellent devices?
Ultrasonic flea repellent devices emit a sound that supposedly repels bugs. This sound is above 18,000 Hz (typically in the range of 30 kHz-50 kHz) which human beings cannot hear. By emitting ultrasonic waves, these products should keep away bugs like ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, ants, roaches, rodents etc. by creating a hostile or unfavorable environment for the pests, repelling them in the process.
Why use ultrasonic repellers?
Ultrasonic flea and tick repellents are built in an electronic system. This means that there are no harmful chemicals involved when using them. Most conventional flea and tick products like sprays, shampoos etc. contain harsh chemicals. Although these chemicals are approved by the FDA, they can still have an impact on the environment. Many products are known to cause itchy eyes, rashes, and breathing issues in kids and elderly. They can also harm pets causing skin problems, vomiting and plethora of other side effects. Some of the chemicals can even harm pregnant women and the growing fetus. Moreover, these products enter our landfills and water sources polluting them. Many fish and aquatic organisms are being harmed due to these chemicals. Due to these reasons, we need to look at alternative ways to get rid of fleas, ticks, ants, bed bugs and roaches. Keeping this view in mind, scientists are looking at chemical-free ways to keep our homes bug free and ultrasonic and sonic devices may be a result of this. Here is a summary of benefits of ultrasonic tick and flea repellers:
- Ethical compared to poisons and rat traps
- Safer and healthier for the environment
- Easy to use as you basically set and forget
Do they really work?
As stated above, ultrasonic devices for electronic pest control emit waves with short wavelength and high frequency which gives rise to a high pitch incapable of being received by human ears. The human hearing is limited simply because our eardrums do not vibrate fast enough. Animals like bats, dogs and rodents can hear ultrasonic ranges over 20 kHz while some insects and pests can hear in the range of 50 kHz to 100 kHz. Bugs like moths can actually detect frequencies as high as 240 kHz.
According to a study conducted on Ultrasonic pest repellents in the University of Kansas, these frequencies can repel some bugs and even put a halt in their mating and reproduction. In these tests, scientists discovered that the devices had repelling effect on crickets and ants, but not on roaches. At the end of the study though, they concluded that since pests hear and detect different frequencies, more research is necessary to ensure that a single device can be used for repelling all kinds of household bugs.
The truth based on user reviews
Ultrasonic repellent reviews have not been great and most users felt that they were a waste of money. Many of these products broke within a couple of months, for instance when dogs scratched at them. Some users even blamed these devices for causing epileptic seizures in their dogs. Household pets with sensitive hearing could potentialy suffer from such ultrasonic sound frequencies, so pay attention to your dogs behavior if you decide to try these products and stop immediately if you notice a reaction.
Electromagnetic and ultrasonic pest control
There is a new technology available to keep all kinds of pests away from your home. It combines electromagnetic technology and ultrasonic waves in a single device that is then fitted in your home’s existing electrical wiring system. The device creates a shifting electromagnetic field that should make life uncomfortable for pests. The high pitched frequencies (inaudible to human ears) should be so disturbing that the pests come out of their hiding places and leave your home, and in only 2-4 weeks, your home should be rid of all kinds of bugs. Again, always test the product to see if your pet is comfortable around it. Speak to your vet before installing such a device.
- Even though the devices make life miserable for pests, they are safe for humans.
- You can also adjust the settings to target specific household pests, like lizards etc.
- Easy to use, simply plug in the repeller in a central area and the device will cover up to 5000 square feet. You can also select the intensity of the output. Lower ultrasonic output will repel rodents, rats and lizards, while a higher setting affects fleas, ticks and other smaller bugs.
- In addition to selecting the intensity, you can also vary the pitch.
- Many plug in flea repellents also come with night light feature that makes it ideal for kids rooms and in passages.
- Ultrasonic flea and tick repellers cost just pennies a day to operate.
- Safer and ethical compared to using poisons and traps.
- Some dogs and cats with sensitive hearing may find these devices uncomfortable.
- Never use ultrasonic flea repellers around epileptic or sick dogs.
- Some devices are known to cause behavioral changes in pets.
- Many states in the USA have banned the sale and use of such devices.
- Some studies show that ultrasound is ineffective for controlling common pests.
Safety of ultrasonic flea collars
According to Steven R Lindsay, author of Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Adaptation and Learning, ultrasonic collars to repel fleas and ticks on dogs are best avoided. The sounds produced by these devices are audible to cats and dogs that are exposed to them. Dogs with sensitive hearing abilities might find these collars very disturbing.
There are other ways to repel fleas
The best way to repel fleas is to use an integrated approach. You cannot always rely on one method alone. You may want to do the world a favor by making your own repellents with essential oils, but remember that just because the stuff is natural does not necessary mean it is safe. Many cats, birds and fish are known to have been harmed by certain essential oils. So always be very cautious, read labels, speak to a vet and only then go ahead and use the product of choice. Here are some tips on repelling fleas:
- To repel fleas in your home, use a combination of diatomaceous earth powder followed by vacuuming.
- Remember to retreat your pets with flea drops or pills.
- If you need to use flea sprays, go for products with EPA and vet approved chemicals. Be careful while spraying and always test the products first in small quantities.
- Fleas have multiple ways of getting inside your home, so clear the clutter away in your yard. Trim the grass regularly. Read more about treating the yard for fleas.
- Bathe your pets with flea shampoos and once dry, use flea spot-treatment or oral medicines to keep eggs and larvae from hatching and growing.
I hope these methods will help you eliminate and prevent fleas and ticks, without causing harm to your family, your pets and the environment.