Do Plug-in Pest Repellents Work?

Plug-in outdoor pest repellents typically emit a flashing light, audible alarm or high-frequency sound that people can’t listen to, to discourage wildlife, insects or birds from hanging around your lawn. But scientific research has shown these repellents may not be effective at maintaining unwanted garden pests away.

The Effectiveness of Pest Repellents

Ultrasonic electronic pest repellent apparatus produce sound waves greater than 20,000 hertz (cycles per second), that only creatures and bugs could hear. There’s little scientific research to show these types of devices actually deter pests, according to University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They’re deemed ineffective against possible garden nuisances like biting insects, cockroaches and ticks, notes North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. These devices are also considered ineffective against other bugs, including ants. Electronic ultrasonic and sonic devices made to discourage wildlife, like small creatures, from damaging your garden aren’t generally successful against their intended targets either, states Clemson Cooperative Extension.

Further Pest Repellent Limitations

Electronic Dutch, ultrasonic and visual plug in pest repellent apparatus may work on some insects initially, including rodents, raccoons, deer, birds or crickets. Regrettably, these unwanted garden visitors seem to become quickly accustomed to them. This eventually makes the apparatus ineffective against these and other insects, according to research published in the September 2013 issue of “The International Journal of Engineering and Science.”

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