About Electronic Rodent Deterrents

Updated February 21, 2017

Unwanted rats and mice can turn a cosy home into a chewed-up mess. Using poison or traps to get rid of the critters can make the house equally as messy, not to mention a little gruesome. Another method of getting rid of those messy mice and dirty rats is with electronic rodent deterrents. Widely sold in home, garden and hardware stores, these devices use sounds to drive the vermin away --- and keep them there.


Electronic rodent deterrents generally use a very annoying noise to repel the unwanted critters. The noise, usually ultrasonic in nature, is inaudible to humans, but some deterrents will use sounds that humans can hear, too. The noise doesn't drive the pests away just because it is annoying. The sound actually screw up the rodents' nervous system, making it difficult, if not impossible, to eat and communicate. This inability drives them off. Most of the rodent deterrents will work on roaches, other insects, spiders and scorpions.


Units come in several styles and sizes. Some are a simple box that is set on a flat surface and plugged into a wall outlet or uses batteries. Others are a smaller unit that is plugged directly into the wall like a night light. Some will have built-in switches to turn them on or off, while others will remain on unless they are unplugged. Other features that can come with the unit include a small night light or more switches to choose the volume and type of sounds desired to drive away specific pests. Some units are specially designed for either indoor or outdoor use, while others can be placed in either area.


One usually doesn't plug in one of the devices and expect to be fully rodent-free. Most of the electronic deterrents take some time to be effective, some as long as two weeks before folks start seeing results. A single unit may not be enough either. Many recommend using at least one unit in every room, and more in a single room if it is particularly large. Once the vermin take off, people should not pack away the electronic deterrent. Use should be continued to assure the rodents stay away for good.


Electronic rodent deterrents are beneficial because they are one of the cleanest ways to drive away vermin. Traps leave a rodent corpse to clean up and can be harmful to small fingers or paws that get stuck in the metal hinge or too close to the glue. Poison, too, may leave dead rodents lying around or rotting in the walls, and can also be hazardous to children and other animals that accidentally run across it. The electronic devices leave no dead bodies in their wake because they stop the rodents from coming around in the first place.


Ultrasonic repellents not only drive away wild critters, but they can make pets crazy as well. While it may seem obvious not to use an electronic rodent deterrent in a house with pet rats or mice, the device will also be harmful to hamsters, gerbils and rabbits. Tarantulas, too, will suffer from the noises. Most of these devices will be safe for use around children, dogs, cats, birds and fish, but check the manual to be sure before plugging it in. Even if the devices are not harmful in small doses, some warn that constant exposure to the louder settings will bother domestic pets and people.

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