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Ultrasonic Pest Repeller Side Effects

Updated February 21, 2017

The search for an easy way to do away with pests like rodents, insects and marauding deer and wandering cats and dogs can be ongoing. The ultrasonic repeller has several inconvenient side effects in addition to its questionable effectiveness.

Habituation

Pests can adapt to the frequency emitted by the repellers, creating a generation of resistant bugs; many devices include a frequency "sweeper" that varies frequency modulation and adds to its expense.

Humans

Some humans with good high-frequency hearing "hear" the emissions as an annoying high-pitched or clicking constant "background" sound.

Pets

Ultrasonic repellers designed to drive pests crazy may also annoy family dogs, cats and hamsters; most devices recommend placement away from pets.

Indiscriminate Repellant

Emissions may drive beneficial insects and creatures (like pollinating bees and soil-conditioning worms) away as effectively as it does annoying pests.

Safe Houses

Ultrasonic sounds can't travel around furniture or structures or through drapes, establishing safe zones where pests can congregate.

Hidden Costs

Providing electrical wiring and speaker placement for an adequate number of units may end up costing more money than the original devices and clutter recreational areas.

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About the Author

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.