Electronic flea & tick repellent

Updated November 21, 2016

Types of flea and tick control vary from a simple flea collar to oral medication to sprays and powders for a full-blown infestation. Some companies offer an electronic flea and tick repellent, with the promise that these products will rid pets and their homes of fleas and ticks at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

How it Works

Electronic products that claim to repel fleas and ticks utilise an ultrasonic sound or pulse that is thought to be difficult for fleas and ticks to tolerate. The product may emit multiple sounds on different frequencies, as fleas and ticks may not be repelled by the same sound. Electronic flea and tick repellent products include collars, tags for collars and plug-in devices.


Electronic flea- and tick-repelling products do not emit any chemicals that may be harmful to a pet's health or to the health of their owner and family. The tones emitted are also undetectable by humans or pets. An additional benefit that manufacturers tout is that these products are long-lasting. Plug-in products can be used for several years, while battery-operated products will require fresh batteries as per the manufacturer's recommendations.


The cost of an electronic flea- and tick-repelling product can vary based on manufacturer and specific product. Ultrasonic tags and collars go for as low as £4.50, while plug-in devices may cost upwards of £454. Still, you might save money over the long run, because monthly chemical flea and tick medication can cost £65 or more per year, depending on the size of your pet and the type or brand of chemical protection used.

Does it Work?

While the manufacturers of electronic flea and tick control products claim they are effective, they do not cite properly-conducted scientific studies to support that claim. Furthermore, Barb Ogg, Ph.D. of the University of Nebraska, Jeff Schalau, an associate Agent of Agriculture, Jack DeAngelis, Ph.D. of Ohio State University, and Natural Resources at the University of Arizona all clearly state that these products have not been proven to work. Dr. Ogg and Mr. Schalau also add that the Federal Trade Commission has charged multiple companies with false advertising of these products, requiring them to provide refunds to customers.


Flea collars, as well as monthly products that are applied directly to the skin are all convenient options that are widely available. Veterinarians also offer oral medications that are a combination flea/tick/heartworm products. Sprays and powders also exist that can be used either in the home or on the pet.

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