Ultrasonic repellents don’t work on bedbugs

Be wary of product that promise pest control

Commercial Ultrasonic Frequency Devices Do Not Repel Bed Bugs, Study Suggests

Alternative means of controlling urban insect pests by using ultrasonic frequencies are available and marketed to the public. However, few of these devices have been demonstrated as being effective in repelling insect pests such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, or ants. Despite the lack of evidence for the efficacy of such devices, they continue to be sold and new versions targeting bed bugs are readily available.

However, according to a soon-to-be-published article in the Journal of Economic Entomology, commercial devices that produce ultrasound frequencies are NOT promising tools for repelling bed bugs. In “Efficacy of Commercially Available Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Devices to Affect Behavior of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae),” , authors K. M. Yturralde and R. W. Hofstetter report the results of their tests of four commercially available electronic pest repellent devices designed to repel insect and mammalian pests by using sound.

Short and clear: These devices emit sound that neither repels nor attracts bedbugs. This suggests that the claims made by the manufacturers have not been tested and don’t even have a scientific basis. While many people would prefer an easy solution to bedbug infestations that don’t involve chemicals and a lot of work, it currently doesn’t seem there is one.

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  4 comments for “Ultrasonic repellents don’t work on bedbugs

  1. D. Walker
    December 10, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Fortunately for me, I’ve never had contact with a bedbug, but if I do, I’ll remember to ignore the sonic devices. I’ve had mice before, though, and was under the impression that they worked on them.

  2. December 16, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    I have long disputed the effects of ultra sonic devices for my many years in pest control but people continue to spend their money on these items as they are marketed in such a way to suggest they do repel pests. This report is welcomed.

  3. David Etherington
    December 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Ultrasonic devices in my opinion don’t work against any pest. But who’s going to fund the research to prove it.

    • December 25, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Well, it’s basic logic that the person making the claim must prove it. A test run that would have shown that it worked failed. Therefore, the hypothesis that it works must be discarded.

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