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Ultrasonic pest control

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Ultrasonic pest control is a method of using ultrasound, sounds above the range of human hearing (generally >20kHz), in an attempt to repel pestilent insects or rodents. Devices that use ultrasound in an attempt to repel pests are widely marketed. Generally, ultrasound does not work, and when it gives a false sense of security (e.g. prevention of bites from malarial mosquitoes) it can actually be dangerous.

  • Bugs: Ultrasound can have an effect on some arthropods.
  • It is highly effective on crickets but has no effect on cockroaches.[1] A 2007 review of ultrasound use for mosquito bite prevention found that it was not effective.[2]
  • Entomologist Bart Knols concluded that there is no scientific evidence that ultrasound repels mosquitoes.[3]
  • Rats: A study of commercial ultrasound on rodents concluded that the devices were marginally effective and that rodents rapidly became habituated to the devices.[4]

In June 2012, Brazilian station Band FM broadcast a 15kHz tone under its music and told its listeners to "relax in the open air without fear of getting bitten" by mosquitoes.[3] The 15kHz broadcast was sponsored by the magazine GoOutside.[3]

See Also[edit]


  1. Bhadriraju Subramanyam (Subi) (2001). Ultrasound and Arthropod Pest Control: Hearing is Believing!. Kansas State University.
  2. Enayati A, Hemingway J, Garner P. (2007). [Electronic mosquito repellents for preventing mosquito bites and malaria infection]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ultrasound mosquito repellents: Zapping the myth by William Kremer (11 December 2012) BBC.
  4. Electronic Rodent Repellent Devices: A Review of Efficacy Test Protocols and Regulatory Actions. University of Nebraska — Lincoln.