Readers share their experiences with electronic pest control devices

Do Electronic Pest Control Devices Really Work?

TDS Reader Solutions

How to Conquer Debt eBook

The Question: Do Electronic Pest Control Devices Really Work?

I'm wondering if anyone has tried an "electronic pest device" and if they work. I'm talking about the things that, when plugged in, supposedly emit a high-frequency sound that scares away rodents, insects, etc. I am interested in purchasing one, but I don't know anyone who uses one. Please share your experiences with me (and, if you like yours, where you purchased it and how much it cost). Thanks.

(editor's note: Sometimes different people will give you very different opinions about a product. This seems to be one of those cases. We've presented both sides here. You can be the final judge.)

Success with Rid-X Device

I have tried an electronic bug detourant system. The one I have is called "Rid-X." I bought it from QVC for about $55 plus shipping. It works great! We moved into a new home and was "bugged" by crickets. After only two weeks, all the crickets were gone and they have not returned since. We own a three-bedroom home all on one level. One Rid-X works fine for our home. If you have a two-level home or bugs/mice in the basement, you'll need two. The only drawback is that you cannot own hamsters or the like. Our goldfish and dog are not affected by the device. In closing, I highly recommend the Rid-X. It's worth the money.
Dr. Becki in Indianapolis

Entomologist (Bug Scientist) Says "Ineffective"

To NB who aked about the elctronic pest chasing devices, don't waste your money. As a Ph.D. entomologist, I have read numerous scientific journal articles in which these were tested and found to be ineffective. Some of the findings were that rodents easily adapted to the sounds. Many types of insects don't even have receptors that can detect the frequencies emitted by the devices. Better to look for other methods of pest control.

Related: Natural Roach Remedies

They Attract Bugs, Too

This is in response to the reader wondering about electronic pest devices. My husband, an Entomologist of 20-some years says sure, those devices kill insects; almost as many as they attract from other areas (like your neighbors' yards), which leaves you with about the same number of insects as you had before you got the gadget!

Worked on Mice

I have used one to keep mice out of my garage - works great. I have even found spiders, hobo as a matter of fact, to be repelled by this gadget. I have used a small $29 model in my basement for about 2 years now & have not had half the problem with hobo spiders as I had in recent years. It doesn't seem to bother my cats or dogs but we had to turn it off when my son brought home a gerbil. I highly recommend the device. As to model types, I have no idea which is the best or worst - I just know the one I have works great. I bought it through the Home Improvements mail order catalog about 4 years ago.

A Mouse Rebuttal

If the problem you're speaking of is mice (which has nothing to do with cleanliness or uncleanliness - more than likely a hole in the foundation of your home) NO, they do not work! My grandmother had a small hole in the foundation of her home and that's where the problem was. After a few weeks of trying the electronic devices (believing they would work) the problem was ridiculous. Don't waste time, call a professional. No more mice, didn't see even one, they disintegrated (as I was told), no smell, no cleanup, no mess. What was used was a food that's in small pellets that they eat and a spray powder at the base of your home outside and in the basement ceiling which would be your floor on the main floor of your home. As a senior citizen she even received a discount!
Gina P.

Related: Humane Mouse Removal

Helped in Our Attic

We had a problem with rodents in the attic. The rodents had gotten into the wife's seasonal decorations and occasionally you could hear mice moving around at night. We had tried traps & poisons, but the results were not completely successful. We didn't learn of the "electronic pest device" until we purchased a boat that we keep in dry storage. We were told by our insurance agent that a boat in dry storage through the winter can be an attractive shelter to unwanted pest. The pest could make a nasty mess as well as permanently damage property.

Since we required protection in several different areas, we ordered a set that contained 3 units that plug directly into outlets, item #16846-C125 for $29.99. Northern carries a variety of the "electronic pest device" in their catalog indexed under "pest control."

P.O. Box 1499
Burnsville, MN 55337-0499
tel 1-800-533-5545
fax 1-612-894-0083

We installed one unit in the dry storage for the boat and have found no pest intrusion. Since installing units in the attic we have not seen or heard evidence of any rodent activity. You can order from Northern 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am sure that you will be pleased with the result.
David & Neysa

Advice from A Pest Expert

About the electronic pest controller. Part of my job requires me to remove dead rats in houses. On several occasions I have been in homes where the owner had been using one or more of these devices for quite some time when they realized they has a dead rodent somewhere. I have seen them inside the living spaces as well as in crawl spaces and yet they still get rats. I don't know about their effect on insects, and no one calls me to say they don't have a rat problem. But from what I have seen they don't do the job.
Brent R. in Kent, WA.

Good, But Noisy

To the person who asked about the electronic device that emits a high-pitched noise to kill bugs. Yes, they do work. We have one plugged in at our cabin and everytime we arrive we spend a few minutes sweeping up within a ten foot radius of machine. However, I unplug the dang thing because it gives me a headache! I can hear too well at very high pitches and I hear the thing *chirping* all the time. My parents can't hear it but some others in the family can. It doesn't always seem to be an age thing, but it might have something to do with it.(?) I'm 26 and sorry, don't know brand or how much. I think it was ordered through a 'home' type catalog like Orvis.

I Believe in Traps

We used the electronic pest control devices, and found they did not work. Since this was a rental, I'm not sure what brand the landlord bought or how much he paid for it, but he ended up calling the Orkin Man. This is the interesting thing. At first, the Orkin Man used an extremly sticky type paper to catch the mice. They are supposed to die of a heart-attack as soon as they get stuck-- NOT. What happens is that mice prefer to run around at night, get caught on the sticky paper, and chew the paper off of themselves before you get up to make the morning coffee. Finally, the Orkin Man put out a bunch of good old fashioned mouse traps everywhere there was mouse scat.

Some good advice Orkin did give was to use peanut-butter instead of cheese as bait, because cheese gives the little buggers a better chance to steal the bait unharmed. When I noticed that a mouse had gotten so mad at not being able to break into my choclate milk mix that he peed on it, I decided to sprinkle a little on the peanut-butter. It worked like a charm. Mice love choclate; I caught about twice as many that way. Also, mice are more active in the fall and spring. If your house only has a few, you probably won't notice them until the afore mentioned seasons, but if you have enough to know you have them during summer and winter, then in spring and fall the mice will be a real problem.
Corinna F.

Shop the web's most popular pest control store at

A Recommendation

I would highly recommend the Riddex Electronic Pest Repeller. I know, your probably saying, yeah sure, those things don't work. I'm a pretty cynical person myself, but my apartment bldg. has roaches and I'm scared to death of them. So I figured, for $50. bucks, it was worth a try. It's been two years and I haven't seen a roach yet (thank god). My apartment is inspected by a pest control company every few months and they have found no evidence of roaches either.

All you do is plug it in. It works with your electrical wiring and it aggravates the pests nervous system so they just go somewhere else. It doesn't kill them, they just don't like it so they leave and don't come back. It's perfectly safe for your dog, he will never know it's there. I have two cats, no problem. You don't have to worry about chemicals, or the stench of dead mice in your house. There are many of these products on the market but I wouldn't recommend you buy them. The Riddex, IMHO, is worth it's weight in gold!

Take the Next Step:

  • Are you considering trying a electronic pest control device? Check sale prices for Electronic Pest Devices on
  • From bees to fleas and everything in between, The Dollar Stretcher's Frugal Pest Control Guide can help you save money battling bugs and other pests.
  • Once you get control of those pesky pests, why not tackle that pesky debt? The TDS ebook How to Conquer Your Debt No Matter How Much You Have can provide you with the tools you need to eradicate your debt once and for all.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to the Dollar Stretcher newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book