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Do ultrasonic pest repellers hurt pets?

Ultrasonic pest control devices are increasingly popular because they are seen as a sustainable, safe pest control method

January 7, 2022

3 min read time

Why you can trust us

This information is reviewed by an independent pest control expert.

All external links are non-affiliated and for informational purposes only 

We all yearn for a home free of pests, and ultrasonic pest repellers promise an innovative solution.

But in our quest to deter pests, we’re faced with a burning question: Are our beloved pets at risk?

The Ultrasonic Promise

At the heart of every ultrasonic pest repeller is a simple promise: deter pests without chemicals. These devices emit high-frequency sounds beyond our hearing range but, theoretically, within the range of many pests.

Tuned to Pests, But What About Pets?

While designed to repel pests, there’s a crucial concern: the overlap between the hearing ranges of pests and our household pets.

The World of Pet Hearing

How Our Pets Hear

From the gentle purring of a cat to the distant bark of a dog, our pets interact with a world rich in sound. Dogs and cats, for instance, hear frequencies that are inaudible to us.

The Ultrasonic Spectrum and Pets

While humans hear sounds up to 20kHz, dogs can detect sounds up to 65kHz, and cats even higher. Given that many ultrasonic repellers operate within a 25kHz to 65kHz range, the overlap is evident.

Evidence and Research

Scientific Studies: The Verdict

Research is mixed. Some studies suggest potential distress in pets, particularly rodents. Yet, definitive evidence remains elusive.

Pet Owners Weigh In

Anecdotal accounts vary. Some pet owners report no noticeable changes in their pets, while others describe subtle behavioral shifts.

Potential Effects on Different Pets

Dogs and Cats
While most dogs and cats seem unfazed, sensitivity varies. Some animals might exhibit anxiety, especially if the device is within their hearing range.

Given that rodents are a target of these devices, pets like guinea pigs, hamsters, and rats might be more noticeably affected.

Limited data exists on birds, but given their heightened sensory perceptions, caution is advised.

Physiological Reactions to Ultrasound

High-frequency sounds might not always result in overt reactions, but subtle physiological changes, such as increased heart rates or cortisol levels, are potential concerns.

Behavioral Changes in Pets

From restlessness to reduced appetite, it’s vital to monitor pets for any behavioral changes. After all, they rely on us to notice when things are amiss.

Differentiating Between Pests and Pets

Crafting a device that irritates pests without affecting pets is challenging. As manufacturers tweak frequency ranges, understanding the specifics can help pet owners make informed decisions.

Expert Opinions

Veterinarians and animal behaviorists recommend a cautious approach. If opting for an ultrasonic device, continuous monitoring is key.

Safety Precautions

Trial Runs
Before committing, consider a trial run. Observe your pet’s reactions for any signs of distress.

Device Placement
Position devices in areas less frequented by pets, reducing potential exposure.

Alternative Pest Control Methods

From natural repellents to simple housekeeping tips, there are numerous ways to deter pests that don’t involve ultrasonics.


The intersection of ultrasonic pest repellers and pet safety is complex.

While these devices offer an enticing promise, the well-being of our furry, feathered, or scaly companions should always be paramount.

As with all things in life, balance, research, and keen observation will guide us to the right choice.

Latest Comments

  1. Can I use ultrasonic pest repellers if I have pet fish or reptiles?

  2. Fish and reptiles have different sensory capabilities, and there is limited research on the effects of ultrasonic sound waves on these pets. Consult with a veterinarian who specializes in exotic pets for advice tailored to your specific situation.

  3. How can I ensure that the pest repeller I choose is safe for my pets?

  4. It’s important to research and select pest control solutions that are specifically designed to be pet-safe. Look for products that have been tested and approved for safety around pets, and read reviews from other pet owners.

  5. Are there any alternatives to ultrasonic pest repellers that are pet-friendly?

  6. Yes, there are alternatives to ultrasonic pest repellers that are considered pet-friendly, such as electromagnetic repellers, certain natural repellents, and traditional pest control methods that are safe for pets.

  7. What should I do if I think my pet is affected by an ultrasonic pest repeller?

  8. If you suspect that your pet is experiencing discomfort due to an ultrasonic pest repeller, it is recommended to discontinue its use immediately and consult with a veterinarian for further guidance.

  9. Do all animals hear ultrasonic frequencies?

  10. Not all animals can hear ultrasonic frequencies. The range of hearing varies from one species to another. Generally, younger animals and certain species that are more closely related to pests may be able to hear these frequencies.

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