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Do ultrasonic pest repellers work on roaches?

Roaches may be one of the hardest things to get out of your home. Once you can get rid of them, your home would definitely feel better

December 10, 2021

20 min read time

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Roaches are renowned pests.

Known for their resilience and destructive tendencies, having a cockroach infestation in your home can feel like hell. These household pests will crawl on anything and everything you have lying around in your home.

Cockroaches leave a nasty, musty smell, especially in large numbers.

This odor can cause your house to smell unpleasant and may even be irritating to some people.

How can you get rid of cockroaches?

One pest control method you can use is ultrasonic pest repellers.

In this guide, we are going to explain what ultrasonic pest repellents are, how they work, and how you can use them to rid of cockroaches effectively.

What is ultrasonic sound?

How long do ultrasonic pest repellers last

Ultrasonic pest repellents work based on ultrasonic sound. Ultrasonic sound refers to sound above human hearing.

Normally, we cannot hear sounds above 20-kilo hertz (unit for sound). However, animals and insects can pick up these high-frequency sounds in our environment and respond to them.

How can insects like cockroaches pick up ultrasound waves and we can’t? We are supposed to be the most advanced ones, right?

Well, owning to their small body size, insects identify the slightest sounds and vibrations with their bodies. They can also use body parts like feelers to discern ultrasonic sound waves.

Ultrasonic sound repels pests away as they simply can not withstand the continuous sound waves. So, ultrasonic pest repellents provide a continuous supply of these sound waves to keep all manner of pests at bay.

How do ultrasonic pest control devices work?

Any ultrasonic pest control device you buy must have a power source. There are three types of ultrasonic pest repellents, the electronic type, the battery-powered type, and the solar type.

After connecting the pest repellent to a power source, you have to turn it on. You won’t hear any sound when you turn it on unless a beep in some models.

Additionally, some repellents come with a LED night to function as a night light or flashing lights to alert you when a pest is close to it.

ultrasonic pest repeller with strobe light

*Do electronic roach killers work?

Roaches are hard to eliminate: no matter the pest control method you use, they seem indestructible. Electronic roach killers provide an alternative for tired homeowners like you, to actually kill roaches with minimal effort.

Many electronic roach killers can affect other household pests kike crickets, mosquitoes, and bedbugs.

But do these electronic devices really kill roaches?

The answer is no.

Electronic roach killers do not specifically kill roaches and here’s why.

Research shows that electronic roach killers and ultrasonic pest repellents give mixed results when it comes to killing cockroaches.

In 2002, Kansas State University confirmed that ultrasonic pest devices were useful in repelling some insect pests.

However, when it came to roaches, the devices were not clearly effective. Still, 2002 is a long way back. Electronic roach killers have improved since then and are probably more effective than they were almost 2 decades ago.

Are cockroaches afraid of sound?

Cockroaches are sensitive to sound, and that’s where the whole idea of using ultrasonic sound waves to chase them away comes from. If cockroaches can ascertain that there’s a human around them, they will scurry around or try to remain as still as possible.

Any sound that clearly shows human activity like clapping or mere walking is sure to scare cockroaches. They are noctrunal creatures, so they have excellent night vision.

Immediately they hear any approaching noise, they would look for where to hide. This is why you can’t easily spot them around your home if they are few.

Roaches are sensitive to sound.

Have you ever seen a roach wait patiently for your next move?

It is like they are watching your movements, but they are not. Their antennae help them to pick up sound super-fast, allowing them to act before you spot them.

Sound and light are two things cockroaches respond well to. Switch on the lights in your kitchen during the night time and you would see them scampering all over the place if you have a roach infestation.

So ultrasonic devices save you the trouble of having to continually make noise or play loud music to scare roaches away. The sound they emit is enough to keep them out of your home.

*Does ultrasonic pest repeller kill roaches?

Ultrasonic pest repellents are not that different from electronic roach killers. Both work on the principle of ultrasonic technology as we explained earlier in this article.

Ultrasonic pest repellents provide you with high frequency sound waves. These waves are just like any other noise a cockroach would hear in its environment. The cockroaches may suffer sound-induced seizures called audiogenic seizures.

These seizures make roaches disoriented and confused. They can’t move about or hide, just move in circles.

In the end, they will run away from your home and avoid areas with these devices.

So yes, an ultrasonic device can chase roaches away from your home, not necessarily kill them.

How to use ultrasonic pest repellers for roaches

Ultrasonic pest repellers are pretty easy to use.

You can even use them without an instruction manual!

However, some tips could make these electronic devices more effective in your home.

Let us look at some of them.

Keep pest repellers where you can see them:

If your repeller is blocked by an object like a sofa or stool, it might not be effective.

Here’s why:

Sound waves have a short wavelength. They cannot travel very far and cannot pass through solid objects.

A good rule of thumb will to be position it in the line of sight of roaches. As far as the cockroaches can see the device directly, the device is sure to work on them.

ultrasonic pest repeller with strobe light

Use more than one repellent:

One roach repellent is not enough to control cockroaches especially with a lot of items in each room. Ultrasonic frequencies cannot pass through solid objects like furniture and they can not also penetrate walls.

These high frequency sounds can not even go past your ceiling.

Do you see why one ultrasonic device is not enough for a single room, talk less of a story building?

For every 1000 square meters of space, you would require at least one of such devices. Bigger spaces like garages, barns, or king-sized rooms would definitely need more than two commercial ultrasonic devices.

If you have German cockroaches or any type of pest problems in your outdoor spaces, you need an ultrasonic repellent too. Use the same rule to calculate how many you need to install.

These repellers are quite cheap, so a few hundred dollars can get you a sizable number.

Examine your progress:

How would you know your ultrasonic devices work efficiently when you don’t keep track of their progress?

Regularly check on areas where you installed these ultrasonic devices and observe if you are making any changes.

Pest control methods take time, so you might have to wait a few weeks before you use them, although an ultrasonic pest repeller begins working immediately.

If you see no progress, switch the roach repellent to a place where you observe a lot of movement and make sure it’s not being obstructed.

*Can ultrasonic devices hurt humans?

You might be worried about ultrasonic sound waves. Can they harm you? Can these devices damage your hearing or give you headaches?

Ultrasonic sound waves are safe for humans. Scientific evidence shows that they have little or no effects on humans.

Although some people might feel some discomfort because of the device, the discomfort is usually in those who are sensitive to the devices.

Ultrasonic devices are safe for humans as no harmful chemicals are released. Ultrasonic pest repellers are also eco friendly, so do not pose any danger to your home or environment.

As for babies and kids, ultrasonic devices are also safe around them.

The best part about these devices is that children cannot experience a choking hazard or mistakenly ingest dangerous pest baits.

ultrasonic pest repeller with strobe light

The radiation from ultrasonic pest repellents does not affect their developing brains in any way as some studies claim. These devices should be kept out of the reach of toddlers and children under three years for safety reasons.

Do ultrasonic devices affect my pets?

Homeowners are very particular about the pest control method they use, especially around pets.

Are ultrasonic pest repellers safe for your pets or should you just do without them since you have pets?

Well, the answer to this depends on the kind of pet you have.

Cockroaches would be irritated by ultrasonic frequencies but not big pets like dogs and cats. These types of household pets are hardly affected by ultrasonic frequencies. So unless your dog, cat, or canary is extra sensitive to roach repellents, you should have no problem with these devices.

On the other hand, rodent pets like guinea pigs and rabbits tend to be more affected by roach repellents.


They have almost the features as rodent pests. The same devices that repel rodents are the same ones that would affect your little pets.

Ultrasonic pest repellers work using ultrasonic waves, which can affect the central nervous system of smaller pets. Even the best roach repellents will still affect these animals, so you should put your pets as far away as you can from the sound frequencies.

How do I keep roaches away for good?

Ultrasonic pest repellers are great, but they won’t be effective if your house has poor hygiene.

Cockroaches thrive in dirty environments, so pest control methods almost do not work in such environments.

Here are some simple steps you can take to make cockroaches go away naturally:

  • Make sure your home is as tidy as possible.

It’s hard to spot a cockroach in a neatly arranged place. Take out any items you no longer use in the home and throw them in the trash or put them up for sale. This will help the pest repellents work unhindered.

  • Keep your trash closed at all times.

Don’t leave your dustbin open or overflowing with trash. Always make sure indoor trash is covered tightly to prevent cockroaches from moving in and out. You wouldn’t want those filthy insects moving around your home covered in garbage, right?

  • Don’t keep dirty dishes for long.

Dirty dishes are usually the first thing that attracts cockroaches to any kitchen. If you must keep dirty dishes, which is not even advisable, at least rinse them out first or keep them well covered till you see free to wash them. Discard pizza boxes and other takeout packages immediately after you are done with them to avoid attracting roaches.

  • In bathrooms and toilets, repair damaged pipes and sinks as soon as possible.

Leakages from these sources could aid in breeding roaches as they love warm, moist environments. Also, keep your bathrooms clean. The lid of your toilet should always be face down to prevent cockroaches from walking around your toilet bowl.

  • Food should be stored in tight-fitting containers.

Airtight containers are the best in this case as cockroaches, even the tiny ones, wouldn’t be able to penetrate them. If you leave food carelessly, cockroaches would continue to have a feast in your home, even with the electronic pest repellents you installed.

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Roaches may be one of the hardest things to get out of your home. Once you can get rid of them, your home would definitely feel better. Remember to use the tips we recommended in this article for ultrasonic pest repellents.

It helps to combine other doesn’t control methods with these electronic devices. You can use gel baits or traps, depending on the kind of home you are in and your preference.

If you can no longer handle the cockroach population in your home, call a professional pest control company to help you out with the roaches.

An ultrasonic pest repellent is an effective pest management tool when you use it the right way. We hope you enjoyed this article!

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