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Do pest repeller plugs work? © iStock

Do pest repeller plugs work?

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Pest repelling plug-ins use electromagnetic fields and emit ultrasound to banish bugs.

Asked by: Geoff Stevenson


The evidence suggests not. There are two main kinds of device: those that emit ultrasound and those that produce a pulsing electromagnetic field. Numerous studies have failed to show anything more than a very temporary effect from either.

Very loud ultrasound can discourage mice from entering an area, but it generally won't make them leave a nest with young. Spiders and most insects don't have ears and are mostly sensitive to vibrations below 1KHz. As for the electromagnetic repellents, the current they draw is so low that they generate much less electromagnetic disturbance than even an ordinary light bulb.

Do insects sleep? © Getty Images


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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