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Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Work on Fleas?

An Ultrasonic Pest Repellers sitting on a wooden surface

You may find it disappointing but ultrasonic pest repellers don’t work very well on fleas. This is because fleas are not affected by ultrasound waves that are as high as 200 kHz. However, you can attempt to use more than one by placing several of them throughout the home (but it can be quite costly doing this). Keep reading to know why ultrasonic pest repellers were made and learn whether they are safe for dogs or not and whether they would make a good option for you.

What are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers?

An ultrasonic pest repeller is an electronic device that emits high-frequency sound waves to keep fleas (and other pests) away. Most of these devices operate in the range of 30-50 kHz. This means that they won’t disturb the humans in the house, but can be quite uncomfortable for house insects. Hence, they should keep all these irritating pests (such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and rodents) away from your home.

These pest repellers are presented as easier and safer alternatives than other pest control options, like pest sprays and treatments. This is because they don’t contain or emit any harmful chemicals. You just need to plug them into an electric outlet and they will start repelling fleas and other pests. Some of these repellers are battery-operated so that they can be used outdoors.

Why Do We Need Ultrasonic Pest Repellers?

Small electronic pest repeller on a white background

The biggest reason for developing ultrasonic pest repellers was to counter the harmful chemicals used in traditional pest control options. Although these harsh chemicals are approved for use, they can still affect you, your pet, and the environment.

For example, skin problems (like itching and rashes) are among the most common side effects of pest sprays. They can also cause breathing issues among kids and elderly people. Likewise, pregnant women can develop several complications if they are exposed too much to these chemicals.

Other than causing health issues to pets and humans, the chemicals used in pesticides can also harm the environment. For instance, they can pollute the water sources and will be extremely dangerous for aquatic life. Similarly, they will go into landfills and can compromise the quality of the food we eat. Therefore, ultrasonic pest repellers were proposed and designed as a chemical-free approach that could work on fleas.

Can Fleas Hear Ultrasound?

Bronze colored waves rippling out from the center of a circle

It’s very unlikely that fleas could detect ultrasonic waves because they don’t have the required receptors. Instead, they only possess a complex sensory structure (called Sensilium) on their abdomen. It consists of several long and thin hair and the exact purpose of this structure is not known.

However, it is suggested that this structure could help these pests find mates or to detect air movement. Some people also say that Sensilium could serve as an ultrasonic receptor, but there is no scientific evidence to back this theory.

Do Electronic Pest Repellers Work on Fleas?

Illustration of an electronic pest repeller

Several studies suggest that ultrasonic pest repellers don’t work on fleas. This is because these pests don’t show any change in activity when exposed to ultrasonic waves. Adult fleas don’t jump away while flea eggs and larvae will keep hatching. Hence, these devices won’t fulfill the claims of the manufacturers.

According to a study, fleas remain unaffected even when they are exposed to sound waves, having a frequency of 200 kHz. They keep jumping and walking at the same rate and the number of fleas will also stay the same.

The only condition in which these repellers work is to place several of them, strategically. This means that all of them should complement each other to have any impact on these tiny pests. However, this method is not recommended because it will be costly and might still fail to give the desired results. Instead, you should invest in a reliable plug-in flea trap to get rid of these irritating parasites.

Is There a Plug-in For Fleas?

Fur separated to reveal fleas

Yes, some plug-in devices can be extremely effective for fleas. They come with a plug-and-play feature, and all you need to do is to attach them to an electric outlet. They will lure the fleas and kill them without the need for any chemical sprays in your house. Hence, they can serve as a better alternative (to traditional pest control treatments) than ultrasonic pest repellers.

How to Choose the Right Plug-in Trap for Fleas?

Close up black and white image of flea isolated on a white background.

Flea traps can be quite useful to keep your dog healthy and happy. Similarly, they can keep your home safe from these pesky creatures. However, finding a good flea trap can be a little tricky, especially for novice owners. The following are some key features that you must consider while getting a flea trap.

Type

Terro T230 Indoor Electric Flea Light Refillable Flea Trap and Killer

Although you can find several types of plug-in flea traps on the market, light traps (like the Terro Light Flea Trap found here on Amazon) and glue traps are the most popular ones. As the name suggests, light traps use one or more lights to attract fleas and other pests. On the other hand, glue traps use a strip of scented and colorful glue to lure fleas. You can choose either one of them based on your preference and needs.

Usability

Some flea traps are difficult to set up because of their complex design. It’s highly recommended to avoid such products and choose a flea trap that is easy to use. The traps that don’t require any setup (ready-to-use) and can be used right away are the best alternatives. 

Safety

Yellow sign that reads " Safety First"

Both glue and light flea traps can have safety concerns, especially if you have small children at home. Many light traps use electricity to kill fleas once they are trapped. Although they are very effective at their job, these traps can be harmful to curious children. Likewise, they can electrocute small pets that can enter this trap or tamper with it.

Similarly, some glue traps can be dangerous because they use poisonous glues for killing trapped fleas. Therefore, you should never allow your children and small pets to play around these traps. A better alternative is to purchase a plug-in flea trap that has non-poisonous glue.

Thanos Flea Trap

The Thanos Flea Trap is an ideal plug-in trap for fleas as it comes with 4 pest-trapping modes. Each mode has its own color of light that is used to attract the pests. The lured fleas are glued to a disk so that they can be removed. This flea trap also works in the dark because it has strong glue strips (non-poisonous).  Hence, you get both options in one product for getting the best possible results.  

Are Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Safe for Dogs?

Hand holding a Ultrasonic Pest Repellers with another plugged into the wall behind it

Ultrasonic pest repellers are generally considered safe for dogs, but they can cause some problems (in some cases). For example, the ultrasonic waves are within the audible range of some canines. If that’s the case, it can be disturbing for them and might trigger a behavioral change. Similarly, using these devices around sick or epileptic dogs can cause serious trouble. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to consult your vet before purchasing a pest repeller that produces ultrasonic waves.

Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Actually Work?

Dead flea on a white surface

Although more and more ultrasonic pest repellers are coming into the market, they are not as effective as manufacturers claim. Several studies and research have shown that these repellers are generally ineffective against fleas and other pests. Even if they work, the effect of ultrasonic waves doesn’t last for long.

According to research, rodents stop responding to ultrasonic pest repellers after a few days of exposure. In addition to that, these repellers can make the problems a lot worse. For example, these repellers can increase the rate of insect bites in certain situations. Likewise, they can also cause behavioral changes in pets and make them aggressive. Therefore, it can be concluded that ultrasonic pest repellers are not effective to treat flea infestations.

Recipes for Making Effective Flea Repellents

Small spray bottle filled with clear liquid  isolated on a white background

Homemade flea repellents can also prove beneficial against these pesky parasites. All you need are some basic household ingredients and you will be good to go. Let’s discuss a couple of recipes that can help you keep your home (and pet) safe.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution

This mixture is ideal for getting rid of fleas because both the ingredients are effective against them. Apple cider vinegar is a repellent while the addition of baking soda will make this solution lethal. This is because it will rehydrate these pests by breaching their exoskeleton.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 oz. of warm water
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda

Directions

  1. Pour the water into a spray bottle and add the apple cider vinegar to it.
  2. Shake the bottle well to make a solution.
  3. Then, mix the salt and baking soda and add this mixture to the apple cider vinegar solution.
  4. Shake gently and do it over the sink because the mixture will foam.
  5. Spray the repellent around your house, especially the affected areas, and on your dog.

NOTE: The shelf life of your apple cider vinegar will determine the expiration date of your flea repellent.

Thank you to Dogtime for this method.

Essential Oil Spray

Essential oil being dropped from an eyedropper into a brown bottle

Fleas hate the smell of essential oils and will try their best to avoid it. This makes them an ideal ingredient to keep them away from your home and dog. A few drops of any dog-safe essential oil will do the trick.

Ingredients:

  • ¼  cup of vinegar
  • ¾  cup of distilled water
  • 10 drops of any dog-safe essential oil

Directions

  1. Mix the vinegar with distilled water to make a mixture. You can boil and cool tap water if you don’t have distilled water.
  2. Add the essential oil to the vinegar mixture and stir.
  3. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use it on your pooch (and other affected areas). Don’t forget to shake well before use.
  4. When using this spray on your pooch, don’t soak his fur in it. Instead, lightly mist his coat and use your fingers to work it into his fur. You can use this spray 2-3 times a week to repel fleas.

Thank you to Pets on Mom for these recipes.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.