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Ultrasonic bug zappers don't help ward off bedbugs

Consumer Reports News: December 11, 2012 12:08 PM

It sure is tempting: Just plug in a device and let sound waves keep bedbugs and other creepy-crawlies away, without pesticides or expensive exterminator bills. Unfortunately, those ultrasonic bug repellent devices marketed on late-night TV and sold online don't work, according to a new study.

Researchers at Northern Arizona University bought four pest repellent devices from They then let a bunch of bedbugs loose and let them choose between one area filled with sound from the devices and the other silent. Turns out there was no real difference in the number of bedbugs that chose the noisy or quiet areas. The researchers weren't too surprised by this bedbug behavior, since other research has shown these devices aren't effective against ants, mosquitoes, or roaches, either.

The study was published this week in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Read other bedbug news.

Efficacy of Commercially Available Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Devices to Affect Behavior of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) [Journal of Economic Entomology]

Desiree Ferenczi

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