Can I keep rats away with strobing lights or high pitch sound deterrent machines?

A high pitch sound deterrent machine is a machine that runs on electricity, and omits sounds - short wavelength, high frequency sounds - that are meant to repel a number of wild animals, rats included. Now, on top of purchasing this device itself, you will then need to spend money on the electricity necessary to run it, and that's before you've even had it running for more than a few minutes. That's the first thing you should know about these so-called rat repellents and deterrents that you'll find on the market these days - the expense is often high. Much higher, in fact, that what it would have ended up costing you just to hire in a professional rat removal specialist.

These devices are a good idea in theory, because they eliminate a lot of the hard work you'd be left with if you use other rat-removal methods. The noise is designed to make them leave your home. They aren't meant to like the high-pitched noise, you see, and this means that you don't have any dead bodies or babies to deal with. A mother would run away and take her young with her. The only thing that you would be left to deal with, is the mess, but that's something you won't be able to get away from, regardless of how you choose to eliminate these animals.

There are a lot of things you will need to take into consideration when you use devices such as high pitch sound deterrent machines, or strobing lights. How much will it cost to buy the device in the first place? And what about the cost of running it? Will it use a lot of electricity? How long are you going to need to have the device running for? And what happens once you're sure the rats have left? If you don't go through your home and seal up holes or cracks, as soon as you turn the device off, the rats will just come back.

That's if they even leave at all, to be honest. These are wild animals that have become very well adapted to living alongside humans, in many cases, right alongside them in residential properties. Most homeowners aren't even aware they have a rat problem at all, and the problem can go on for many months, with the rats creating a lot of damage, before anything is done about it. These are resilient creatures. They are used to a bit of noise and light, and the devices that you put out to keep them at bay probably won't have any effect at all. If noise and lights did work to ward them off, they wouldn't have entered your home in the first place. It is well-lit and noisy ... usually.

Not only that, some people can actually hear the noises these devices give off. They're meant to be in audible to human ears, but there some poor folk out there who can hear them, and it'll more than likely irritate them a whole load more than it will those pesky rats.

Let us give you some advice - save your money. These light and noise machines probably won't work, and exclusion methods are tried-and-tested, cheaper, and more effective when used the right way. Weight up the pros and cons - surely it would be better to give your money to a professional to get the job done properly than waste your money on expensive, high-electrically-draining devices that probably won't work?

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

There are many inventive solutions on the market to keep rats away from your property; gone are the days when the only option was a few crumbs of cheese and a spring-loaded trap.

Two of these solutions are ultrasonic and strobe light repellents. They both use “humane” methods to deter rodents from entering the area, and all you have to do is plug them in. But do they work?


The science behind ultrasonic repellents is sound. Get it?

Ultrasonic pest repellents work by emitting a high-frequency sound that is undetectable by humans but irritating to rats.

Unfortunately, the science that they're based on has had very mixed results in a typical customer setting. That is to say that in perfect laboratory conditions, high-frequency sound waves can disrupt a rat's body temperature and other functions, but in a typical household where there is free movement, furniture, and dozens of other variables, the effects are negligible.

In fact, numerous tests both by consumers and researchers show that the results are so unreliable, that even the very cheapest of them would not be worth your money. In 2018, a class-action lawsuit filed against Bell and Howell directly challenged the efficacy of their products, and the evidence provided by the plaintiffs showed that rats and mice had no inclination to avoid the sonic device. In some cases, they were even drawn to it and can be seen in the video resting on top.

So could it work? Possibly. Is it worth taking the chance? No.

While the idea of them is based on facts, companies fail to realize the context in which they are selling their products, and they readily mislead customers.

Strobe Lights

Strobe lights work with a sensor, to detect nearby rodents and emit a bright flashing light to scare them off. The benefit of this option is that they're not constantly emitting anything, so it's a more focused attack. The drawback, however, is that humans can very much detect bright flashing lights. In any kind of domestic place, this is going to be very unpleasant.

While strobe lights might keep rodents away in some isolated scenarios, much like the ultrasonic devices, this depends on many variables. The position of the light, the size of the room, the number of rats, and in some cases they just won't care at all.

For both of these options, if by a stroke of luck, you do manage to get them to work, they only make a difference for as long as they're on. Do you want flashing lights in your home for the rest of your life?

Once you take them away, the animals will be right back, unless you invest in preventative measures. If you want a pain-free rodent removal, call an expert wildlife control company who will quickly and humanely remove them, and advise you on the best ways to rodent-proof your home.