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Electronic Insect Repellent

Summary: Unwanted insects can be a real nuisance, as they can inflict painful bites, invade your home and carry diseases. There are numerous insect repellents on the market, but electronic insect repellent devices offer the consumer a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to harmful chemicals. There has, however, been some controversy over their effectiveness.

Electronic insect repellent devices emit high or low frequency sounds to scare a variety of different insects away. Some devices even use a combination of ultrasonic, ionic and electromagnetic waves, and these waves are designed to drive insects, and some rodents, out of their hiding places, whilst the ions help to charge the air and remove pollutants such as dust mites and bacteria.

The electronic key chain repellent is a key chain with a bright light and a built-in ultrasonic wave to repel mosquitoes. These are relatively inexpensive to buy and cost around $8 each. They cover a range of around 2 square meters and can be used at home or on holiday. They are battery operated too, which makes them perfect for taking on picnics, walks, fishing trips, camping trips, etc. The sound frequency is only heard by the mosquito and is harmless to humans. These are made by various manufacturers, but the one made by Vermatic has been rated 4/5 stars. One consumer claimed that the device was an excellent addition to her handbag.

There is also an electronic insect repellent available that is specifically designed for children. This little device looks just like a ladybird and can be clipped on to pushchairs, playpens, car seats, etc., and is effective for up to a 6 “ 9 meter radius. It omits a barely audible tone that is completely harmless and costs around $15. In tests against different species of mosquito, this device did not perform well against two particular mosquito species.

The electronic fly catcher is a rather nifty little device for zapping a variety of insects. It looks just like a small tennis racket and has electrical wires that zap bugs as you hit them. It is fairly easy to use, but may not be the best thing to purchase if you have young children in case it is used as a toy. This product has gained quite satisfactory reviews, with consumers saying that it does the job but the instructions leave something to be desired. The price of these varies from around $3 - $9, depending on the make.

If you're looking for an electronic insect repellent that is more flexible and suitable for indoor use, then an ultrasonic insect repeller is just the thing. These come in packs of three and will cover three completely separate rooms (around 1500sqft). The ultrasound does not penetrate walls or other solid objects, and is completely safe and non-toxic. This device is a plug-in design and can be used virtually anywhere in the house. The ultrasonic waves cause auditory stress to most crawling insects. These work out a little more expensive than other devices and cost around $37, but they have gained some positive feedback for insect use. 

You can also purchase a multi-functional pest repeller, which is both electromagnetic and ultrasonic. As well as causing auditory stress to insects, it supposedly helps to drive them out of their nesting places. There is also a separate setting on this device which is specially designed to repel mosquitoes. One of these is said to cover the whole house (up to around 2000sqft). This device claims to work on rodents and has some very favorable reviews.  These cost around $64.

Despite some favorable reviews by the public, experts are not convinced that these products are as effective as their chemical counterparts. They claim that in many cases there is inconclusive evidence to suggest that these products actually do their job and tests performed on mosquitoes found electronic insect repellents to be far less effective than products containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide).  Experts also feel that people who use them may be lulled into a false sense of security. Manufacturers, however, have hit back by saying that nothing is 100% effective and claim that their products are based on sound science.   

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