How to choose a bug zapper or repeller
Bug zappers, repellers protect people, homes, businesses and farms from pests. It allows you to avoid damage to health and property, and in some cases - to save lives.
Bug zapper - a device for catching and then killing harmful insects (flies, mosquitoes, gnats) and rodents.
Repeller - a device that repels animals (dogs, squirrels, cats), insects, rodents, birds.
Bug zappers / repellers are most often made in the form of a block of different shapes, equipped with buttons. Products against moles and snakes are in the form of a cylinder, and loudspeakers are pipes on a stand.
Portable (pocket) models provide for carrying, for example, devices against dogs or personal repellent mosquitoes (key chains). There are also devices designed for stationary use - these include repellent birds, rodents, vibrating models and various devices with mains power. Stationary scarecrows of dogs and cats are rare.
Mechanical traps are the simplest option, based on luring and holding an insect or rodent. The advantage is cheapness. Disadvantages: complicated setup, low efficiency (the rodent is often able to get out of the classic mousetrap).
Glue traps - reliably "fix" rodents and crawling insects that have come for bait. Advantages: low price, ease of use, no unpleasant odor, safety for humans. Disadvantages: sensitivity to moisture and dust, which makes the trap loses its qualities, danger to pets.
Bug zappers (lamp, fan traps) - entice the victim with UV radiation, carbon dioxide, heat (insects) or with the help of pre-prepared bait (rodents). The caught pest is destroyed by an electric shock or "sucked" into a fan. Advantages: environmental friendliness, ease of use, almost 100% efficiency. The disadvantage is the high cost.
Fumigators - a type of electric exterminators, which kill insects by spraying poisonous gas. Such devices work with a special liquid or plates. The advantage is cheapness. Disadvantages: action is limited to a room with a socket, toxicity (especially for children).
Ultrasonic repellers - emit ultrasound, which causes fear, pain, disorientation in animals and make them leave the area of the device. Advantages: environmentally friendly, silent, continuous operation, harmless to pets.
Disadvantages of ultrasonic devices are associated with indoor use - limited action room space, reduced effectiveness due to upholstered furniture, textiles and paper products. Therefore, for greater efficiency is better to buy one device for each room.
Ultrasonic repellers are used against dogs, cats, mice, rats, crawling and flying insects. Such devices are good for protecting balconies, attics, terraces and other small rooms from birds. Ultrasonic models are some of the most effective devices.
Electromagnetic deterrents - similar in their action to the previous type of devices, but instead of ultrasound are used electromagnetic pulses. These devices possess advantages of ultrasonic models, but provide greater area of action and uniform field (pulses are not absorbed by textiles and soft objects).
The main disadvantage of electromagnetic scarecrows - electrical wiring (it transmits pulses) must cover the entire perimeter of the room. Otherwise such devices are useless.
Electromagnetic repellent are effective against crawling insects and rodents.
Combination repellent - equipped with two types of emitters, one of which emits ultrasound, and the second - electromagnetic waves. Universal devices, which can get rid of various pests.
Vibrating repeller - create vibration impulses (vibrations), which cause bears, moles, snakes, ants fear and a desire to leave the area of the device.
Electric repellent (electroshockers) - affect the nervous system of dogs through a loud crackling sound and the smell of ozone. The advantage is the ability to paralyze an aggressive animal (if you need to unclench its jaws). Disadvantages: small area of action, the probability of death of the dog.
Gas deterrents - spray irritants that irritate the eyesight of dogs. Disadvantages: action at short range, does not prevent four-legged attack.
Bioacoustic - imitate the cries of birds of prey and the alarm cries of frightened away birds, which causes panic in various pests. The devices "talk" with the voices of a hawk, owl or falcon. The disadvantage is the loud sound, which makes it impossible to use the device in an apartment building (on the balcony).
Bioacoustic devices help to chase away sparrows, starlings, crows, rooks, as well as rodents - objects of hunting birds of prey. Designed for vegetable gardens, fields, airfields, vineyards.
Visual deterrents - made in the form of figures of birds of prey, such as owl, hawk or kestrel. Swinging in the wind, such scarecrows reproduce the flight of a predator and thus drive away small birds. Advantages: low cost, safety for people and animals, silence, independence from power.
The main disadvantage of visual models is relatively low efficiency, because the bird must see and assess the scarecrow as a threat. Therefore, these models are used in tandem with bioacoustic devices. As a result, the bird will see and hear the dangerous "predator". Visual scarecrows are used in open areas.
Sonic repellers (loud guns, gas guns) are powerful devices that generate loud and sharp pops to scare birds. The devices need liquid gas to work. Advantages: independence from electricity, large coverage of protected area (up to 40 000 m2), automatic operation, economical gas consumption. The disadvantage - high price.
Horn-cannons are used for bird protection in gardens, vegetable gardens, fish farms, airports, meat-packing plants.
Laser deterrents - create spots of light that irritate the eyesight of birds. Such models are good for protection of workshops, hangars, warehouses and other premises.
Area / range - measured in square meters (m2) and meters (m) respectively. The larger the parameter, the better. The range is especially important for models protecting against dogs. It is worth considering that "long-range" devices often need mains power.
In most devices the area / range is 2-2000 m2. Most often there are models with a range of 20-50 m2, which is enough for residential premises. Devices from 50 m2 are mostly used outdoors.
Area and range (radius) of action are related to each other. For a device against snakes, covering 300 m2 radius of action is 10 m. Characteristics of mole repellents:
- for an area of action of 600 m2 - a radius of action of 14 m;
- for an area of action of 1,000 m2 - range 18 m;
- for the area of action of 1500 m2 - range 22 m.
Maximum range of some devices against dogs varies in the range of 20-30 m. But the greatest effect is achieved at a distance of 5-10 m.
When choosing a bug zappers / repellers, make sure that the area or range of the model covers the desired area. In open areas it is useful to install the device with a 20-30% margin on this parameter.
Important: many ultrasonic devices have two parameters - for closed premises and for open areas.
Power supply - is realized by two variants.
- From the mains - provides continuous operation of the trap / repeller, eliminates the need to buy and change batteries. Such devices are characterized by high power. At the same time, network models are "tied" to the premises and cannot be used in open areas.
- Battery-powered - supports operation of the trap / repeller outside residential or electrified premises. Such devices are less effective and require periodic replacement of batteries.
Sound pressure (noise level) - measured in decibels (dB). Indicates the power of the repeller. The higher the sound pressure, the more effective the device is. We recommend choosing models with the sound pressure level of 110-120 dB. Some ultrasonic dog repeller has a sound pressure up to 135 dB.
Operating frequency - must exceed 20 kHz, because sound at lower frequencies is perceived by humans (ultrasound is sound waves with a frequency above 20 kHz).
Size and weight - depends on the range of the bug zappers / repeller. "Long-range" models are usually characterized by large dimensions. These parameters are especially important for portable products.
Additional features are important for individual bug zappers/ repellers.
For example, when choosing a vibrating repeller, it is important to decide on the type of vibrator. The piezo vibrator is found in low-cost devices and provides a relatively weak vibration. More expensive models have an eccentric motor. These scarecrows cover 1.5-2 times more area than their counterparts with piezoelectric vibrator.
You should also pay attention to the body material of the vibrating device, because the product is immersed in the soil. Plastic repellers are cheap and light, but they do not transmit vibrations well and are afraid of mechanical influences. Devices with a metal body are more durable, but more expensive.
Repeller with constant vibration quickly depletes batteries. Practice shows that pests get used to constant vibration, which reduces the effectiveness of the device. Variable vibration mode saves battery power and prevents moles or snakes from getting used to the repeller.
Dog repeller is similar: there are models with constant and pulsed emission. The first option is characteristic of stationary devices, and the second is used in key chains and other portable devices.
When choosing a dog, cat, rodent repeller, pay attention to the number of emitters. On the market are solutions with 1-2 (dogs, cats) and 1-8 emitters (rodents). The higher this parameter, the better.
Some mouse and rat repellers include an ionizer that sterilizes and saturates the air with ozone. It is better to choose a vibrating repeller with a retractable carriage - it makes it possible to replace the batteries without digging out the whole repeller. But the built-in backlight plays a decorative role and discharges the batteries faster.
Many models against dogs are equipped with a flashlight, which is convenient to use at dusk or at night. A number of ultrasonic dog repeller has a training mode for easy training of four-legged dogs, an audible siren to scare off intruders and protect hand luggage from theft at the train station or airport.
Selected ultrasonic dog and bird repellers are equipped with LEDs that emit light flashes to increase the effectiveness of the device. A motion sensor can also be provided that detects feathered / four-legged and activates the product. As a result, it saves energy. Sound guns are equipped with a rotating tripod, which expands the area of action.