Don't Bother With Ultrasonic Bedbug Devices

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasonic devices sold to repel bedbugs are ineffective, a new study finds.

Many such devices have been marketed in recent years as ways to control insects such as mosquitoes, cockroaches and ants. Few of those products, however, have been demonstrated as being effective. New versions that are supposed to target bedbugs are now available.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Researchers K.M. Yturralde and R.W. Hofstetter tested four commercially available devices that claim to use sound to repel insect and mammal pests. They bought the devices online and followed manufacturers' instructions.

A sound arena was created for each device, along with a control area with no sound. There were no significant differences in the number of bedbugs found in the sound or no-sound arenas, and bedbugs neither avoided nor were attracted to the arenas with the ultrasonic devices.

The devices may not have repelled or attracted bedbugs because they may not have produced the right combination of frequencies, the researchers concluded in a journal news release.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about bedbugs.

SOURCE: Journal of Economic Entomology, news release, Dec. 10, 2012

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