Do Electronic Pest Repellent Devices (Riddex, Victor, Pest-a-cator, Emerson, etc.) Actually Work?

Under Investigation: Electronic Pest Repellent Devices

They click, beep, or emit some kind of ultrasonic noise or pulse. The premise seems sensible enough – they supposedly do the job by sending out sounds that are annoying to critters but inaudible to humans.  These gadgets promise to repel household pests such as mice, rats, racoons, etc. but do they really work? The claims made by all of these devices are in question.  Bell & Howell, and other companies make them, and they are sold at hardware stores and online retailers.

Below are some pictures of a device for sale at CVS and on television. It is called Riddex plus. The product claims to be a “Pest Repelling Aid…Patented digital pulse technology…For Rodents, Roaches, Ants, and Spiders….Simply plug into any home outlet…Turn your home’s wiring into a pest repellent force field!”

Riddex Pest Repelling Aid

Below is a close up of an icon on a Riddex package depicting a rat, cockroach, and spider as “banned.”

Rats, spiders, roaches

Rats, spiders, roaches*

Front of package:

Riddex - front

Riddex – front

Reverse of package:

Riddex - back

Riddex – back

Is the Riddex Electronic Pest Repellent Product a Scam?

The Riddex plus product claim is bold: “Your home’s wiring becomes a pest repelling force field.”

Below are some of the claims made on the Riddex sales website:

“Riddex® Power Plus Digital Pest Deterrent 

Turn your wiring of your house in to an invisible force field!
– Electromagnetic Technology. 
– No Chemicals or toxic products! 
– Just plug in protect and forget! 
– Millions of units sold! 

The patented Riddex® Power Plus electromagnetic technology will drive those pests out of your house! With an incredible web exclusive buy one get one free offer! Protect your house today! The Incredible Riddex® Power Plus will rid your home of rodents in a safe, chemical free way!

Patented electromagnetic technology repels unwelcome rodents without killing them – a humane and safe way to get rid of those unwanted pests.”

Based solely on differences in physiology between rats, spiders, and ants, it seems highly questionable that the same gadget could repel all of them. Insects and rodents are so different, how could it work on both? Have you purchased a Riddex plus? Did it live up to your expectations? You are welcome to call Attorney Preston Leonard at (617) 329-1295 to discuss your experience with the Riddex device, or any electronic pest repellent.

Emerson Electronic Pest Repellent Device

Below is an Emerson electronic pest repellent device (Model No.: EM101)

Emerson electronic pest repellent

Emerson electronic pest repellent

The insides are exposed below:


inside an electronic pest repellent device

Pest-A-Cator Plus 2000 Electronic Rodent Repeller

The “Pest-A-Cator”  line of products are also in question.

Here is some of the ad copy from Amazon:

“The pest a cator rodent repellent uses pulse technology to sends silent pulsing signal through your homes wiring.”


Pestacator Pestacator 1

See an actual PEST-A-CATOR 2000 Plus device in action:


Advanced Dual Technology

For the larger home, apartment or condo (Generally about 2000 sq. ft.)

A single unit may help with problems in the entire home & was designed to work behind walls, floors and ceilings where rodents typically nest.

Not a Poison

Not a Chemical

A Non-Toxic Alternative


Not recommended for use around rodent type pets.

60-Day Warranty

Money Back Guarantee


Designed to work through electrical wiring as an aid to help with rodent problems

Plus – Ultrasonic Technology

Delivers sound waves that may help with

rodent problems in a targeted area.




For the larger home, apartment or condo (Generally about 2000 sq. ft.)

*Additional units are suggested for larger single level areas or multiple story structures.

Simply plug the unit into any indoor 110 volt outlet. A blinking light tells you it is activated.

PEST-A-CATOR operates continuously and complies with applicable FCC Rules.

PEST-A-CATOR begins working within days,so you may see an increase in activity during this initial clean up period.

PESTACATOR Plus may help with rodent problems in the home, office, restaurant, health care facility or other enclosed structures with standard electrical wiring within 2-4 weeks. Manual trapping methods (such as PESTA CATOR Live Rodent Trap) can be used to aid with

initial cleanup. With the added ultrasonic feature, try plugging the PESTACATOR PLUS unit into an unobstructed outlet near real with greater visual activity.


Global Instruments Ltd. guarantees customer satisfaction.  If not satisfied with results within 60 days, return the undamaged unit to place of purchase along with proof of purchase, for a full refund.  This product is also backed by a one-year warranty on all parts and workmanship.

©Global Instruments Ltd.

US Patent No. 6,400,995

EPA Est. No. 053390-MO-001

Item #12100

For residential or Commercial Use

Double Insulated

No Serviceable Parts

UL listed

Insect and Rodent Control Equipment

Control Number 29U4

File Number E104728


Trenton, Missouri 64683


*              *              *

[inside package insert #1]



Patented pulse (electro-magnetic) technology plus ultrasonic technology creating a dual technology product as another possible alternative for rodent problems.

A single Pest-A-Cator Plus 2000 unit may help with rodent problems in the larger home, office, restaurant, health care facility or other enclosed structure (generally about 2000-2500 sq. ft.) with standard electrical wiring within 2-4 weeks. Additional units are recommended for larger single level areas or multiple story structures. The Pest-A-Cator Plus 1000 has all the same great features as the Pest-A-Cator Plus 2000 but is offered for smaller homes, apartments, condominiums, and multi-family structures (generally about 1000 sq. ft. or less).


Pest A Cator’s patented pulse (electro-magnetic) technology was designed to connect through the neutral wire of a standard electrical outlet and to send a pulsing signal throughout the wiring of your home (or other structure).  This silent pulse is intended to annoy rodents and may help with problems behind walls, floors and ceilings where rodents typically nest.

Similar to any other pest management techniques, no one method is completely effective, and a program of integrated management involving a variety of techniques and practices is likely to provide the desired result.


Simply plug the unit into any indoor 110 volt outlet (do not plug unit in upside down) and allow it to operate constantly (a blinking light tells you it’s activated). Within days you may see an increase in activity as the Pest A Cator Plus begins working.  During this initial period, manual trapping methods are recommended to aid with clean up in infested areas. For real problem areas, try plugging the Pest-A-Cator Plus unit into an unobstructed outlet in that area.


We recommend continuous use of the units to prevent re-infestation. Our products are maintenance free (no usuer replaceable parts inside), clean and cost pennies a day to operate. To clean the unit, simply wipe with a damp cloth.


When using electrical appliances, basic precautions should always be followed, including the following:

1. Read all the instructions before using the appliance.

2. To reduce the risk of personal injury, close supervision is necessary when an appliance is used near children.

3. Do not use outdoors.

4. Do not submerge in water.

5. This appliance is provided with double insulation.



Our products can be one alternative to harmful or hazardous chemicals, expensive visits from exterminators and dangerous, unsightly pest traps. They can be used around all household animals except gerbils, hamsters and other rodent pets. Plus, the unique activity will not adversely affect computers, telephones or other home appliances.


Global Instruments Ltd. guarantees customer satisfaction.  If not satisfied with the results within sixty days, return the undamaged unit to place of purchase, along with proof of purchase, for a full refund.  This product is also backed by a one-year warranty on all parts and workmanship.


1.             Take special care not to leave doors, windows, basements, and garage doors open as new rodents may wander in briefly before they are affected by the unit.

2.             Take special care not to leave human, animal or pet food supplies in open areas, which can attract new rodents before they are affected by the unit.

3.             Take special care not to carry in new rodents when transferring food supplies, grains, animal feed, etc. from outside supply areas into the area being protected by the unit.

4.             Even though occasional new rodents may wander briefly into the affected area, they should not stay long before being affected by the unit.

5.             During the initial clean up period, an increase in activity may be noticed as the unit begins working.

6.             This unit will not affect household pets (except rodent pets such as hamsters, gerbils or mice), computers, or appliances.

7.             For areas without adequate wiring (such as attics or basements), better coverage may be obtained by plugging in a heavy duty extension cord and securing it around the perimeter or along the rafters and then plugging the Pest-A-Cator Plus unit into the extension cord.


Manufactured by Global Instruments, Ltd.

Trenton, MO 64683


*This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules.  Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

*              *              *

[inside package insert #2]


Operating Instructions

Just plug the unit into an indoor outlet and this technology starts working by altering the normal field around your wiring, creating an environment that may aid in the control of rodents in the walls and ceilings where problems exist.

Installation Instructions

Plug one unit into an indoor outlet in a central location.  If two units are required, plug into outlets at opposite ends of the home.  The light will flash indicating the unit is working properly.


IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING when using electrical appliances, basic precautions should always be followed.


1. Read all the instructions before using the appliance.

2. To reduce the risk of personal injury, close supervision is necessary when an appliance is used near children.

3. Do not use this appliance outdoors.

4. Do not immerse this appliance in water or any other liquid.

5. Do not use any appliance if it has a damaged plug.

6. Do not use any appliance that has been dropped or damaged.

7. This appliance is provided with double insulation.



User Maintenance

1. Cleaning instructions – wipe with a damp cloth.

2. Double Insulated – No Replaceable Parts.


The Victor Heavy Duty Pest Chaser

According to, “The Victor (Woodstream Corp) Heavy Duty Pest Chaser emits high-frequency sound waves that effectively repel rodents from protected areas, while remaining inaudible to people and non-rodent pets. Reduction in rodent activity should occur within 6 – 10 days and minimizes human contact with mice, rats, and other disease-bearing rodents by not requiring you to dispose of rodent remains. A red LED light indicates the unit is working properly.”

1. Victor Pro

“Repels Rodents!”

3. victor pro same technology

“same technology used in restaurants, warehouses and on ships”

2. victor pro back

4,. Victor pro side

“Economical – Less than a penny a day in electricity cost.”

5.  victor little front

“Will not harm humans, dogs, or cats”

6. victor little back

“High-frequency sound repels rodents”

Are all of the electronic pest device manufacturers engaging in false advertising? 

As part of this investigation, we are interested in hearing from all U.S. consumers who have purchased electronic pest repellent devices.  If you have asked questions such as: “electronic spider repellent – do they work?”,  you may have tried one of these devices and found that they did not live up to your expectations.  One aspect of this product that is troubling is that it may disproportionately affect low income individuals and families.


Filed under Class Action Investigations

23 responses to “Do Electronic Pest Repellent Devices (Riddex, Victor, Pest-a-cator, Emerson, etc.) Actually Work?

  1. Meg

    I tried those for my apartment and the only time I noticed a difference was after I removed my dogs food bowl from the floor…

  2. Ned Cronin

    I purchased an Emerson Mosquito Repellor and it was useless. However, I found a great use for it…keeping birds from returning to a nest under my eaves. The sound keeps them from returning completely!

  3. med

    I live in NJ When we moved here within a few days of moving here we saw a mouse…it had been raining a lot, we noticed that nearly any time it rained a great deal we saw a mouse, so we got these things..they have been plugged in for years…oh, and it recently rained a couple of days in a row and lo and behold, yet another mouse…these do not work…we have kept it plugged in all this time for no reason, we have had mice a few times a year even with the devices…nothing we do helps. These things sure as heck did not.

  4. works for us

    well we keep them in our house and it seems to work. only spiders we get are itzy bitzy ones the size of this ##

    and then it’s maybe 8 a year.

    we also spray bug stuff outside of our house and around our windows and doors. maybe that helps.

  5. Diana Friedell

    Just tried the Emerson Electronic mosquito repeller, and was pleasantly surprised- at our Adirondack lake house, we have been swarmed by deer flies, and gnats and mosquitos all day- found this emerson key chain and decided to try it while we were sitting on the dock, enjoying cocktail to watch sunset. Not one bug of any kind came through while these were turned on. No deer flies, or other bites of any kind- we were shocked and amazed. We saw them turning away about 15 feet out from where we had the device turned on. Thank you!!!!

  6. If what you are saying is true, these pest repellent devices should be able to repel all insects. If that were true, it would revolutionize pest control and agriculture world wide. Were you paid to write that?

    • Doug Frazelle

      Reading the label and instructions, I do not see where the Pestacator claims to repel insects. I moved into an older house that had obvious signs of rodent throughout and even heard them in the walls at night. After installing a Pestacator, no new droppings have been seen and I no longer hear them in the wall. I contacted the company prior to buying one and received some good advice that would seem to hold true for ALL the units listed here and that is it will drive out the pest currently residing in the home, but if you don’t block entry points from the outside, new rodents will inevidibly find their way in and it may seem like the product isn’t working, when actually, it is.
      There is actually good science supporting the “electromagnetic pulse” technology, and even more information that the “sonic” devices are really only effective in a line of sight situation. Also, according to US Patent Office inquiries, the Pestacator (produced by Global Instruments) owns the only patent to true electro”magnetic” technology which leaves question to the claims of the other brands that state they are an “electronic” repellent.
      Not trying to stir anyone up, just playing devils advocate after doing some research.

  7. Matt

    I am looking into buying a Riddex Plus system for cockroach problems that we are having in our apartment building. I just mainly want to keep these things out of my apartment. I am hoping that it will work. Temporarily I have dryers sheets hung up around the areas of my room where I don’t want them and they for some strange reason stay away from the dryer sheets. I can’t really explain this but if it’s working might as well continue. The only issue I have is that they find other areas away from the dryer sheets so I am thinking of making a spray solution with the dryer sheets and going all over my room with it. Maybe that will work. If anyone has anything they would like to add please do.

    • Dryer sheets? Seriously?

      • Winona

        Yeah. Bounty dryer sheets are recommended elsewhere on the web.It’s the smell that repels them (no particular scent mentioned).

      • Michelle

        Dryer sheets work for a very limited time. My friend had cockroaches when she first moved into her apartment and she used dryer sheets in her kitchen drawers, bathtub, and closet. Had to change them frequently and they weren’t appealing to the eye for decor either. So if you want to keep them away for a day or two until you get something more permanent the sheets will work. Same for wasps on your picnic table if you’re having a meal. Fan a bunch out in narrow flower vases and put them on the picnic table and you can get a peaceful meal out of it.

  8. e. coniglio

    I purchased two because I don’t like chemical spraying. Mostly it a roach problem…no mice. Bought these 2 years ago and have really seen a difference! we used to get squirrels in our attic and we don’t any more. Occassionally I will see a roach, but it is usually after a bout of heavy rains and then they are very slow moving. I believe the pest a cator does exactly what is is advertised to do. I think some people do not install them properly.

  9. Michele Knight

    I had the Black & Decker ones. THEY DO NOT WORK! As a matter of fact, the only thing it seemed to repel was money from my wallet! These are totally useless! Actually, roaches are ATTRACTED to them!

  10. Vicki Sauvan

    I believe the electronic pest repellers work BUT an important factor is how bad the buyers infestation is. They are repellers – not killers – so if a rodent or insect infestation has been just left until the things are breeding within the walls – then the repellers need to be supplemented until pests are eradicated.

  11. natalie zorrilla

    I purchase the riddex pest repellent about 2 weeks ago. I just realized that theres another rat in my house. The worst part is the rat passes by the repellent like its not even there. Its a complete waste of timen and money. I pratically have one of them in every room of the housen yet the rats are still here and invading my home.

  12. julie macmaster

    I purchased the Pest-A-Repel DX-610 that “chases away rodents and insects”. I didn’t have an insect problem anyway, but got occasional mice. We still get mice. Our church purchased several of the plug ins to get rid of mice in the basement. It didn’t work there either.

  13. Paul Finnegan

    I have had the victor pest chaser pro in my attic for a little over a year now. I had a heavy infestation of mice in the attic and was trapping a few everyday. Since placing the device in the attic I’ve trapped 2 mice in a year in the attic. Unfortunately I now am hearing rodents in my exterior walls on occasion but not trapping any in the attic. I believe this device is repelling rodents in the area it is placed, but it’s range of effectiveness is questionable. Also I forgot to mention I did have a few bats in the attic last month in a small area that the device is not facing toward. However the bats would not pass the device.

  14. EMeinert

    I had the Pestacators in our first home; never called the exterminators again. Got them for this home, and have not had anything since. Until today when I Googled whether they work for ants — but they have worked well for years. Perhaps overwhelmed due to the number of ants? But truly they have worked great otherwise, and I live in Houston — insect heaven!

  15. EMeinert

    Just found the manufacturer site that states: Pestacator is NOT guaranteed to work on insects.

  16. About 5 years ago I moved into a townhouse complex and we saw a rat our first night, before we ever put furniture in. I had maintenance come and plug holes. We did not see him again but to be safe, we purchased the riddex because we noticed our neighbors had roaches and rats. Where we live, it’s a lot of vegetation, coyotes, possums, and even skunks, and we’re in Los Angeles, imagine that. Anyway, we have had it plugged in now for 5 years and the maintenance man has remarked that I’m only one of a few units that have not been infested with anything. The neighbors complain about hearing rodents in another building in the air conditioning vents but I hear nothing. I’m not sure of the life span of these things but I’m satisfied and after five years will buy another. It also might help that our maintenance man states that many of the neighbors have problems due to unsanitary conditions because they have the pest control company here every month. I for one never allow the pest control man in my unit because I’m afraid he’ll actually bring bugs in with him. In conclusion, I have to say that in my opinion, its been working fine for us.

  17. Marla

    many years ago, probably about 10 I purchased the riddex unit from qvc after having mice in my home. I had a two-story home so I purchased 2 units.1 for upstairs and 1 for down, I lived in that house for nine years after that and I didn’t have any mice the whole time!!! it worked great for me!!!

  18. Tiny

    I’ve lived in an apartment complex in the Central Valley of California for 5 years. The complex has a heavy turnover of migrant workers due to this part of Cali is mainly Agriculture. There’s also a dried up riverbank behind the complex. Rodents & bugs of all kind heaven. LOL I’m scared to death of anything with more than 2 legs. When I 1st moved in I had a mice problem n my kitchen. Spiders here & there. A few roaches here & there. Went to Home Depot & bought everything from boric acid powder to these electronic devices. After about, I’d say. 2 – 3 mos problem solved. About 1 1/2 – 2yrs later the Manager Lady & maintenance man comes to my apt. & asked if I had a roach or rodent problem. I told them no. Nothing. I asked why r U asking. She said the apt above me was infested & couldn’t understand why I wasn’t having a problem. She insinuated that maybe I kept a very clean apt. I told her no & that I was pretty messy. I took her inside my apt & showed her the Bell & Howell plug-ins . Told her these things work great & I swear by them. A person just has to be patient. My apt is 980sq. ft. & I purchased 5. Three that beep & 2 for the wiring. 5yrs later & haven’t had to replace 1 unit. I probably see 1 or 2 roaches a yr. Have not seen a mouse n 3yrs.
    If the Law Firm has any questions feel free to email me & I would gladly show my apt for proof. All the other tenants complain about pest. Not me.

  19. Michelle

    We tried Riddex and it worked really well. Mice stopped going into our messy old one car garage. I also noticed a reduction in spiders which was nice. It’s been three years and for some reason Riddex stopped working. We haven’t used anything for about two months and the mice are back this spring 😦 We are now putting in the pestchaser (because that’s the brand my husband saw in store). Hopefully it works as well as Riddex. My biggest concern after the mice are the wasps – they love our porch and eves, nothing has repelled these. Black pepper works great for ants (use a lot where they come in and out), especially for the little sugar ants. Can’t say for sure about the large biting black ants as we don’t have many of those.

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