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Electronic Repellents
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Thursday, 26 July 2007

Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic devices include products that are designed to be worn around the neck or wrist, or attached to a belt, to repel mosquitoes. The devices create sounds that mimic male mosquitoes or dragonflies and theoretically will "frighten" the female mosquitoes. These claims are unsubstantiated. Female mosquitoes in search of a blood meal do not fly away from male mosquitoes; and neither males nor females retreat from areas where dragonflies are present.

In August 2002, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged a Florida company with making false and unsubstantiated claims in advertising for the MosquitoContro products.* These products are battery-operated, cost from $10 - $20, and include a bracelet, a key chain, and a tabletop model. According to the FTC, there is no competent or reliable evidence to support the claims made for the products, and that the claims are false.

There are other manufacturers of ultrasonic devices and there are several versions available in stores. These devices do not kill mosquitoes, repel biting mosquitoes, or protect humans or animals from any mosquito-borne disease.

*Docket No. 9303, In the Matter of Lentek International, Inc., Jospeh Durek and Lou Lentine. FTC File No. 012-3117.

Bug Zappers

Buz zappers use ultraviolet light to lure mosquitoes into a trap that will electrocute them. These devices attract many types of insects such as moths and beetles. Studies have shown that these devices do not reduce the number of biting mosquitoes, and they kill other types of insects more often than they kill mosquitoes.


Electronic mosquito repellents — buzzing devices marketed to prevent malaria — don’t prevent bites and therefore don’t prevent disease transmission, according to a new review of studies.