How effective are sonic animal/termite deterrents?

My old work tried many different methods to stop pigeons roosting in communication equipment, buildings etc. They had tried numerous different solutions including the fake flying eagles…none worked expect for the anti-roosting spikes.


I had one connected to a car supplied by my work. Never saw a kangaroo but it annoyed the heck out of my son. He would not go near the car!


Having parted with my hard-earned for snake removalists over the past few years - to retrieve tiger snakes from the back yard - I’m keen to know if sonic snake repellent devices work. Last summer’s snake was in the compost bin - which was rather a surprise on lifting the lid. Clearly I had done a shoddy job of snake-proofing it with snake mesh and a rodent-proof base.

A couple of weeks later, when emptying food scraps into the compost bin, I heard a strange high pitched sound. I peered over the neighbour’s fence and discovered he had installed sonic snake repellent devices.

It will be interesting to see next summer if we get tiger snake visitors.

Mind you, I don’t have much confidence in sonic repellents, so as extra insurance, will construct a full snake-proof-mesh cage barrier beneath and all the way up the sides of the bin this winter in preparation for the next onslaught!


We installed a “Birdgard” ultrasonic deterrent to reduce the amount of possum droppings around our front door. It works! There is still plenty of possum poop left on our driveway but none around the front door any more. Turn the device off and the possums return. Maybe anecdotal evidence for the sceptics but proof for us. The only drawback is the noise is very irritating for younger visitors but that’s a small inconvenience - it means greetings and farewells at the front door are brief!


Surely this has to be snake oil (excuse the pun). Snakes don’t have ears or auditory structures which could hear sonic (ultrasonic sounds)…

Sonic means the frequency of sounds in the high frequency or ultrasonic wavelength spectrum. This is the opposite end of the spectrum to wavelengths which a snake may be able to detect. Vibrations are very low frequencies at the other ends of the sound spectrum.

I’ll eat my hat if they work.


They don’t work beyond parting you from your money (at which they excel). If they get warm enough from the sun snakes will coil around them to warm up. They are useless for the purpose you bought them for.

There is even a topic about the useless snake repellers on this forum and is a worthwhile read:

@phb your alimentary canal is safe from any need to digest any calligraphy/prose/phrasing/grammar/writing…or hat for that matter :slight_smile:


We have been having trouble with possums under the house. We have a lot of stuff stored under there and possums keep peeing on everything and knocking smaller boxes down. I bought a Pestill Possum scaring device which we installed and then put two security cameras which were connected in such a way as to record when there was any movement. The events which were recorded of the possum scarer were not very heartening - the possum hardly noticed when the device went off and just shuffled past it.

We have ended up using the security cameras to detect where the possums are getting in and blocking up any holes. The cameras are wifi and can easily be moved around.


I was in pest animal research and extension with NS Agriculture for forty years. One of my main pest species were rodents. The use of sonic repellers were tested in many situations and the only time we had any effect was line of sight for about 2 metres. During one rather nasty mouse outbreak in Cowra, a very large and impressive sonic repeller was placed in a shed where we knew there were mice. The next morning the only thing left was a heap of chewed plastic and components and a small blinking red light. We were fair and tested many other devices over the years finding most animals would avoid any noise for half a metre and continue their lives with gay abandon. I think my original literature search did not uncover any effective sonic repellers any where in the world.
To follow, the NRMA did a report on the use of sonic kangaroo repellers; both whistle type and electronic with very poor results. I have no faith in any of these products except to make the promotors rich from fleecing people who are desperate to rid a species that will keep coming back regardless of the machine. Keep the house clean has a greater effect.


We have done exactly that. They will fit through any holes that you can get a small hand through so one needs to ensure that holes are blocked well.


We have had success deterring stray cats from coming to close to the house and from stopping our own cats from going into areas they’re not allowed. Of course these are restricted areas, like the front porch so maybe that makes a difference, but it has stopped the local stray from spraying all over the front door.


Thanks for all the great answers and for sharing your experiences. Very interesting to hear from someone with your experience @crofty1080!

Please feel free to keep sharing your perspectives here.


I find the whole idea of using a sonic animal deterrent somewhat loathsome. The whole idea is to find a noise that distresses animals to such an extent that they will stay away from the area - which suggests to me that it involves animal cruelty.

The idea is similar to that of playing high-pitched noises in public places so that troubled ‘yoofs’ do not hang around causing trouble, without inconveniencing those who are older and more sober in behaviour… and have lost some hearing. In this latter case one must as whether we have considered why young people are hanging around train stations causing trouble rather than hanging around in any of the other places we have failed to provide for them?


Teenagers used to do that using music - doesn’t work with mine, they like my music :wink:


But inconveniencing even more so the youth who aren’t out for your gall bladder or whatever it is they do.

“Cruelty” factor with sonic repellents is zero. It’s analogous to your behaviour around an intense heat source - as you move closer, it becomes uncomfortable (not painful) so you move away. The animals don’t suffer pain or distress - they just don’t like the sound and move away. A far better option than culling in my view.


If only they worked, they definitely would be a much better option!

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See my previous post - in our situation, I’m convinced they do work! We have turned our unit on and off a few times now and when it’s off, the possums are back within a few days. When it’s on, they stay away. Be as sceptical as you please - I’m happy wth our unit.

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Have you written down your data?

Do you mean have I counted and documented the number of possum poops at our front door when the unit is on compared to when the unit is off? No I haven’t - I have a life :slight_smile: However, we are talking about the difference between none and a lot!

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Our brains are wired to find patterns in everything; it’s how we survived as a species. One of those pattern recognition processes often leads to something called ‘confirmation bias’ (fitting data into a preconceived notion, such as the efficacy of a product). We all remember things how we want to remember them, sometimes changing minor details unknowingly (it’s how our brain does things), so it’s always helpful to write things down to know for sure if there is any difference. :slight_smile: