About Sonic Zapper
By plugging directly into any standard wall power outlet, Sonic Zapper is a combination bug zapper/ultrasonic repellent device that claims to be the first of its kind.
Basically, in order to help you avoid poisons, traps, and expensive pest control visits, the two functions promise to work together to provide a pest-free environment in any average sized room, according to the product’s creators. How so?
First, the company claims that the product’s blue light technology attracts flying insects like flies and mosquitoes and kills them on contact. Second, the ultrasonic repellent functionality releases high-frequency sound waves that are undetectable to humans and common pets like dogs and cats, but can drive away spiders, ants, cockroaches, and rodents
The device plugs directly into any standard wall power outlet, and can be turned on and off via the main power button on the front of its pill-shaped construction.
Pro tip: Although Sonic Zapper can be turned on and off, we verified with the manufacturer that these two functions cannot be controlled independently.
As for the bug zapper, it relies on the same ultraviolet blue light that has been shown to attract insects when used with other products. As it turns out, insects can see ultraviolet light and are attracted to it, which is why commercial-grade bug zapping products have implemented it for many years.
As for the repellent functionality, in the next section, we’ll take a closer look at how this works, and whether it is truly effective or not.
The Science Of Sound: Do Sound Waves Really Keep Pests Away?
One of the central claims that the Sonic Zapper makes lies in its ability to deter pests using ultrasonic sound waves, or waves that lie above the upper limits of human hearing. So, while these may sound like nothing at all to us, the claim is that they can disrupt and repel bugs like ants, cockroaches, and spiders.
This sort of technology has been around for a while, and as such, quite a bit of research has been done on its effectiveness.
For instance, while several studies have been carried out over the years, they have reported mixed results overall. One study in particular showed that rodents got used to the noise emitted from a similar ultrasonic product and eventually ignored it outright, thereby negating any of its effects.
As for cockroaches, another study found that three different commercial repellant devices (none of which were the Sonic Zapper) failed to meaningfully deter the creatures in trials, despite the fact that the cockroaches had never been exposed to the sound.
Finally, a third study found that ants and spiders were unaffected by these devices, except for in a few instances, where the results were unclear due to the design limitations of the test, versus real world applications.
What About My Pets?
Can an ultrasonic device cause any discomfort (or even harm) to your animal family members?
As it turns out, this largely depends on the type of pet(s) you own. For example, dogs and cats can hear ultrasonic frequencies up to 45,000 and 64,000 hZ, respectively, according to this report from Louisiana State University. However, pets like mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and rats can detect frequencies up to 91,000 hZ.
With this said, the company told us via the phone that the device is specifically designed to work well with dogs and cats, and should be completely safe for them. Ultimately, you will need to be the judge when determining if this device will be ideal for all of your furry family members. If in doubt, be sure to reach out to a veterinarian you trust.
Sonic Zapper Pricing & Return Policy
As of this writing, the Sonic Zapper was available through the manufacturer for $19.99, with free shipping included. Additionally, the product is also sold as a double offer, meaning you’ll have the option to pay a $9.99 fee in order to receive a second one. Shipping is also free for this device, bringing your total to $29.98.
The company states that you have a 30-day guarantee that starts the day you receive the Sonic Zapper. You’ll be eligible for a full refund, minus any shipping and handling fees for getting the device back to the manufacturer.
Sonic Zapper vs. Alternative Pest Control Options
Looking at various sources such as Google and Amazon.com, we were able to find a number of combination bug zapper/ultrasonic repellent devices available for purchase, despite the maker’s claim that the Sonic Zapper is the first of its kind. We also found several standalone products for both bug zapping and repelling using ultrasonic sounds.
For the combination products like Sonic Zapper, we found that pricing ranged from $18 to $27 and up. On the higher end, we found a few options with more controls than the product in question, like the ability to independently turn either the bug zapper or ultrasonic repellent on and off.
Other than this, the only differences were cosmetic in nature (as far as we can tell, having not used these products ourselves).
So, what does this all mean for you when looking to make a purchase? Here’s our advice:
- Decide whether you would like to purchase a combination product like the Sonic Zapper, or two standalone products instead. If you only need one of these features, perhaps a standalone option would be ideal.
- Determine what pests you are trying to get rid of. Is there clinical data showing that ultrasonic sound is an effective deterrent for them?
- Decide how much you want to spend, as well as how many rooms you need to protect, which will surely factor into the larger pricing equation.
- Look for any customer reviews on marketplaces such as Amazon.com. Are people enjoying the product? Does it work as intended?
The Bottom Line: Is Sonic Zapper Effective?
Looking at everything we’ve learned about the Sonic Zapper, we have a few final thoughts for you to consider.
On the one hand, the combination bug zapper/ultrasonic repellent functionality seems as though it could be a convenient solution for those looking to manage pests in and around their home. But on the other, we reported several studies above that appeared to show mixed effectiveness as far as deterrence in ants, spiders, roaches, and rodents.
Because of this, if you find that your pest problem is severe enough to warrant professional attention, it’s possible that you’ll still need to periodically utilize chemicals or have an exterminator out -- despite what Sonic Zapper claims to achieve.
Furthermore, As for the bug zapping top on the device, we are curious as to just how easy Sonic’s bug-zapping feature will be to clean and maintain over time. It looks as though the grill that houses the light could quickly fill up after dead insects fly into it, which might then create a situation where their bodies accumulate on the surrounding floor.
Perhaps to address this, a few competing products we encountered during our research included removable trays to make cleaning easier and more manageable. But when we reached out to customer support, we were told that the Sonic Zapper had no such feature. When we asked if the cage itself came off for cleaning, we were told that they did not have access to that information.
These competing products were more expensive than the Sonic Zapper, though, especially considering the double offer that the product features. Ultimately, if you’d like to give it a try in your home, you can always take advantage of the 30-day money back guarantee, should you decide that it’s not for you.
Have you used the Sonic Zapper before? Leave a review below and share your experience with other HighYa readers!