A very high pitch

Brian J. is not impressed by this gadget:

When we bought Nogglestead, one of the outlets in the corner of the lower level had a Bell Howard Ultrasonic Pest Repeller plugged into it. It was out of the way, so we just left it there. For a very long time. Seven or eight years.

However, we have professional pest control services for bugs and quadrupeds for mice, lizards, and snakes. So about a year ago, when I was plugging or unplugging something from behind the chairs or perhaps doing one of our decennial vacuumings behind the reading chairs, I unplugged it and set it on the bar behind the coffee pot and electric tea kettle.

My own thinking: (1) this device comes from Bell and Howell, an old-line optics operation, and (2) you’d think an old-line optics operation would balk at having its name appear on questionable technology like this.

I doubted that it served its claimed purpose; the only mouse intrusion we’ve had was when one got in from the garage when we stored the cat food underneath the bar sink — right next to the repeller. The mouse didn’t have to cross any cat-patrolled ground for a snack, and I’ve not seen any other evidence of mice in the house since we’ve moved the cat food to a different cabinet. Nor did it keep out the various snakes, frogs, and lizards that the cats used to find (but they haven’t found in a while, which must mean the new cats are lazier than their predecessors, or the reptiles and amphibians are more cagey).

I own a similar device, and have similar questions about its efficacy. On the other hand, its placement makes it a good night-light.


  1. fillyjonk »

    16 February 2019 · 7:40 am

    I don’t think they work, either. Having a neighbor move in who has roaming cats has done far more to decrease mouse intrusions into my house.

    I think Bell and Howell, like many companies people used to trust, has sold its name to the highest bidder. Some of the cable channels here hawk Bell and Howell branded products that I’m not sure I would trust (Something called the “Tac Light,” for example: a flashlight you can allegedly drive a Humvee over and have it still work).

    Kind of like the Tensor lamp I bought a few years ago, remembering the late-60s model my dad used for years, and the modern version was just terrible and broke in a matter of months.

  2. McGehee »

    16 February 2019 · 1:26 pm

    When looking for a new pocket flashlight I saw the ads for the Tac Light and decided to check out Bell+Howell.

    As a result of what came up in my search, the flashlights I bought carry the name of a much more respected brand of consumer goods.

RSS feed for comments on this post