Q. How does it work?
A. The Pest-A-Cator electromagnetic pulse technology is unique to Pest-A-Cators and is not like other brands of "ultrasonic" pest repellers. The Pest-A-Cator works with the electrical wiring in your home. The electrical wiring inside your home already has an existing field surrounding it. When a Pest-A-Cator is plugged in, it pulses this field. It doesn't really add to or take away from the field - it just pulses it. Rats, mice, and cockroaches like to live and nest inside the walls. They feel the pulse and don't like it, so it drives them out. This means that if there is an infestation of rats, mice or roaches, the consumer WILL see more during the first four weeks or so, because the Pest-A-Cator is helping drive them out of the walls. We recommend using traps, glue boards, etc. the first few weeks to help clean up the initial problem. As with any pest management technique, no one method is completely effective, and a program of integrated management involving a variety of techniques and practices is most likely to provide the desired results.

Q. Where should I plug it in?
A. We recommend plugging the unit into an outlet in a central location for a single level home or apartment of 2000 square feet or less. If the home is single level and over 2000 square feet we recommend using two units, one at both ends of the home. If the home has multiple levels, we recommend one per level. Plug them in at alternating ends of the home in a staggered manner. Since the non-Plus Pest-A-Cator unit is not ultrasonic, it doesn't make any difference if the unit is plugged in behind furniture or curtains, etc. The unit must be plugged in 'right side up' and not sideways or upside down! The unit only works where there is electrical wiring. For example, on a main floor of an average home, there is electrical wiring traveling throughout the walls of that level. In this case, the Pest-A-Cator would work fine. But, in an attic or basement level, where the wiring may be concentrated in one area, say on the south end, and little or no wiring is on the north end, Pest-A-Cator would not be as effective on that level. Also, if a house is vacant or not always in use, the unit will not be as effective because the use of electrical appliances, lights, etc. is what creates the field that the unit works with. If no electricity is being used, the unit has nothing to work with. If you prefer a unit with ultrasonic technology, check out the Pest-A-Cator Plus. Note that the Pest-A-Cator Plus must be plugged into unobstructed outlets because of the added "ultrasonic" feature.

Q. How many Pest-A-Cator units will I need?
A. One unit covers up to 2,000 square feet in an average home. If the home has multiple levels, we recommend one per level and that you plug them in at alternating ends of the home in a staggered effect (i.e.: two levels - one plugged in on the first floor at the north end, second unit plugged in on the second floor at the south end. Or, if three levels - first on first floor north end, second on second floor at south end, third unit on third floor at north end). If too many units are plugged into a small area (i.e.: one level less than 2000 square feet), they can interfere with each other and be less effective.

Q. Will Pest-A-Cators harm pets?
A. We do not recommend using the unit if you have insect pets like tarantulas, or pets that are from the rodent family, such as hamsters, gerbils, rabbits etc. Typically, neither Pest-A-Cator model will bother birds, cats, dogs, reptiles, amphibians, or fish. In the rare instance that your pet shows signs of irritation caused by the unit, please return it immediately for a full refund.

Q. Will it cause problems with computers or other electrical appliances?
A. No.

Q. Can I use Pest-A-Cators outside?
A. No. Pest-A-Cators are not recommended for use outside such as on patios, courtyards, etc. Also, it wouldn't work in such areas because electrical wiring does not surround them. Pest-A-Cators are not designed for outdoor use.

Q. Will I ever see a pest after plugging in the Pest-A-Cator?
A. You may still see an occasional rat, mouse or cockroach that has wandered in, but they will not stay and take up residency in your home after a Pest-A-Cator is plugged in. If they can, they will leave the same way they came in.

Q. What is the life expectancy of the unit and how can I tell if it is no longer working?
A. The AVERAGE life of a unit is three to five years. If the red light is no longer flashing (either completely out or a steady light), the unit is not working. Check the light first. If the light is flashing, but you are having problems with rats, mice or cockroaches, try checking the unit for a vibration or "pull" using a metal screwdriver.* Hold the tip of the screwdriver against the unit while the unit is plugged in. The unit cycles "on" for four minutes and "off" for two minutes. If no vibration or "pull" is felt when first testing the unit, wait a couple of minutes and try again as it may be in the "off" cycle. If, after waiting a couple of minutes and testing again, there is still no vibration or "pull," the unit is no longer functioning.

*One of our customers sent us this useful tip on how to test to see if the unit is working... "I dangled a standard paper clip from a thread secured to a chair back so that it steadily held the clip about half an inch away from the very center of the unit. During the ON cycle, the clip is pulled up against the unit once every second."

Q. Should I leave the unit plugged in all the time and how much electricity does the unit use?
A. It is best to leave the unit plugged in at all times, but it will not hurt to unplug it for very short periods of time. The unit uses about the same amount of electricity as a night light.

Q. Will it affect a pacemaker?
A. Please use the same precautions that your doctor recommends you use with any other appliances. This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following 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.

Q. Will Pest-A-Cators work for bats or squirrels in the attic?
A. While we have not tested for these particular pests, we have had customers offer the following tips which they claim worked for them.

How to manage squirrels in attics:
Wind or drape an outdoor extension cord in "S" turns throughout the entire attic. The extension cord should be no further than 5' from the previous row (cord) as this will ensure that the signal is completely covering 100% of the attic floor. The cord needs to be plugged into a live 110V wall outlet. Then plug the Pest-A-Cator device into the end of the extension cord. If using a Pest-A-Cator Plus product, make sure the outlet that the device is plugged into is free of obstructions, meaning clear with no beam or boxes, etc. in front of the unit, to allow the ultrasonic signal to work effectively.

How to manage bats in attics:
Similar to managing squirrels in attics, except that since the bats roost in the peaks of the attics, the extension cord needs to be raised to the ceiling level by using standard cup hooks (purchased from hardware or grocery stores). Make sure the cup hooks are mounted within 2' of the highest point in the attic. Now, string the extension cords through the cup hooks and plug in as noted in "managing squirrels in attics" above.

Q. Does ultrasound penetrate walls, floors, ceilings or other solid objects?
A. No. Frequencies in the "ultrasound" range do not have the energy required to penetrate solid objects.

Q. Will Pest-A-Cators harm or interfere with the function of normal household products (i.e. televisions, radios, computers, or home security systems)?
A. No.

Q. Will the ultrasound harm my pets?
A. Dogs, cats, reptiles, amphibians, and birds should not be effected by this product. The product can have adverse effects on rodent and spider type pets, such as, but not limited to, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, and guinea pigs. We recommend that this product not be placed in the same room with these or any pet that begins to show signs of irritation when in proximity to the unit.

Q. Will the product harm people who are pregnant or who have pacemakers?
A. No. Frequencies in the "ultrasound" range do not have the energy required to penetrate solid objects.This would include human tissue.

Q. What does it cost to operate?
A. Approximately 1 cent ($.01) per day, depending on your local power rates.

Q. Are people able to hear the sound put out by this product?
A. Ultrasound is in a frequency range just above human hearing, but some people with hearing sensitive to high frequency sounds may hear this unit as it works.

Q. Where is the best location to plug in the Pest-A-Cator Plus?
A. Optimal position for the unit is into any unobstructed outlet where a pest problem exists.

If you have other questions not answered here, please email or call (Sue and Mike Olsen) at 1-800-496-8428.


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Last edited 01-09-07
Pest-A-Cator is a registered trademark of Global Instruments, Ltd. The text of their FAQ is used with their permission. This page © 2004-2007, Vesta, LLC. All rights reserved.© is the e-commerce division of Vesta, LLC in Loveland, Colorado