Pros: Inexpensive; environmentally safe; chemical free
Cons: Ugly label; slightly higher utility bills
I Don?t Like Spiders and Snakes?
One dark and dismal tropical night, my gal pal of many years and I decided to experiment with one of the newer voice chat programs. Suzanne, spending the weekend as my guest during my husband?s absence, decided to change into pajamas while I chatted with a friend in Pennsylvania using my barely utilitarian microphone and speakers.
Clyde, on the other end of the chat, was my mentor and guide when it came to computers and their vast capabilities. We chatted about modems, MTU Speed, PowWow and optimizing system configuration settings.
Suddenly, Suzanne?s scream of horror carried itself through the microphone to Clyde. His panicked voice begged to know what was going on as he picked up the phone to call 911 in our defense.
Grabbing my trusty baseball bat and a can of pepper spray, I ventured into the living room. Suzanne, frozen in her tracks, pointed to a large, hairy, blonde wolf spider slowly perambulating across the dining room carpet. The aluminum bat surely was an appropriate weapon as the spider?s size approximated that of a regulation baseball. Unfortunately, for me, using the bat required moving closer to the six-eyed beast and this was no option.
I yelled out to Clyde that everything was fine, sort of, well; it would be fine as soon as I murdered the enormous creature carrying its massive girth across the floor with an eye, or six, for my ankle. I sidled to the hall closet, never taking my orbs from what was fast becoming a monster of legion proportions.
Suzanne?s proximity to the electrical outlet put her in command of plugging in the vacuum cleaner. I assembled the various attachment wands permitting a ten-foot reach. By this time, my loyal watchdog, Pogo, woke up and walked up to the mammoth octopi, gave it a sniff, barely raised one eyebrow and walked away. So much for woman?s best friend and protector of his domain - the task was clearly mine all mine!
With one hand poised to spray RAID? and the other hoisting Hoover?s extended tubing, I nodded to Suzanne the signal to, ?flick the switch, now or never!? I sprayed, I vacuumed, I screamed with lung power not known to me until that point in time and then with the vacuum cleaner still operating, I carried the unit outside and left it there running for several minutes. We finally shut down the power and informed Clyde that the ladies of the house saved the day with no help from any testosterone laden thugs. We also spent the rest of the night with eyes wide open in fear of the gargantuan beast?s relatives? vengeful retaliation.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider...
Two weeks later, a crew of demolition experts arrived to commence remodeling our closet of a kitchen. Rows of old cabinets, torn from their moorings, revealed all kinds trash left by the original cabinet installers. As the crew carried the final set of ancient cabinets out of the room, the remaining workers formed a circle around a clump of brown and black dots. One mentioned the similarity in appearance to a black widow?s nest. Another noted the red dot on the back of what he perceived to be a brown recluse spider.
Again, my lungpower surprised me as I screamed suggestions regarding what they could do with the newly exposed nest. We phoned the local Sears Pest Control to bomb the house and clean up the corpses of those caught in the chemical warfare.
Weeks later, the return of another wolf spider and the appearance of those black dots in the upper corners where walls meet the ceiling (a sign of spider nests) prompted us to look for other avenues in our quest for a pest-free home front.
Late one night, while watching the much maligned shopping channel, QVC, the host of the hour oohed and ahhed over a plastic rectangle while repeatedly plugging and unplugging the object into a makeshift electrical outlet. The side bar listed the products numerous features and that caught my attention, ?Drives out Roaches, Rodents, Insects and Other Pests.? The admonition for folks with gerbils, hamsters and snakes to not use this product made it seem even more interesting and lethal. For $47.00, I decided to give the product a trial.
Three days after placing my order, a small box arrived containing one sheet of instructions and the actual RIDDEX? unit. In bright red and black on white, emblazoned across the front of the boxy object, were the words ?RIDDEX,? a artist?s rendering of a red roach, and ?Electronic Pest Repeller; drives out roaches, rodents, insects and other pests.? Hmmm? sounded vaguely familiar to me!
The instructions pointed out that for the product to function at optimum levels, plug the box into an outlet located in the center of the house. Of course, that meant our living room would host this little beauty. Our visitors would read, in red, white and black, that we resorted to desperate measures to rid ourselves of crawling, creeping and slithering pests.
The obvious first order of business, before putting the utility into action was to peel that label off and save us the embarrassment. That done, with the pomposity of a coronation, we plugged in the murderous little item and stared at the blinking red light with a fascination only equaled to that of a fly?s attraction to a bug zapper.
Nothing dramatic occurred the first few days. Not over run with bugs, even though we live in the tropics, there really was not much to see. I read and reread the directions, which simply stated plug the module into a centrally located outlet and let it work. My husband promised to not tell anyone about my latest folly if I promised to stop buying items touted by well-groomed hosts of shopping networks shilling their wares in the middle of the night.
Even my imagined betrayal by the host I had come to trust did not remove the feeling of ?protection? and relief experienced when viewing the RIDDEX?s comforting pulsing red light. I made no promises to my equal half regarding future purchases and told him to wait and see.
Strange Things Happen in this World
One week after installing the unit, we witnessed bizarre goings on around the house. We watched in amazement as a group of red ants performed a syncronized circle dance right outside our bedroom window. They formed a perfect wheel, each following the other with a precision boot camp sergeants would applaud. This phenomenon repeated on our pool deck, driveway and numerous outside areas. My husband attributed this to the change in weather; I claimed the magical RIDDEX? was doing its thing.
Several days later, we set upon our ?spring cleaning.? Armed, once again, with my mighty Hoover I began the chore of vacuuming the ceiling. To my shock and then to my glee, those little black spider nests that were a constant around here were nowhere to be found. Spider webs that formerly appeared on a regular basis were whooshed away never to return. After three months of ?trial,? my husband finally admitted the product works as advertised and ordered a second unit for the attic.
The manufacturer, Global Instruments, Ltd., claims plugging in the RIDDEX? module forces a change in the fields around the normal household wiring which creates an electronic field that repels mice, rats, insects and roaches, even those hiding in the ceilings and walls. For this reason, Global strongly advises those homeowners with hamsters, gerbils and other rodent pets against using their product.
I have no scientific evidence regarding the RIDDEX? unit?s efficacy on repelling snakes but we are rarely bothered by errant pygmy rattlers and other bothersome creatures since implementing these devices. (Doesn?t this review make living on the edge of a government protected wildlife refuge sound attractive?)
Out of Box Experience:
? Instructions (Plug it in and wait)
? Electronic Repeller Unit (4-3/8? x 2-3/8? x 1??)
? One year full-replacement manufacturer?s warranty
? One RIDDEX? unit services 2000 square feet of living space
? RIDDEX? Junior services smaller homes up to 1000 square feet.
? For maximum utility, use one unit per floor of residence.
? Units plug into 110 volt AC outlets (do not use switch controlled outlets)
? Environmentally friendly device eliminates need for caustic chemicals
Expect a slight jump in costs on your electric bill with use of this product. Once we compared the cost of various pest control contracts and purchasing the chemicals ourselves and doing the treatments against the base price of the two units and associated operating costs, the RIDDEX? won in all areas without peer.
With my husband?s allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems and our dog?s variety of sensitivities, using chemicals to treat our property is not an option. Even with Sears'-Once-A-Year-Pest-Control, the boric acid sprayed into our walls and around the perimeter of the house did not thwart the onslaught of bugs, snakes and similar critters. The RIDDEX? modules performed as the manufacturer claimed without the need for additional chemicals or treatments.
Regis is Bugging Me for a Final Answer
As of this writing, our first unit has been in operation for fourteen months and we placed the newer unit into action one year ago. Aside from an occasional palmetto bug hitch-hiking into the house on dry-cleaning, we witness no signs of any infestation. If this product ever stood the test of time, it was in our personal trial amid the lakes and wildlife refuge environment in which we reside. When the little flashing red light disappears in either unit, we have the replacement on hand ready to go at a moment?s notice. Now, if they could only create an electronic device that drives houseguests out into the streets after two days . . . A gal can dream, can?t she?
Look familiar? Read on:
Once again, Epinions came up with a category long after I submitted the initial review. Happily, RIDDEX? now resides in its permanent home and I can sleep nights.