Pros: No poisons, built in auxillary AC outlet
Cons: green and red light flicker on and off all the time
It happened once again when the Southern California temperatures hit the 90 degree mark - termites invaded my living space. This is the fourth year they have visited, always entering through a bedroom window.
For two years it was the front bedroom where the computer is. It would start around 2 pm and continue for a few hours. I closed the window, sprayed outside the window, but each day the temperatures climbed they arrived. I learned through an Insect book my son has that they were termites. I had assumed termites were interested in wood and came through the floor boards so this was confusing to have them enter through a window. This would continue for about a week. Once the weather changed the visitors ceased to exist.
Last year they showed up in my bedroom outside the window that was not housing a window fan. I moved beds into the living room, TV/VCR combo into the kitchen along with a couch that could no longer stay in the living room. I took pictures of the termites and contacted the landlord. I had to remove the window fan and they sprayed around the windows.
I ended up redecorating the bedroom and living room last year due to the havoc the termites created. This year I have an air conditioner in the other window and completely forgot about the termite problems of prior years. Several weeks ago they showed up. It just so happened that a exterminator was spraying my back neighbor for fleas when I went out back to ask if they had any termites this year.
This professional sprayed outside my bedroom and inside as well. I kept the door shut for a few hours, we slept in the living room and the termites continued for two more days at various times. One day they did not show up until 5 pm, the next day at 1pm.
They were roaming the walls, on the bedding, carpet and window. I used a roll of masking tape to cover the windows with many sticking to that surface. I did research online on termites and read many reviews here under pest control. Please do note that the site is aware that some pest control products are listed incorrectly under patio furniture. I wanted to get the popular Riddex plug-in that is no longer selling on QVC. The prices over at ebay were reasonable but all were on auction and I could not wait that long to be rid of these termites.
I headed over to Rite Aid to find anything that would kill termites. The only product available was the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller for $19.99. Even though this specifically states " for use against mice, rats, spiders & ant" I made the purchase.
Electrical outlet spaces are limited in my house so the bonus for me is the unit has a built-in auxillary AC outlet. This is located on the side, so when you plug it in you could actually plug in a radio or alarm clock in the side compartment. It is a gray unit that is larger than a night light. This is under three inches wide and over 4 inches in height. The plug is high up in the back, which leaves the unit hanging below. Depending on how high your outlet is this could be close to the floor.
The back part of the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller has the customer service phone number and hours. The caution notice is very small and light print. You may need a magnifying glass to read, but do note that this could cause electric shock do not remove the cover, and do not expose to rain or moisture.
This is an indoor unit, not to be used outdoors. The warranty is limited, covers replacement if defective within thirty days of purchase. Within two years they determine whether the unit will be fixed or replaced, minus freight charges. The directions are a bit misleading and confusing.
The model number is SB200, the red light located on the left side is the electromagnetic indicator. The green light is on the right side, which is the ultrasonic indicator. The directions state, " The waves pass through walls and floors to disturb the pests where they live and effectively eliminate them with continuous use."
The following page of the owner's manual conflicts with the previous passage, "Ultrasounds are waves. They do not go through floors, ceilings, walls or doors."
The key to the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller is continuous use. They suggest using more than one in any room, especially a basement and/or attic.
You also learn that " certain rodents may become used to Ultrasonic sound and return to their nesting or feeding habitats, even in the presence of an Ultrasonic product."
This all makes it hard to know if the unit is actually working. Considering I still had termites for two days after a professional spraying inside and out I thought the price of the unit was worth trying. The key points for me are no poisons, smells or traps to deal with.
The Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller should not be placed behind large furniture. I placed this by the TV since the window is to the side of the unit, with two dressers between them. I realized that night that this was best instead of the other outlet that has less items plugged in because the lights flicker continually and would be distracting while trying to sleep. I turn off the nightlight when I retire for the night and have these flashing behind me.
The termites disappeared and have not returned even though the temperatures have peaked into the 90s again with the Santa Ana winds. A few days ago I noticed ants in the bedroom near the air conditioner, so I moved the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller to the other outlet and kept it there for a day. The ants are gone, but they usually appear in the bathroom and not the bedroom.
I moved the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller to the bathroom outlet not far from the sink and window. There were ants there, but they are gone. However a spider was on the wall last nite. An ant was in the medicine cabinet in close proximity to the sink and outlet this morning.
I know from reading the manual that it is suggested to have one for each room. I am not completely certain of the accuracy of the unit, so I move it to the areas and rooms that have visitors. The manual never once mentions to move units to other outlets. However I see no reason why this cannot work instead of purchasing more units.
Warnings for the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller include people with pacemakers or anyone who uses medical devices. They will need to consult with a Physician before purchasing this unit. Failure to comply with the warning could result in death or serious personal injury.
The unit also should not be used near property lines or common wall areas. I do know that my neighbor's bedroom is on the other side of my bathroom - I hear snoring regularly, but I only used it there for a 24-hour period. The other warning does mention to not use near a bathtub, washing machine, kitchen sink, wet basement or swimming pool.
Although it is suggested to use continuously, the warnings also mention, " Nonuse Periods - the appliance should be unplugged from the outlet when left unused for long periods of time." This makes no sense since to eliminate pests you need to keep it in use. How can it be unused if it is plugged in!
The red light goes on and off intermittently, the green one flashes on and off. Since the lights are both going on and off the unit is working and not malfunctioning. Another key point is the humming sound that emits from the unit. It is not really distinguishable unless you are within close proximity of the unit. This will be noticed when you are using a higher outlet. While in the bathroom I did note the sound, in the bedroom I just saw the lights flashing.
No cleaning agents should be placed on the unit, food should not be kept out since it decreases the efficiency of the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller. Openings around the house, windows, garage and drainpipes should be fixed. This was the only mention I saw for garages so it seems you can use it there as well.
For anyone who has rodent pests as pets, such as gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and ferrets - you cannot use the Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller in the same location where the pets are housed.
The unit just needs to be plugged in, no assembly required. The Sunbeam Ultrasonic/Electromagnetic Pest Repeller is made in China and patent pending. This is to be plugged into any 120V standard outlet. The weight is four ounces.
It is a toss of the dice on whether this is actually working to eliminate pests. At first when the termites disappeared I was ready to sing the praises of this unit and buy additional ones for other rooms. Now that ants arrived in the same room while the unit was plugged in and a spider in the bathroom near the unit, I am not absolutely certain.
I did notice that we had power problems after I plugged this in, but the temperatures were really high and that happens when full usage is at peak performance. I have power surges at most of my outlets and not really any room for further units at this time.
I believe this is an average product that helped eliminate to a degree the ants and termites in my home. The fact that this is specifically for ants and spiders though and they were in my home while the unit was plugged in means I probably needed more units or close the windows. It was cheaper for me to move the unit to other outlets to try to extinguish the pests.
In a way I feel like I am tricking the pests that might be getting used to it housed in one location. When they get comfortable in the walls waiting to appear, I move the unit to another room for a day or two and then back to the bedroom to surprise them.