Ultrasonic pest-control devices emit highfrequency sound waves that can drive insects and pests away. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Ultrasonic pest and insect repellents being sold online are safe to use for families with children, confirms Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi.

The ultrasonic devices, which can be purchased online in the UAE, emit high frequency sound waves that drive insects and rodents away, but any fears for the safety of humans is unfounded.

In an official statement issued to Gulf News, Tadweer said these devices “have no adverse effect on humans or the environment, they only affect pests and are based on environment-friendly technology”.

“It is effective but its effect varies according to the type of device, manufacturer, type of frequency and targeted pest,” added the statement. “In general, the effect of these devices is temporary and it’s complementary to other integrated pest management procedures, helping to reduce chemical solutions to the lowest level.”

It [ultrasonic pest and insect repellents] is effective, but its effect varies according to the type of device, manufacturer, type of frequency and targeted pest.

- Statement from Tadweer

Pests are a constant burden for UAE residents and centre-authorised agencies often fail to stop the bugs coming back. However, Tadweer defends the agencies and the chemicals they use, instead blaming residents for not maintaining tidiness in their homes.

Tadweer said the best way to deal with pests is to ensure hygiene and conduct regular maintenance to seal cracks where bugs could hide. Inspection of food coming into the building from the market also helps prevent the spread of pests.

Residents should have an annual contract with a licensed pest control company, said Tadweer, which will help detect infestations once they appear, and the contract should include regular inspection visits in line with best corrective action and integrated pest management measures.

Tadweer asked residents to only deal with approved companies and equipment to ensure meeting international standards. Furthermore, only qualified and trained staff should deal with equipment and chemicals to avoid health hazards or environmental damage.

Concerns over unlicensed agencies peaked in May when a 10-year-old Pakistani boy died of toxic gas poisoning in Sharjah after his neighbour had left pesticides unsealed in an adjacent flat while away on holiday allowing for the chemicals to seep through the air-conditioning into the adjacent flat. Non-chemical alternatives such as ultrasonic technology may therefore become a more sought after alternative for UAE residents who are concerned about health implications. What is ultrasonic technology:

Devices that rely on producing sound waves of different frequencies that irritate and repel pests within a certain receiving range. The frequencies are undetectable to the human ear and act more as vibration to deter bugs from one’s apartment.