No batteries required. Easy to install. Very effective if placed right on top of or next to burrower tunnels. Sound is audible but not annoying.
Not effective against all critters or infestations.
Emits vibrations and sonic sounds every 10 seconds. Green color blends in well to outdoor spaces. Inexpensive.
Only available as a single unit.
Heavy-duty construction is rust and UV resistant. Conserves power for extended nighttime use. Emits sonic pulses at regular 20-second intervals. Simple to install.
May take a while before you see results.
Multiple modes, including a low sound wave setting. Also features a flashing LED light and audible alarm function. Reviewers say it’s effective against even larger pests like deer.
Not waterproof, only water resistant.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
If you’re tired of dealing with pesky lawn or garden invaders, a set of solar pest repellents may be the answer to your woes. Whether you want to ward off moles that are digging up your lawn or you’re concerned about rabbits eating your lettuce, these solar devices are designed to banish critters in a variety of ways.
If you’ve worked hard to maintain a lush landscape or vibrant edible garden, the last thing you want is for burrowing animals to dig up the earth or munch on your produce. Solar pest repellents are safe, easy to install, inexpensive, and have low power requirements thanks to their sun-harnessing design. Place them around your yard to prevent small creatures from wrecking your flower bed, vegetable patch, or manicured lawn. These devices are primarily meant to dissuade small mammals, but some may also work against larger animals like cats, foxes, or coyotes.
Our buying guide includes information about what to expect when using this type of technology, along with features to consider when browsing different models. Take a look at some of our favorites, too.
Most solar repellents can detect movement, which then triggers a loud noise, vibrations, or flashing lights to ward off invaders. What distinguishes these devices from other pest repellent devices is the solar panel that helps to power each unit. While some pest repellents are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, solar-powered units should be placed outdoors in order to harness the power of the sun.
Ultrasonic vibrations are high frequencies (over 20,000 hertz) that are indiscernible to the human ear. Certain animals and insects are capable of picking up on these high-pitched sounds. The frequencies used in many solar pest repellents are designed to annoy and deter small mammals without harming them. While they’re described as “ultrasonic” devices, units designed to deter small mammals typically don’t use ultra-high frequencies. Check product descriptions to verify the frequency used. Choose a model that emits low-frequency sounds for a cruelty-free pest deterrent.
Inexpensive to use
Fewer battery replacements
Easy to install and use
Not always 100% effective
Not suitable for severe infestations
Audible sounds may be annoying
Require sunny weather
Ultrasonic frequencies may harm small mammals and beneficial insects
A single solar pest repellent won’t put a significant dent in your yard’s pest problem, but most units are sold in packs. A set of two solar devices may be enough to cover a small balcony or porch area, but expect to use at least four to six if you want to cover a moderately sized backyard or lawn. Scatter the devices to maximize the coverage area and keep critters away from all corners of your yard. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines to position the repellents correctly for maximum effectiveness.
Every pest problem is unique, and solar pest repellents may not put a noticeable dent in the number of visitors arriving in your garden. Ultrasonic and sonic frequencies are not effective against all types of pests. There’s also evidence that, in some cases, ultrasonic repellers may have the opposite effect and invite unwanted critters to your surroundings. While many have reported success when using solar pest repellents, purchasing units that utilize multiple modes, in addition to emitting sonic sound waves, increases the chances of effective pest control. However, don’t expect immediate results when using these types of devices. It may take a significant amount of time to notice a positive effect.
Some solar pest repellers don’t need batteries and are fully powered by the sun.
Motion detection: Units with motion detectors are useful for occasional pest issues that don’t require constant power. If the device detects motion, it triggers sounds, vibrations, or lights. To customize the effectiveness, choose a unit with adjustable sensitivity. Detection range (the maximum distance at which movement can be detected) varies from a few feet to 20 feet.
Lights: If you’re experiencing a deluge of messy, hungry critters at night and waking up to find your garden turned upside down, consider a unit with flashing lights. When movement is detected, the lights flash or strobe to scare away curious or hungry animals.
Visual deterrent: A few critters are easily scared off by visual deterrents like devices with bright red circles intended to mimic the eyes of predators.
Sounds and vibrations: Units without motion detectors usually emit sounds or vibrations at regular intervals, such as every 30 seconds. This constant cycle is useful for situations in which the pest has yet to be identified, and you’re not sure when they’re entering your yard or if you’re dealing with a heavy infestation. Loud alarms that sound when movement is detected are useful for scaring off critters, but avoid units with loud alarms that go off constantly or at regular intervals. This will quickly grow annoying.
Charging: You’ll likely need batteries to power your solar pest repellents, but as long as there’s sunny weather, you shouldn’t need to change them very often. Certain units can also be charged via USB, which is helpful when the weather is cloudy and rainy for days on end.
Runtime: This varies from unit to unit and depends on the amount of sun exposure received by the device’s solar panel. Exposure to about four or five hours of direct sun should be enough to power most units for several days.
Waterproof: Solar pest repellers are designed for use outdoors, so most are well protected and won’t be harmed by inclement weather. Choose rustproof units if you plan to place them in an open area.
Most solar pest repellents are sold in packs of two or more. Expect to pay up to $60 for a package of two or four. If you’re outfitting a spacious outdoor area, you’ll need at least six units.
Charge your devices in the sun before inserting them into the ground.
Don’t leave solar pest repellents outside over the winter.
Concentrate the pest repellents. If your pest problem is concentrated in one area, such as a vegetable garden), position most of the pest repellents around that area.
Spread out the pest repellents. If you want to keep animal intruders out of your whole yard, space the devices throughout the area.
Experiment with different modes. If your units are equipped with multiple settings, use them to find the most effective one for your pest problem.
Use barriers, too. When dealing with non-burrowing pests, such as squirrels, deer, or cats, use barriers in addition to solar pest repellents for maximum effectiveness.
In addition to our top picks featured above, we have a few additional products we feel are worth mentioning. The Apello Solar Mole Repellent includes two or four cute flower-shaped units for your lawn. An eight-hour charge powers the devices for an impressive eight days. We love that the units are capable of covering a wide area (up to 7,000 square feet). The Muhoop Repellers use sonic waves and vibrations to reduce pest activity in and around your outdoor area. The spikes penetrate more deeply into the soil than other units, so they’re effective against burrowing animals. We also love the inexpensive price point of this two-pack.
Q. Are solar pest repellents safe?
A. They’re safe for humans, and while most pets may not be fond of going near them, they’re considered a cruelty-free pest control option.
Q. Do solar pest repellents work on insects?
A. Yes, but devices designed to ward off insects typically use ultra-high frequencies, which may be harmful to certain small mammals and are capable of harming beneficial insects. It’s important to recognize that ultrasonic frequencies have the potential to affect the good bugs in your garden. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the device you choose is cruelty-free and that you’re using it correctly.
Q. Can solar pest repellents be used all year?
A. In climates with harsh winters, they should be stored away with other garden equipment during the cold months.
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