The Pitch: "The fast and easy way to get rid of mice, rats and roaches without chemicals -- guaranteed!"
April 2009. Riddex Plus is a small, iPod-sized device that plugs directly into a wall outlet; according to the company, it uses "patented Digital Pulse Technology, powered by a Freescale Microprocessor, to help create an irritating environment for pests inside your walls." In other words, it is supposed to emit a high-pitched hum that repels roaches and mice. However, most reviews indicate that users are highly disappointed with the Riddex pest repeller.
Most of the owners posting on Amazon.com say this product simply doesn't work, and a smattering of rave reviews on Epinions.com are balanced out by one-star pans, including an in-depth review by one dissatisfied owner. A site called Complaints Board also contains numerous complaints not just about product performance, but also about Riddex's shoddy customer service and unexpected charges incurred with ordering multiple products.
More tellingly, tests conducted by two TV stations -- KHNL in Honolulu, Hawaii, and WSPA in Spartanburg, S.C. -- indicate that Riddex Plus doesn't repel test batches of rats and cockroaches. In fact, a Clemson University entomologist interviewed by WSPA goes so far as to say products like the Riddex Plus simply don't work.
A few users on Amazon and Epinions rave about the Riddex Plus, even going so far as to trash people who have left negative reviews. A blogger at JennyReviews.com also praises the device, but admits that she didn't have an existing infestation when she purchased two Riddex Plus pest control units, so it's difficult to judge whether they actually worked, or whether she simply didn't have any bugs in her house in the first place.
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1. KHNL (Honolulu, Ha.)
In this test conducted at a Honolulu pet shop, reporter Roger Mari places caged rats close to a Riddex Plus unit to see whether the device has any effect on the rodents. When that doesn't work, he places the Riddex pest repeller inside the cage. Far from repelling the rats, they are "actually curious to see what it [is]." Mari concludes that the as-seen-on-TV Riddex just doesn't work.
Review: Does it Work? The Riddex Plus, Roger Mari, March 26, 2009
2. WSPA (Spartanburg, S.C.)
Reporter Heather Sullivan asks Clemson University entomologist Eric Benson to test the Riddex Plus to see whether it will repel roaches. Not only did the device fail to repel the bugs, some roaches are found sleeping right on top of the device. A colleague of Benson's concludes that, despite the company's claims that its device has been scientifically proven, "They don't work for roaches, they don't work for rodents."
Review: Riddex Plus: Does it Work?, Heather Sullivan, March 25, 2009
More than two dozen owners post reviews of the Riddex pest control device here, and the vast majority don't have very kind things to say. The three reviewers judged "most helpful" by readers say that Riddex simply doesn't work for either bugs or rodents. Says one, "Riddex is great for killing insects and roaches, but only if you don't plug it in. Instead, just throw it at them. Much more effective that way." A couple users share glowing testimonials about their success with the Riddex.
Review: Riddex Pest Repeller, Contributors to Amazon.com
The lead contributor on this consumer-review site goes into great depth about her experience with Riddex; the product didn't work, she says, and what's more, she came home one day to find a mouse sitting on top of the unit. The rest of the reviews on this site alternate between one-star pans and five-star raves, which seem unusually positive given the majority of negative reviews.
Review: Riddex Plug-In Pest Repeller, Contributors to Epinions.com
Posts here are from dissatisfied consumers who detail a litany of complaints about Riddex Plus. Among the gripes are high shipping and handling costs, poor customer service and unexpected charges when ordering multiple Riddex Plus pest control devices.
Review: Riddex Plus Complaints, Contributors to Complaints Board
In this rave review, the anonymous writer says Riddex Plus has kept her house free of "creepy crawlies," and is very satisfied with the product. However, it's clear that the author didn't have an existing infestation, and has judged Riddex's effectiveness solely by her lack of finding any bugs.
Review: Riddex Plus Reviewed, "Jenny", March 17, 2009