Can The Grid Guard be used outdoors?

Yes, it remains functional and safe whilst being used outdoors. The tiles are fully drained so water does not pool on the surface. Rats and mice are still repelled even when the surface is wet. A human won’t get a shock from water on the floor in contact with the tiles, however it is advisable to wear shoes and avoid contact.  If the tiles are submerged they will cease to function. The Grid Guard is made from PVC and stainless steel which we expect to last for decades, even in harsh weather conditions.

Does it kill the rodents?

No, it does not kill or harm them. The system is humane; it is not necessary to kill rodents in order to protect an area. By acting like an electric fence it is a completely effective barrier. Live rodents will leave the area, dead ones will have to be removed, increasing servicing requirements and costs. The Grid Guard is a low-maintenance, low-cost system over years of use.

Can you make one that kills them?

more than a minute so if it was dangerous for rats it would be extremely dangerous for humans. The system would not be legal and as previously mentioned, live rats leave, dead rats have to removed or otherwise present a biohazard. The Grid Guard is extremely effective without having to kill the rodents.

Is it dangerous to use?

The Grid Guard is safe for humans. The shock is highly unpleasant but is 40 times less powerful than electric fence in a farmer’s field; these have been used safely for decades. 

How powerful is the shock?

The shock is pulsed at 1 per second (1Hz). This is the maximum frequency allowed by law. The pulse is 5000 volts but very low amperage to make it safe. It is <0.1% as powerful as a defibrillator.

Can I drive a vehicle over it?

A forklift as driven over The Grid Guard in a busy warehouse well in excess of 150000 times and it is still going strong. We have also had a fully laden fire truck drive over; please see here for video; so cars are certainly no problem. The tiles are made of hard-wearing stainless steel and PVC, both materials used in high quality long-lasting flooring surfaces and tiles. The system needs to be mounted on a hard, level surface otherwise the tiles will flex and break.

Can the tiles be cleaned?

Yes, the tiles can be vacuumed, swept, pressure washed and hosed down.  We recommend switching the energiser off if washing with water.

Can the energizer run off grid?

Yes, we have an option for a battery powered energizer.

Will the tiles work if covered in debris or snow?

We recommend that the tiles are kept clear of debris and snow in order to be sure of full effectiveness. However, they may well be effective even when covered. We have found that rats and mice often don’t even walk on the device and will avoid it completely, even having never had a shock off it. This has led us to the conclusion that they are able to sense the electric field around the system. This may continue to deter them even if the tiles are covered in debris. We recommend debris is cleared in order to avoid arcing on the surface of the mat. If there are concerns about snow build-up on the surface, underfloor heating tiles can be placed under the system.

Do I need a full mat or will a perimeter offer enough protection?

The more of the surface under and around an area or object to be protected that is covered with The Grid Guard the better the level of protection. We recommend a perimeter for use around a car as we have found this to be extremely effective at stopping rodent damage completely. In the unlikely event that damage continues, extra tiles can be added at a later date.

Will the tiles work when they are switched off?

Rodents are neophobic, meaning that they are repelled by new objects, situations and smells. This is how many less effective rodent repellents work. The rodents may be wary of walking on the tiles when they are switched off but if they are hungry or thirsty this is unlikely to deter them for long. Whilst being used in real-world situations, we found that when the flooring was activated rodents often would not set foot on the tiles at all, only to walk straight across as soon as they were deactivated.

How do I know if the tiles are working?

Having assembled the system and switched it on, there is no reason to expect that it wouldn’t be working. To be sure that electric pulses are reaching all areas of the surface an electric fence tester can be used. This measures voltages up to several thousands volts, unlike most standard voltage meters which may be damaged.

Do the tiles need to be screwed to floor or mat operated as a moving structure?

We recommend that the tiles are screwed to the floor in any area where there is frequent footfall or traffic. This prevents movement which could otherwise result in an area being exposed to rodent damage. Each tile has two screw points. Alternatively, if the mats are used in an area where they are unlikely to be moved during use, they can be left not screwed down in order that they can be lifted for access or to avoid damage if they are to be driven over on an uneven surface. The tiles are portable and can be moved and redeployed if required.

How much electricity does The Grid Guard use?

0.45 watts; significantly less than an energy saving light bulb. This is <0.1% of the energy of a defibrillator, 0.45 joules, 40 times less powerful than a standard electric fence in a farmer’s field. It delivers a 0.003 seconds (3 millisecond) duration pulse. 

Do rodents get used to the shock?

The Grid Guard works like an electric fence. There is no evidence that animals become accustomed to pulsed electric shocks which is why these fences remain effective in farmer’s fields for decades. We have had no occurrences of rodents becoming accustomed to the shock; in fact they usually avoid it altogether.

Do rats jump over the perimeter?

Rats and mice don’t jump over the perimeter; our customers find it completely effective at keeping rats and mice out. We find that they usually don’t step on it at all when it is on, leading us to believe that they can sense the electric field around it. If this is the case they will be able to sense the front edge but not the back edge of the field, so they won’t know where it ends and so don’t jump into it. There is evidence that rodents use the earths magnetic field to navigate so it is likely that the high voltage pulses from The Grid Guard interfere with this, leading to the rodents avoiding the area.

Does it have to be used on concrete?

Flat, level concrete and cement are ideal. Earth will be too soft; the tiles are very strong but repeated flexion from being driven over could crack them. If the ground under a tile sinks the tile will flex when it is driven over. Packed gravel or grit may be fine but grit on the surface of the tiles, when mounted on a surface which gives when driven on, can cause the grit to drive between the tiles and break the contact, resulting in power loss. The tiles will continue to work for some time if cracked (we have tested this) so if you find that they are damaged you could swap them out for spares or undamaged ones and put the cracked ones where they won’t be driven over. If you are finding the tiles are sinking when you drive over them you could put a piece of stiff wood or plywood in a strip under the tiles, flush with the ground. If the only area available is earth we would suggest making a movable perimeter so it can be removed before driving on and off. It is also ideal for the tiles to be screwed down so they don’t move when driven on and off; this won’t be possible with soft ground resulting in the installation needing repositioning if it moves.

Does dust and debris on the surface affect the function?

A small amount of grit and dirt won’t cause a problem. If the debris is wet it can cause arcing/shorting. We see this as cosmetic as it does not affect the function of the mat and it still remains safe. Some people don’t like the noise it makes and would rather reduce it, mostly people ignore it. A large amount of debris may act as a bridge for the rodents, although they are likely to still be repelled by the electric field. You can sweep it plugged in and on, as long as you don’t touch it with bare hands or use an all-metal brush!