Monday, April 27, 2009

Teen Repellent?

Apparently there is a sonic device used in the Netherlands, Britain, and other European countries called "The Mosquito" that is designed to prevent loitering by teens. How does it work?
"It sucks! It gives me a headache," 10-year-old Mohammed says, describing the "mosquito," a device that emits an annoying sound with a frequency that can generally be heard only by people under the age of 25. His friends Ercan, Anass and Nordin agree. "It's like when you've been listening to loud music for a long time and then you stop," he says. "This buzzing sound."
The device is controversial, but some say it is effective.
the local authorities in Oud Charlois are extremely pleased with the mosquitoes. "We were getting complaints about intimidation and vandalism," says neighborhood council president Dick Lockhorst. "The nuisance has diminished by 70-80 percent. That means less work for the police."
According to the Netherlands company that imports the mosquito, they've installed 500 of them in 120 different municipalities. Apparently its sound affects those within a 20 meter radius. And some say that it bothers people who aren't its intended targets. How could it not?

I'm not sure how a device that emits an annoying sound is supposed to discriminate between people who are a nuisance, and those with legitimate business in an area. After all, plenty of people under 25 buy things and patronize businesses, as do even many teenagers. If I were a shop owner I certainly wouldn't want a mosquito anywhere near my business. When I saw this story I thought it was some sort of a joke.


  1. They will lose business, too. They use it here in the US at malls to keep teens from congregating outside and causing trouble. My hubby has hearing closer to the norm for dogs than humans (what the doctor actually said to him), and it drives him insane. I mean tears rolling down his face from the pain.

  2. I didn't know that. I'm surprised that they can get away with it here, especially since I'm sure your husband's situation is not unique. Plus it would probably have the same effect on seeing eye dogs. This device sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.