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Mosquito Anti-Teenager Device
Status: Real
The Sunday Mirror ran an article about a device, called the Mosquito, that promises to allow shopkeepers to get rid of the crowds of surly youths who like to congregate outside their shops. The article states:

The machine, which is hidden within the lights of corner shops, uses ear-splitting ultrasonic soundwaves. It is being hailed as the answer to clear away underage drinkers and vandals from the doorways of late-opening stores. The 9in-high device - called the Mosquito - has a range of 20 to 30 metres and emits a piercing sound only clearly audible to under-20s. The sound is said to be "extremely unpleasant", but not harmful.

The website of Compound Security Systems, maker of the Mosquito, further explains:

Mosquito is essentially a sounder unit that emits a very high (ultra-sonic) tone that is completely harmless even with long term use... Research has shown that the majority of people over the age of 25, have lost the ability to hear at this frequency range... The longer someone is exposed to the sound, the more annoying it becomes. Field trials have shown that teenagers are acutely aware of the Mosquito and usually move away from the area within just a couple of minutes. The field trails also suggest that after several uses, the groups of children / teenagers tend not to loiter in the areas covered by the Mosquito, even when it is not turned on.

I'm not sure about the science here, but it does seem plausible to me that younger people would be able to hear high-pitched sounds more easily than older people. If this does work, I would definitely consider installing it to annoy my college-age neighbors who enjoy playing basketball in their backyard at midnight. (Thanks to Eric for the link.)
Technology
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 07, 2005


High frequency hearing does indeed decline with age. However, mp3 players are also causing youths to lose their hearing earlier. So, I wonder about the real effectiveness of this device, instead of just the theoretical effectiveness. However, I am going to recommend this device for use all over my community. I absolutely HATE teenagers! They're such jack-asses!
Posted by Laura  in  gaithersburg, md  on  Thu Apr 03, 2008  at  11:59 AM
What is the fail/safe of this product? Is there anyway to detect if you are being assaulted with this supposedly inaudible sound machine? What if I wanted to assault my neighbor with this device? Is there any law to stop me? Even though the inventor says no one over 20 can hear this assaulting sound is there any pressure that is associated with high frequency sound that could negatively affect any over 20 if exposed too long.

I feel these devices at just about every department store I go in and I now don
Posted by peggy  in  florida  on  Tue Apr 08, 2008  at  08:42 PM
You can also find more info on the Mosquito here:

http://www.mosquitogroup.com/index.html
Posted by Alex  in  Seattle, WA  on  Thu May 29, 2008  at  11:36 AM
The modern-day teenager cannot exist without strong mobile phone reception. The gang would be unwilling to lurk near a shop where their mobile phones do not work.
Posted by Stainless steel range hoods  in  uas  on  Sat Mar 13, 2010  at  04:23 AM
The post office I use (also a shop) has one of these installed outside now. I'm 47, and I can hear it, to a level that is not uncomfortable, but is actually irritating. Either the frequency and/or volume is set incorrectly, or my hearing is better than I thought!

One question though... does it cause distress to dogs? There were a couple of dogs tied up outside the shop today, and I thought: surely they must be hearing that, if I am??
Posted by Mike T  in  United Kingdom  on  Mon Dec 10, 2012  at  07:07 AM
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