In response to unwanted loitering by young people, a neighborhood installs a device that emits an unpleasant sound that only they can hear.
The human dog whistle has finally arrived. Meet the Mosquito. It’s a device that emits a high-pitched, screeching noise only younger ears can hear.
Theresa Vargas at the Washington Post reports that the Mosquito was recently installed near Chinatown in D.C. The device, which costs $1,000, sends out an ear-bleeding sound at a frequency of 17.5 kiloherts, the upper level of hearing for 13- to 25-year-olds.
It was installed as a means to stop teenagers from loitering. If you happen to be a younger adult who just happens to want to shop in the area guarded by the Mosquito, you’ve got a decision to make. What do you value more, your hearing or your fashion sense? It’s a painful choice, and one I’m glad I’ll never have to make—unless I move to D.C. and decide to go to Chinatown, where I’ll then fall right into the target demographic.
The device also has a bum-protector mode, where the frequency can be adjusted to ward off vagabonds. I’m not so sure that homeless people have a specialized hearing level, but I think it’s safe to say the Mosquito just might cause a few problems. Is the thing even constitutional? We’ll keep an eye on the story.