Though he did not know it at the time, the idea came to Howard Stapleton when he was 12 and visiting a factory with his father, a manufacturing executive in London. Opening the door to a room where workers were using high-frequency welding equipment, he found he could not bear to go inside.

“The noise!” he complained.

“What noise?” the grownups asked.

Now 39, Stapleton has taken the lesson he learned that day – that children can hear sounds at higher frequencies than adults can – to fashion a novel device that he hopes will provide a solution to the eternal problem of obstreperous teenagers who hang around outside stores and cause trouble.

A trip to Spar here in Barry confirmed the strange truth of the phenomenon…..The Mosquito is positioned just outside the door. Although this reporter could not hear anything, being too old, several young people attested to the fact that yes, there wasThe Mosquito is positioned just outside the door. Although this reporter could not hear anything, being too old, several young people attested to the fact that yes, there was a noise, and yes, it was extremely annoying.

“It’s loud and squeaky and it just goes through you,” said Jodie Evans, 15. “It gets inside you.”

And, then, you could keep old farts like me away — with a device that makes a noise like a politician running for re-election.



  1. RonD says:

    “And, then, you could keep old farts like me away — with a device that makes a noise like a politician running for re-election.”

    Or the BOOM BOOM BASS of those obnoxious car stereos. : (

  2. Woodcubed says:

    As a teenager myself, I object to being compared to, or treated in the same fashion, as a blood-sucking pest. If all snide remarks like “well, if it walks like one…” could be held up for a moment, please consider: even if this device does not affect you, would you want it affecting your own children or to have a similar device targeting your demographic in the future?

  3. Janey James says:

    Have they thought about creating an attractive space where teens could just hang out- maybe even an area of the mall? They could play popular music in that area to attract the teens away from doors and areas where “serious shoppers” don’t want to be disturbed by the sight of young people socializing. Then the only problem will be old people like me who are attracted to the ‘teen hang-out area” to get away from the musak. Hey, you can’t please everyone.

  4. BdgBill says:

    What a great device! They need to make a portable one that can be brought to the movies to keep the cell phone using, seat kicking, incessantly talking teens away from my seat.

  5. Izzy says:

    Upside – it seems like an effective way to break up a disruptive group of teens.
    Downside – young children and babies accompanying their parents (who can’t hear the noise) would be very upset, and could possibly suffer damage from having to stay in the store with the painful noise. Not to mention the store is limiting their list of future customers.

  6. Barry Locklear says:

    “….Have they thought about creating an attractive space where teens could just hang out- maybe even an area of the mall? ….”

    Such areas would also attract drug dealers, pimps, vandals with spray paint and other undesireables. Sure, that makes sense.

    Why aren’t these kids in school, studying, working or doing something useful?

  7. Ascii King says:

    Doesn’t this violate any noise by-laws? If the teens complain about the noise, do the police take the compaint seriously? If not, then could I make a noise device that affected everybody? Perhaps just a really loud radio. What is the difference between a really loud radio and this device other than the demographic of the people who hear it?

  8. Ascii King says:

    This doesn’t scatter swarms of unruly teens, it scatters all teens. Guilty because of your innocence.

  9. Ima Fish says:

    Janey James, why would a mall want loiterers?! Heck, why would ANY business want them?! Malls make money by having customers come in and spend real money. Having a group of kids buy an occasional soda while taking up space in no way helps a mall.

    I simply do not see anything wrong with what the guy is doing. No one has a right to “hang out” on someone else’s property without the owner’s permission.

    When I was a kid nearly all convenience stores had a two kid at a time limit. We all accepted it and respected it.

  10. Ima Fish says:

    I just found a story that backs up my argument. If you don’t pay malls don’t want you.

    A four year old girl stood in-line to see Santa at the local mall. But when it was her turn to sit on Santa’s lap she was kicked out because her mom didn’t have the $21 to buy a photo of the occasion.

    http://www.local6.com/news/5435940/detail.html

    I’m not saying this was right, but it proves that malls do not operate on providing charity, but on paying customers.

  11. mike cannali says:

    Some observations:
    – Bad idea for inside a toystore
    – TV sets typically let out a squeel at 15.75 KHz, but it doesn’t stop the teens from watching.
    – This technique may be effective in training your neighbor’s dog from barking. Or to keep their cat out of your kid’s sandbox
    – If you want to drive old farts away, overload their hearing aids with low, low frequencies, until they distort and buzz. (the hearing aids that is)
    – Could this be used to get teens to return the car on time?
    – and with a full tank of gas?
    – For younger kids – how about a plate that squeels until the broccoli disappears
    – How about a TSR program that lets out the shriek after too may hours of Everquest.
    – Cigarettes that have a similar device when lit
    – Or just put it on the refrigerator and outside doors to keep them from being left open.

  12. Ima Fish says:

    Gee, I found a second story! This one involves a mall kicking out chess players. For what?! Not buying stuff! Who’d have guessed it!

    http://dwb.newsobserver.com/24hour/weird/story/2945569p-11617264c.html

  13. jtremblay says:

    It seems the device could work. My son and I watched the cnn clip together, all I heard was a little beeping while he was going bonkers. The one problem I noted though was that a teen who is usually a pacifist and the opposite of violent, became enraged by the sound and started talking that “kids should have a revolution, shoot the *&^% things”. Being scientifically oriented by nature, he’s now pondering creative ways of destroying the machines if they appear here. He might have a particularly sensitive ear to it BUT further to his reacion I can’t help but wonder if these sounds could actually make some teens more aggressive!

  14. James Bobart says:

    Here’s a site that’s been operating for a while selling something that works on the same principle.

    http://www.teenrepel.co.uk

    I’m considering buying one.

  15. simon says:

    I have ordered one of these Teen Rel things. Can’t get anyone to answer my email or return my calls.

    Does this have anything to do with Celanese Chemicals (UK) because that is one of the telephone numbers i have for them 01469 575096 (Gillian) I also have 01652 636264 but never get an answer on there.

  16. seema says:

    Such areas would also attract drug dealers, pimps, vandals with spray paint and other undesireables. Sure, that makes sense.

    Why aren’t these kids in school, studying, working or doing something useful?


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