November 30, 2005

Rowdy Teenagers Beware: the Mosquito is Coming

LONDON (Reuters) - A Welsh inventor claims to have found the perfect solution to rowdy youngsters -- noise.

Howard Stapleton says his device, the "Mosquito," emits an uncomfortable high-pitched ultrasonic sound that can be heard by children and teenagers but almost no one over 30.

It has successfully driven away noisy teens from a grocery store in the Welsh town of Barry and a shop in Stapleton's home town Merthyr Tydfil, making smoking, lounging and foul-mouthed youths a thing of the past.

The ability to hear high frequencies deteriorates with age, but some adults might still be able to hear the Mosquito. No one except young troublemakers appears annoyed, however.

"All I'm getting is pats on the back," Stapleton told Reuters. "No bricks thrown at me yet."

He said teenagers he had talked to welcomed the device too, because they used to be intimidated by gangs hanging around the shops.

The Mosquito has turned Stapleton into a media star, with appearances on British TV and radio and interest from as far afield as Australia, the United States and Canada.