‘Mosquitoes’ being used to fight vandalism in Vancouver

Jordan Chittley
Daily Buzz

The devices emit a shrill noise only teens can hear and may soon be in schools

Vancouver area schools have a problem with vandalism, but luckily they have a solution. It's a controversial device called the Mosquito and it emits a shrill noise only teenagers can hear. The goal is to prevent some of the $500,000 a year of vandalism on schools.

According to Postmedia News the Vancouver School Board is fast-tracking plans to reintroduce the device to prevent further attacks.

The Mosquito, designed in the U.K., works with our gradual degradation of our hearing to pierce teens ears with a sound that is described as "nails on a chalkboard." It can often only be heard by people between the ages of 13 and 25.

They are working to reintroduce the device because after a number had already been installed without board approval, they had to be turned off after complaints from neighbours and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Now the Vancouver school district has drafted regulations for schools that want to use the devices, according to the Vancouver Sun. The rules are necessary so that the sound doesn't pose a health hazard or violate human rights. If approved by the board, schools with the devices could only turn them on between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Signs would also need to indicate the grounds are closed and such a device may be present.

Parent Silise Lebedovich told Postmedia News the devices also had an effect on playground safety. "They children have a right to go to school on Monday morning and not sidestep human feces, avoid needles, or see graffiti," she said.

Vancouver Coastal Health and the Board's lawyers, Harris and Company, also support the idea.

"Assuming that access to school property during the night is not a service customarily made available to any member of the public, there doesn't appear to be any basis for a complaint of discrimination under the Human Rights Code," reads an opinion by Harris and Company.

Executive Director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Union David Eby disagrees, arguing youth shouldn't be punished differently than adults and warns businesses will start installing them making many areas extremely annoying for teens.

The Council of Europe also recommends the devices be banned after an investigation because it violates legislation prohibiting torture.

KFC used it in an ad about 5 years ago and teens have been known to set it as a ringtone for messages so teachers don't know they have received a message.

The Mosquito will emit a 17KHz sine wave.

Hear what it sounds like and test your hearing

A single device retails for $1,100.

While not all the schools will get Mosquitoes, CBC reports about 30 per cent have requested them.

(Photo from Moving Sound Tech)