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Scram! Getting rid of pesky teenagers with an ear-piercing sound

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A gray box in the lobby of a New York City apartment building emits an annoying sound that only teenagers can hear.

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American Towers apartment building in Queens, New York City, used to have groups of teenagers hang inside the lobby and outside on the sidewalk at all hours of the day. The installation of the Mosquito two months ago has driven them away.

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Geneva Lindsay, a 14-year-old resident, says the sound coming from the little gray box on the wall is like a cat hissing. While she didn't mind the group of teens who hung out in the lobby on a daily basis, her mother did.

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A solitary lobby in a New York City apartment is ordinarily the site of daily gatherings of teenagers. A little gray box on the wall emits an annoying, high-frequency sound that has driven them away.

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A gray box in the lobby of a New York City apartment building emits an annoying sound that only teenagers can hear.

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This spring, convenience stores in Canada and an apartment in Queens are the latest to rely on high-frequency, ultrasonic sound box to clear public spaces of loiterers. Emitting a sharp sound that only people age 13 to 25 can hear, the device, called the Mosquito, has begun to gain traction in the United States. Law enforcement and building administrators praise its attributes. Kids run in annoyance. In England, critics have mounted a campaign against the device, claiming age discrimination.


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