Ed. Note: Back in 2010 we posted “Anti-teen Noise-weapon Hits DC at Chinatown Metro”, which were then promptly removed. Then in 2016 we posted Anti Pigeon Devices Removed!! “Both make intermittent, high-pitched squeals that are piercingly loud, at least to my 30-year-old ears”.

Annette writes that it’s from:

“The Farragut West Metro 18th & I St exit. The noise is so piercing I can barely tweet straight. Is it one of those anti-loitering noise things that’s only supposed to be audible by teens? Read More


mosquito anti-loitering device from Chinatown back in 2010

“Dear PoPville,

Twice when I’ve walked by a particular house, there is a repeating, high-pitched beep that kills my head. This sound is on the east side of New Hampshire Ave NW, just south of 16&U. I can’t find any mention of it on the inter webs but it’s terrible and certainly does not help post-work headaches on the commute home. My best guess is it’s a mosquito device–an anti-loitering device that emits a sound only young people can hear, except I’m probably too old to hear that noise. Any ideas?”


14th and Irving Street, NW

Ed. Note: Back in August 2010 we broke the news that an anti loitering device called the mosquito was placed outside the Chinatown Gallery Place Metro station. After complaints the device was removed within two months.

Update: Just got off the phone with the folks from Donatelli and as one commenter suspected – it was a device to keep the pigeons away! But because people have complained that they could hear it (more than OP here) they have taken down the devices today.

“Dear PoPville,

There are two noise-making devices, one just outside the Columbia Heights Metro above Five Guys and the other about 75 feet away above Potbelly. Both make intermittent, high-pitched squeals that are piercingly loud, at least to my 30-year-old ears. I could even hear them inside the Metro station. I come by this area at least twice a day during the week and first noticed the sound at 6:30 p.m. today. The machines were still going at 9:30. Two security guards in the plaza with Special Police badges told me they had never seen the devices before and believed they were new. Read More


The Washington Post reports:

A man was stabbed in the leg Tuesday night during a fight with as many as three youths at an entrance of the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station in downtown Washington.

The attack occurred near the station entrance at 7th and H streets NW at about 9:35 p.m.

I doubt the mosquito anti teen loitering device would’ve helped in this situation but it does makes me wonder.


“Dear PoP,

I noticed (perhaps an understatement) a fairly disturbing development at the Chinatown exit of the Metro–someone seemed to have installed one of those British anti-loitering devices that emit a pitch that only teens can hear.  This clearly is not the case as you wouldn’t be receiving this email–I’m 25 and not quite a nuisance, however I’m subject to hearing a pitch that causes headaches and induces nausea.  Today it was audible from just past the Metro turnstiles.  I’m wondering if you’ve heard about this and if it’s been installed by a public or business organization.

I’ve attached a picture (see above)  I snapped of the device, called a Mosquito.”

Wow, I remember hearing about this device but had no idea it was deployed in DC. I went to check it out Monday afternoon and sure enough it was right above the metro at Gallery Place/Chinatown on the 7th and H St, NW side (a frequent teen hangout):

I have to admit my 35 year old ears didn’t notice anything. Have any other readers noticed this sound/pitch outside the Chinatown metro? But if this is indeed an anti-teen loitering device that emits a painful pitch do you think it is fair game or over the line for a nearby business to deploy?

According to Wikipedia the device is sold in the US and they sum up the the debate nicely:

“The Mosquito has attracted controversy on the basis of human rights. Critics say that it discriminates against young people and infringes their human rights, while supporters argue that making the Mosquito illegal would infringe the human rights of shopkeepers who suffer business losses when “unruly teenagers” drive away their customers.”


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