Friday Funny: Teen Pest Control

A New Zealand library is hoping an unusual method will “bug” scrap-happy teenagers enough to keep them from loitering.

There are many pests that can wreak havoc at a facility: Bugs. Birds. Rodents. Teenagers.


The noise emitted from the mosquito device can be uncomfortable to youth if they spend any length of time nearby, according to the Christchurch City Council. (Photo: The Press/Stacy Squires/Fairfax, NZ)

While libraries generally encourage young people to gather within their walls, Pananui Library in Christchurch, New Zealand has been plagued with loitering teens who are prone to fighting. In an effort to deter the scrappers, library officials are testing an unusual method: A sonic device designed to repel mosquitoes.

The device, which emits a high-pitched sound detectable only by young ears (and, apparently, mosquitos), was installed by the doors and in the foyer of the library, according to Christchurch officials.

“The mosquito device emits a noise that is undetectable by adults and proves uncomfortable to youth if they spend any length of time in close proximity. The alarm is on all the time,” Erica Rankin, acting head of libraries for the Christchurch City Council, told The Press.

The effort to bug the teens may be for naught, according to Lexie Narbey, 16, a student at nearby Papanui High School. The teen told UPI she can hear the noise outside of the facility, but it doesn’t cause her any discomfort, and the noise can be drowned out by simply talking loud enough.

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties noted the Council of Europe previously declared the usage of sonic mosquito-repelling devices to be a violation of human rights. The group has filed a request under the Official Information Act to obtain documents related to the device’s installation at the library. The Council of Europe called for the devices to be banned in Britain.