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Anti-Loitering Noise Device Installed at D.C. Hangout

An "anti-loitering noise device" called the Mosquito has been installed on a building at this corner (7th and H Streets, N.W. at Chinatown Friendship Arch). "Friendship Arch" lends a certain irony to installing the device here.
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Awhile back we wrote about a sound system for the playground called SonicScreen (Miracle Recreation Equipment Co.)

No, it wasn’t about pumping stereo music onto the playground, but chasing people off playgrounds when they’re closed to prevent vandalism.

The dual system can emit two ranges of high frequency sounds that hurt the ears. One range can be heard by anyone, but the higher range only by teenagers.

Now the owners of the Gallery Place in Washington, D.C. have installed a similar “anti-loitering noise device” called the Mosquito, made by MST Technologies.


The Mosquito unit has four types of volume selection options and 10 volume levels with frequencies ranging from 11 to 18 Khz.

The unit has been installed on a building at Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station entrance plaza to keep people from loitering outside the mall and by the Metro station. The Mosquito can emit a range of high-frequency noises that will definitely have people fleeing the area. You can hear these frequencies (11 to 18 Khz) at Warning: These frequencies, even at moderate decibel levels, are painful. Your ears can be ringing and hurt even after the sound has stopped.

Gallery Place Partners, the property owners, assert teens are not being targeted, that the “tone” is set for all ages to hear. Note: The unit has four types of volume selection options and 10 volume levels. We’re assuming the decibel level is quite low, otherwise people would literally run from the area.

It’s reported the brawl in early August involving a large group of people at L'Enfant Metro station may have had its start at Gallery Place. Unlike other major U.S. cities, D.C. does not have anti-loitering laws.

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October 13, 2019, 6:51 pm PDT

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