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Teen Repellent

April 24th, 2008 by Mike Nelson · 47 Comments

RiffTrax World Headquarters remain entirely teen-free thanks to the hundreds of “mosquito noise” teen repellers that I ordered my 2nd day on the job here.

teen repellent

I love them almost unconditionally. What stops me just short is that because I am now and have always been fastidious about protecting my hearing, the noise they put out is audible to me as well. Consequently, I am forced to sprint to my car, hands over my ears. I am told the ability to hear this frequency is very rare for people over 30. Download the MP3 on this page and find out if all the cranking of the Linkin Parkses that you kids do has felled the cilia in your ears like helpless saplings.


Or try these, with the caveat that your speakers and headphones are almost assuredly incapable of playing the highest tones. (If you’re especially geeky, as I am, you can see that this frequency response graph (measured in an anechoic chamber using a 1/18th octave analyzer) for some of the finest engineered speakers made, falls off considerably at the highest frequency.

**UPDATED UPDATE From Kevin Murphy

If you want a really effective audio weapon in your arsenal, try an extremely low tone, around 30 Hz, looped through a nice bass speaker or subwoofer. Not only will it emotionally scar anyone under twenty, it will also shake every screw in your house loose.

Tags: RiffTrax

47 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I can hear it… Pretty Annoying. Sounds like someone turning on 3 Tube TV’s Behind me.

  • 2 Clint Keene on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I can hear it, too. Though I’m the guy who covers his ears on train platforms when the brakes are squealing. Those frequencies may be to high to hear, but the amplitude can damage your ears.

  • 3 Slade Rockfist on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I can hear it, but I’m an audio engineer so it’s kinda my job….I’m 28 now, in 2 years I’ll hopefully still be employed….

  • 4 Jacob_Taylor on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:07 am

    I can hear it, and I’m in Florida

  • 5 JoshWay on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I’m 32 and regrettably I can hear it. Maybe I should go undercover amongst the teeners. Here – let me pull my pants down around my knees… “‘S’up, dawg?”

  • 6 Barry on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I can hear it also, at age 31. Sounds not too far removed in frequency from the high-pitched noise that a TV makes (CRT, not LCD/plasma), which is roughly 15 kHz.

  • 7 Neb on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:14 am

    I’m 44 and I couldn’t hear it at all…but then I’ve been a misanthropic codger since about age 17.

  • 8 Neb on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Arrrgh….I retract the above statement. I just listened to the NPR piece and couldn’t hear the version they played. On the other hand, the actual MP3 tone registered just fine. Sounded like a bad case of tinnitus. Ugh.

  • 9 Neb on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Stop that this instant!

  • 10 Virginia Corbett on Apr 24, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Just turned 34 and I CAN HEAR IT!!!!!

    But I can hear Bill’s watch on his side table and make him put it in a drawer because it drives me insane. And I can hear a TV on mute from the other room. And actually, now that I’ve listened to that, my brain has logged it and is playing it for me over and over and over…. great.

    Hey! Wait! Maybe I have SUPER HEARING!
    *goes to find a suitable costume*

  • 11 Meredith on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I’m 23 and I can hear it. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have turned the volume on my computer all the way up before playing it.

  • 12 R.A. Roth on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    My hearing tops out at 14Khz, which proves I’m not a mosquito.


  • 13 Tim D on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    I can’t hear ANY of those darn soundeses! Does that automatically make you MY ARCH NEMESIS??!!!

    Tinnitus and Meniere’s Disease Man, AWAY!!

  • 14 Tv Miller on Apr 24, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    All I heard was which I first assumed was the repellant. I’ll admit, I might have clicked on the wrong thing.

  • 15 Yanni on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Your costume could be a giant ear! Or have a giant ear as a logo, like Superman’s ‘S’!

  • 16 SarahCanuck on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I can’t hear it. AUGH! I’m only 19 and I’ve been careful about not playing musc loud and I’ve already managed to ruin my hearing?!?! Oh, wait, – I’m using headphones right now. I choose to blame it on the headphones. *whimper*

  • 17 Jacob Gibson on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I, Duality Man, am currently in the market for a sidekick. And while I feel I have superior hearing and don’t need a sidekick for that sort of thing, you might as well turn in an application to my HR representative just to be in consideration.

    Any other superheroes on this blog are welcome to do the same.

  • 18 Fortis aka Duality Man on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I can hear it, some guys in my church use this as a ring tone so that if their phone goes off the adults won’t get mad.

    Its worked so far.

  • 19 MikeP on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    37 and I can hear all of them, though the 20Khz one was faint.

  • 20 RemmieBarrow on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    That is probably as annoying as a Celine Dion concert.

  • 21 QuackersnCheese on Apr 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Hmm, can’t hear a thing…. Oh … Oh ….. nope can’t hear a thing.

    What you have to download it first, well no wonder I didn’t hear anything…… Hmm, wait I think …. nope still don’t hear anything how odd.

  • 22 Kris on Apr 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I can hear this as well, which is all fine and good, but the real question is this: what the heck was going on at the RiffTrax World Headquarters that required hundreds of Teen Repellent Devices in the first place? Very confused and a little scared….

  • 23 Queen Bee on Apr 24, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    31 and hearin’ it, suckahs! I can still RAWK to single, highly annoying tones, boooooyyyyeeee!

    I couldn’t hear it on the NPR piece, but what I did hear was the lede on that story: “While your chances of getting shingles increases as you age…” I’ll just go ahead and toss that on the “Poorly Forced Connections I’d Rather Not Think About” pile.

  • 24 Queen Bee on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    You know what, I just remembered hearing this as a ringtone in my classroom and wondering why on earth anyone would choose something so hideously annoying. Them crazy kids! Also: FOILED AGAIN, students!

  • 25 Indianadelae on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I can totally hear it….after all, I’m only 23.

    Funny story: I have a teaching assistantship at my grad school, and thus teach obnoxious, ungrateful, disrespectful undergraduate students. One of them tried this on his cell phone in one of my labs, not realizing that I was only 4 years older than he was (which was insulting in and of itself, but I don’t look my best when teaching a human anatomy lab). I of course heard it go off, and since phones in the lab are a huge NOTSOMUCH, kicked him out. He ended up failing the course. Ha!

  • 26 Whu’d You Say? « Blonde Champagne on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    [...] You Say? Posted on Friday, April 25, 2008 by MB The “Mosquito Noise” is all the rage over at the Rifftrax blog, raised to consciousness by my BFF Mike Nelson.  It’s an extremely high tone which is [...]

  • 27 miss chii on Apr 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    if i had this, all the punks at the mall would go away. that and the punks at the movie theater. and the ones @ schools. and no school hangouts at my ice cream parlor.

    they are unecessary folks but they contribute to the gross natonal product, blah blah blah. dont know where the teens get the monies to go for movies, etc. ah…youth. loud and obnoxious. (like, OMG!)

  • 28 Queen Bee on Apr 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    You, my friend, need Rate Your Students:

  • 29 MonkeyCheezPants on Apr 24, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    In the UK, there is a serious campaign to ban these things as a civil rights violation.

    This, from the nation that has the most CCTV cameras per capita in the world.

  • 30 Adam on Apr 25, 2008 at 10:52 am

    At a nice, crisp (?) 25 years of age I canhear the high tone but not the low tone, though I’m wondering if maybe the cheap headphones I’m using aren’t the culprit? I sure hope so.

    Also, my ears are currently STILL ringing from that high tone.

  • 31 SarahCanuck on Apr 25, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Oh. Duh. You have to download the mp3. Yay! I can hear it! I haven’t managed to ruin my hearing before I reached adulthood! Hurrah! And ow.

  • 32 QuackersnCheese on Apr 26, 2008 at 9:04 am

    I tried again and if you turn your speakers all the way up you can just make out a very faint pitch. My hearing went bad a very long time ago so it’s no wonder I can’t hear it. Well that and I am over the required age to be able to hear it.

  • 33 Mairon on Apr 27, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I couldn’t hear the first mp3 that Mike suggested – damn! I’m 31 and I do try to safeguard my hearing, although I’ve forgotten to protect my ears a few too many times when using a starter’s pistol or shotgun when out dawg training. Hey, you’ve gotta coordinate blowing a duck call, handling/firing the gun, and accurately tossing the bumper or dead bird to the right spot on the ground or in the water, all at the same time – gimme a break! But MAN does that ever hurt, when you forget to put your ear protection back on and fire the gun next to your naked, vulnerable ear. Yowza!

    So then I went to the Aubraux link that Mike gave, and was able to hear everything up to and including the 14KHz mosquito ringtone. After that, all I could hear for the higher-pitched ones was the “click” at the beginning/end of the track. My dawgs didn’t seem to hear the higher ones either…but then again they’re ridiculous creatures who refuse to wear ear protection of any kind when we’re training.

    Good thing I have my superhuman powers of scent to fall back on, ’cause I think I’d better start wearing a mosquito net all summer long if I’m losing my ability to hear those frickin’ annoying sounds. Malaria is wasted on the young!

  • 34 Geena on Apr 27, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    I’m 39, and I could totally hear the NPR one. I couldn’t hear the upper ranges of the others, but that could be my speakers.

  • 35 Bert on May 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    FYI, I recorded the NPR piece from the soundcard directly into Sound Forge audio editing software, and when she says “like this..,” apparently playing a sample tone, there is no tone played. Likely the web compression cut off any frequencies above 14Khz or so (MP3 compression under 160kbps will typically do this by default). So if you’re listening to the NPR piece, and saying “I can’t hear it!” then try those samples from the second set of links–I guarantee those have sound all over them.

    I’m 27 and can hear the 17Khz one just fine. The 18Khz one is barely audible if I increase the volume…19/20? No way, I had to verify via the same record-to-Sound Forge method that there even was sound playing (and, yes, there is).

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  • 37 Aftermathninja on May 22, 2009 at 9:14 am

    i can’t hear it and i am a teenager, what the hell.

  • 38 Spudd86 on Jan 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    There is no sound in the NPR thing, I looked at my on screen level meter, after she says ‘this’ the sound level drops to nothing until she starts talking again, so if you can’t hear it on the NPR recording it’s because there is nothing to hear…

    Basically NPR is screwing with you, or it got cut out by the compression… (one of the things MP3 compression does is drop high frequencies, so depending on what else is in the same recording and the amount of compression the encoder, it might just drop stuff that high)

    It scared me, because I was pretty sure I could hear stuff up to at least 20khz…

  • 39 Spudd86 on Jan 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I just tested by generating tones in Audacity, I can hear up to 20kHz, somewhere between there 20.5kHz I stop hearing it, however if it’s loud enough I can still sort of sense the pressure… (irritating)

  • 40 asdasd on Jan 1, 2011 at 9:37 am


  • 41 kazu on Jan 2, 2011 at 9:40 am


  • 42 ryota on Jan 3, 2011 at 8:29 am


  • 43 softballchic on Jan 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    i love this when im textingg my parents dnt know lol hahahaha i can hear up to 24khz

  • 44 yumiko on Jan 11, 2011 at 10:29 am


  • 45 Ken on Feb 17, 2011 at 3:03 am

    I also started blog.

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