Mosquitoes have been found in Dutch cities since 2005. But this new clever alternative in Rotterdam is different: residents can control it themselves. “This is unique in the Netherlands and I think even worldwide,” says Donald van der Laan of Rhein Consulting Group BV. Mosquitoes are imported to the Benelux countries, Germany and Switzerland.
The original mosquito was developed in England and makes a high-frequency sound that young people up to 25 years old feel as very annoying. “Older people don’t hear it, or it doesn’t feel annoying,” he explains to EditieNL.
However, there was something annoying about the old mosquito: even the young people who didn’t cause any inconvenience were bothered by it. “They’ve always stayed. That’s why we started researching: How do we prevent those mosquitoes from bothering people unnecessarily?”
This is how the new mosquito was created that can be turned on and off by the population. “If they experience any inconvenience, they can call. Then the mosquito is on for fifteen minutes. This is only possible between 10 pm and 5 am,” van der Laan says. Ten pieces will be placed.
Annoy young loafers
About 34 percent of all Dutch people say the inconvenience of young people loitering sometimes occurs in their area. The residents of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht are the hardest hit.
The smart mosquito was tested for several months. “It’s going well,” says van der Laan. “The nuisance has decreased. There also doesn’t seem to be a waterbed effect: young loafers go elsewhere.”
“We should not be under the illusion that they are going to do their homework or go to bed at home, but it should not be. There are plenty of places in Rotterdam where young people can do their things without disturbing the evening rest and the living pleasure of others.”
Hearing develops over a lifetime. “When we were born, our hearing didn’t have such a wide range,” Michelle Rotten, a hearing care specialist for Hans Anders, tells EditieNL. “It evolves over the years to 20,000 Hz. When we’re around 25, that range goes down and we lose those spikes.”
It is about rates. “There are always exceptions, of course. I am 35 years old and just discovered that I can hear mosquitoes. Tones of this frequency are very unpleasant.”
There are no specific tones that are tested as being too annoying for the elderly. “Like their physical condition, their hearing deteriorates. We often see them lose tones first and then the decline follows. As far as is known, there is no difference between sensitivity to tones between men and women.”
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