Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
News

Using Your Computer to Repel Pests 416

circletimessquare writes "A Thai guy wrote a program that uses your computer speaker to repel mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rats! Just when you thought you heard it all before (pun intended for no good reason). " Thats nothing- CowboyNeal can repel all known lifeforms just by playing his massive collection of boy band MP3s.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Using Your Computer to Repel Pests

Comments Filter:
  • Just a thought.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:45PM (#3987357) Journal
    I hate cleaning up all those broken dishes every morning.
  • Millions of DEBUG and WINDOWS jokes to follow...
  • Download (Score:5, Informative)

    by Betelgeuse ( 35904 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:48PM (#3987379) Homepage
    The software program they talk about can be found on (an almost all Thai) web site here. [thaiware.com]
  • hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by questionlp ( 58365 )
    About a RAID array of say 14-15 15K RPM SCSI hard drives?
  • Off! I'll just bring my laptop to the great outdoors... with a wireless net connection you could download different types of repellent too, maybe ones for bees and annoying campers who won't leave you alone.
  • uhm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dizzo ( 443720 )
    "Some users of the mosquito-repelling program have reported headaches after long periods spent in front of a computer emitting the bug-repelling high-pitched whine."

    No comment on whether these users got the same headaches just by sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time without the program running?
  • Why are speakers designed to emit sound at frequencies undectable by humans in the first place? I can't imagine that the designers of computer speakers had these types of applications in mind. Does the program work with any speakers, and do some speakers offer better high frequency performance than others?
    • by Zone5 ( 179243 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:54PM (#3987435)
      It's not so much that they're designed to emit sounds humans can't hear, as it is that they can't really be designed *NOT* to emit sounds humans can't hear.

      No matter what you do, you're going to be producing harmonics that may well lie outside the human range of hearing, and what with materials being imperfect, you could never perfectly limit the sound emissions to the normal human-audible range no matter how hard you tried. Even if you wanted to (and why?), there'd be the small matter of cost-effectiveness.

      Paying an extra $500 per speaker just so your dog doesn't get to hear something you can't isn't really a good investment.
      • More to the point, you want the frequency-response curve of the speaker to be flat as possible throughout the range of human hearing. That means the dropoff at the end of the curve has to be outside the range of human hearing.

        --
        Dum de dum.
      • (* No matter what you do, you're going to be producing harmonics that may well lie outside the human range of hearing, and what with materials being imperfect, you could never perfectly limit the sound emissions to the normal human-audible range no matter how hard you tried. *)

        Yes, but wouldn't the imperfections be *different* per speaker?

        The article made it sound like it takes different patterns or frequencies of sounds for different critters. If they are that picky, then the variation (imperfections) in each speaker may be ruin the customization.

        Manufactures are likely to only test for the human range, ignoring problems outside of that. That is how cheapskates cut corners.
    • Speakers don't generate an exact range of sounds, with perfect reproduction inside the range and dead silence outside. You'd have to add some kind of way expensive filter. What would be the use?
  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:51PM (#3987402) Homepage
    Cockroaches, Blood Suckers, and Rats!?!

    Better not fire up that baby in congress!

    Yeah, I know it's lame, but this is funnier. [lostbrain.com]

    tcd004
  • The electronic mosquito repellents use ultrasonic sound, i.e. sound that is so high that it can't be heard by humans. Basically, they emit similar sounds as the natural enemies of mosquitos. I really wonder how well such sounds can be reproduced using regular computer speakers that can barely reproduce the frequencies we hear.

    - FF
    • Re:High Frequencies (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:06PM (#3987527)
      As a PhD student in animal behavior, stories like this really irk me.

      Although bats do emit ultrasound, only a few species of moths (the Noctuid moths) actually have the capacity to hear and respond to bat calls. They typically fold in their wings and just fall to the ground.

      Mosquitos have no such hearing capacity. Repeated studies by scientists and the FTC have demonstrated that the ultrasonic mosquito repellant systems fail to work as promised. Those devices, and the program described above, may be fun to tinker with, but they cannot help you.
      • Mosquitos have no such hearing capacity

        A simple Google search found this at Earthlife.net [earthlife.net]: Sound is very important to mosquitos for a number of reasons one of these is the location of mates. The antennae of male mosquitoes are sensitive to the sounds created by the beating wings of females of the same species. Because females are usually larger than the males, the wings of males and females beat at different frequencies. This makes it possible for males to distinguish females from males based on the sound of the beating wings and helps in the detection of females of the right species

        So they do hear high sounds (and probably very faint sounds, too), though there is no mention of them actually recognizing their enemies from sound. There are lots of those electronic gadgets available, though.

        - FF
        • Actually, if you've ever had a mosquito buzzing around your head for an extended period of time, (I'm not sure if it was male or female, I tend to use lethal force on these creatures without lifting up its leg to check its gender) you would find that not only is the sound audible, but it isn't really near the top of our range either.
        • So does this mean if your speakers emit the wrong frequency, instead of repeling those bastards, you will get hundreds mosquitos trying to hump your speakers?

          Mini-Me, stop humping the laser. Why don't you and the frickin laser get a room.
    • "The electronic mosquito repellents use ultrasonic sound, i.e. sound that is so high that it can't be heard by humans. Basically, they emit similar sounds as the natural enemies of mosquitos. I really wonder how well such sounds can be reproduced using regular computer speakers that can barely reproduce the frequencies we hear."

      I've read Consumer Reports Magazine articles about these things. Supposedly they emit the sound of a dragonfly which is the mosquito's natural enemy. According to the TV ads, the devices are "Tested by the US Army" but not endorsed. According to the Consumer Reports article, the things don't work worth sh~t and you're better off using regular citronella(sp?) based insect repellents.

      Maybe this thai software has something the commerical devices don't?

      • I think that studies have also shown that citronella based repellents are also pretty shitty. Basically the most effective thing is DEET based, and DEET can be a pretty nasty chemical. Citronella smells good though...

        I seem to recall that a research group puts a bunch of voulenteers out in the woods need Winnipeg each year coated in various products and using various candles, sound devices, and other such products. Each year they find pretty much the same thing - DEET repells them, thick coatings (bear grease, hand soap, etc.) forms a physical barrier that prevents bites, and pretty much everything else does diddley squat.

        I do recall that Discover once reported that mosquitos prefer pigs to humans, so keeping one of them around as a pet might be effective. Sleep with your pig and prevent malaria/west nile virus infections!

  • by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:53PM (#3987425)
    We can do it in the polls, but you, his boss -- no fair! Man, if I were CowboyNeal, I'd be thinking of talking to the Labor Commissioner about workplace harassment.
  • by brejc8 ( 223089 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:53PM (#3987426) Homepage Journal
    If I scared rats away then who would power my computer [man.ac.uk]?
    • just put the speaker behind him and he'll run faster!
      actaully it would be interesting to do an experiment where the rat powers the speaker. i wonder if he would try to run faster or if he would "get it" and stop running.
      • Actually the original setup had the board attached to a speaker.
        It would make horrible high pitched noises because it was running in a software loop.
        I couldnt be bothered to complete the version which would sing daisy daisy. Manybe ill get an undergrad to do it.
  • by sam_handelman ( 519767 ) <skh2003NO@SPAMcolumbia.edu> on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:54PM (#3987434) Homepage Journal
    According to a colleague at Rutgers [rutgers.edu]:
    Hand-held electronic devices that rely on high-frequency sound to repel mosquitoes have become surprisingly popular in recent years .... Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that electronic mosquito repellers do not prevent host seeking mosquitoes from biting. In most cases, the claims made by distributors border on fraud.

    While your downloading this software, if you buy a NYC landmark from me, I'll throw in a set of Mr. Chiu's immortality rings at no extra charge!

  • It makes this annoying, high pitched noise in certain video modes, when I'm trying to play MAME games. I know it makes the dog jump up and get the hell out of the living room.
  • Heh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Pyrosz ( 469177 )
    I thought CmdrTaco was going to say:

    "Thats nothing- CowboyNeal can repel all known lifeforms just by standing there!

  • Back in the BBS days, I remember "a friend of mine" downloading a program that was supposed to emit "mind-altering" tones that would simulate drug-use/hallucinations. Basically the program just showed random screensaver-esque and nifty/trippy color stuff on the screen while making your pc-speaker buzz odd tones.

    Yeah, it was crap, but it just makes me wonder if this thing is crap too.

  • is portsentry: repels dozens of pests every day!

    Combine it with heavy editing of /etc/inetd.conf and entries in hosts.allow and hosts.deny, you can keep the pests away from your boxen with very little effort. Tail -f /var/log/messages and you can see the little buggers trying to pester you right before *SWAT* they're locked out!

  • I don't know about PCs in America, but the Indian Simputer definitely needs this feature!
  • This reminds me of third grade when I'd program the Commodore 64 in the back of the classroom to generate a constant 18khz tone designed to covertly give everyone in the back row a headache. At the time, I was convinced they all deserved much worse. :)
  • Some users of the mosquito-repelling program have reported headaches after long periods spent in front of a computer emitting the bug-repelling high-pitched whine.

    Some users have reported headaches after long periods spent in front of a computer.

    College education costs are on the rise, and I think the actual college education is degrading just as fast...
  • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @01:59PM (#3987482) Homepage
    In my house, which was overrun by mice when they demolished a run-down building beside us. Dozens of mice, everywhere. The device produces little high frequency clicks that drives mice totally crazy. They just love it! All the mice descended on my kitchen, where I put the thing, and ate my cat's food. The cat just watched. Finally I had to poison them with old editions of MSDN, which they chew and swallow but cannot digest. They explode in little blue puffs.
    Cockroaches and mosquitos are less common here in Belgium, where I'm writing from, but tomorrow I'm going to download Punyaratanabunbhu's (that's Puny for short) Anti-Mal and try it on the cat.
    This has to be one of the weirdest uses for old PCs that I can imagine, following my neighbour, who gave an old laptop (no HD, no battery) to his kids as a toy. It really hurt to see them drop it and squeal with joy.
    • by doorbot.com ( 184378 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:13PM (#3987582) Journal
      which was overrun by mice when they demolished a run-down building beside us

      The mice demolished a building!?! Did they hire an outside contractor or did they do it themselves? Either way, though, that's definitely an effective way to get back at the prior owners for the mousetraps and rat poison.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:20PM (#3987627) Journal
      (* which they chew and swallow but cannot digest. They explode in little blue puffs. *)

      That reminds me of teenagers who steel raw sodium from chemistry labs, mix it with popcorn, and toss it all to birds at that beach. Once they get a taste of the popcorn, they come back for more, and the naturally-frosty-coated sodium resembles the popcorn. Thus, they mistake the sodium for popcorn, ingest it, and then explode in mid-air because the sodium hits water in their stumach. Tweet tweet Boom.

      I wonder what the penalty would be if you are 18+ and caught?
  • If you are in a developed country, and you are constantly having problems with mosquitos, cockroaches, and rats around your workspace, simply MOVE YOUR FUCKING COMPUTER INDOORS!
    • "If you are in a developed country, and you are constantly having problems with mosquitos, cockroaches, and rats around your workspace, simply MOVE YOUR FUCKING COMPUTER INDOORS!"

      Perhaps people in developed countries would like this if they compute outside via WiFi or (like me) have their box in the cool basement where it is more common to see insects.

      In the area of Canada where I live, it's not too uncommon just before the winter for ladybugs (ok ladyBEETLES) to swarm in homes. This means that TENS OF MILLIONS get into your place via tiny cracks in bricks and window spaces live in your house for some time when it's about to get cold. This means that there are so many, you can't see your walls anymore. Maybe this software would work on them. (Fortunately this has never happenned at my place. We replaced all the rickety old windows with new ones.)

      The traditional method of removal is to get a big ol' shop-vac and vaccum them up and then turn the vac on reverse and shoot them outside. This is becoming more and more of a problem because of the massive reproduction of asian ladybeetles imported to combat aphids in farmers' fields.

  • by tmark ( 230091 )
    CowboyNeal can repel all known lifeforms just by playing his massive collection of boy band MP3s.

    And of course, since file-sharing doesn't mean piracy, CowboyNeal owns the CDs, doesn't he.. .
  • by da3dAlus ( 20553 ) <[dustin.grau] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:10PM (#3987553) Homepage Journal
    Don't give them a reason to get near you in the first place! Take a bath every day--it's a great excuse to get away from your computer for a while (and I promise that a little soap won't hurt you). That, and why not take a minute to clean up all the soda cans and pizza boxes lying around your desk/room/office. Unless you work outside, live in a dorm, or some other run-down dwelling, I don't see why you would need to repel anything in the first place. If you are attracting rodents, maybe you need to get a little better with the personal hygiene.
    • Don't give them a reason to get near you in the first place! Take a bath every day--it's a great excuse to get away from your computer for a while (and I promise that a little soap won't hurt you). That, and why not take a minute to clean up all the soda cans and pizza boxes lying around your desk/room/office....If you are attracting rodents, maybe you need to get a little better with the personal hygiene.
      Revoke this dude's Geek Membership immediately! He is just not one of us.
  • I've got an insect and pest repellent... It's called a sub-woofer.
  • I just play Ventolin [amazon.com] off of Aphex Twin's I Care Because You Do at full volume.

    It works pretty well. Although now when I turn off my computer, I can still hear it.
  • I could have sworn this was a dupe post... i had read about this (i though here) months ago...

    But my search revealed nothing... cept this story [slashdot.org] about a device which repels sharks...
    • A local radio station has been claiming that their broadcast repels mosquitos for several years now. I always thought it was just a publicity stunt, but maybe they have been using the same technology.

      -a
  • Dragonflies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by f00Dave ( 251755 )
    A friend of mine once proposed building a mechanical box that duplicated, in hardware, the two-winged thrum of a dragonfly. He spends a LOT of time outside, wandering about in the woods and in marshes and has come to the conclusion that as soon as a dragonfly appears, the mosquitoes seem to vanish.

    Now, it's either that he only noticed the 'fly after it ate all the little turds, or they're hardwired to flee the noise of it's wings.

    I'm wondering if that particular thrumming sound would be effective (since the high-pitched whine version would probably drive me nuts anyway: I can sense tones up to 21KHz or so ... TVs drive me up the wall).

    So, who's got a recording of dragonfly sounds they want to share(ware)? ;-)
  • Some users of the mosquito-repelling program have reported headaches after long periods spent in front of a computer emitting the bug-repelling high-pitched whine.

    Who would have ever guessed?
  • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:21PM (#3987633) Journal
    use gdb to get rid of bugs.
  • by MadFarmAnimalz ( 460972 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:22PM (#3987637) Homepage
    In Borland compilers, there was an example in the online help demonstrating proper usage of the sound() function... There's a brief description here [novell.com]. And yes, this was really in the help files :)
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:22PM (#3987639)
    I ran this program on every version of Windows, and every time I started it, Windows would crash.

    I guess because the software effectively repels bugs.

    badum-tshh. Thanks! I'll be here all week, tip your waitresses.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:28PM (#3987677) Journal

    I played the sounds backward and all the pests came back.
  • All we need now is a way to repel sale and/or marketing people with speakers

  • For a quick test, I stood up in the middle of the office, and made an opera-like squeal for as long as I could, until my voice went horse.

    Eventually everybody in the nearby cubicles left.

    The drawback, though, is that you have to eat lunch alone.
  • I assume that the common version of this works in Windoze, since that's the mass market fave. But what do Linux and other Unix fans do? Clearly, this is one debugger that needs an open source version!

    Leesse... Gnu Debugger, new switches to be added:
    repel mouse
    repel mosquito
    repel cowboy neal... no, he's okay.
  • Boss-B-Gone (Score:2, Funny)

    by borgasm ( 547139 )
    As I see it, the next step for this software is to repel all co-workers and bosses who think they are smarter than you.

    Maybe you can write a script that keeps these pests away when servers go down or when somebody approaches your desk.

    At the very least they will be complaining from 2m (6 feet) or more. At that distance, you can hopefully just shut the door.

    "Yeah...Peter...I'm gonna have to go ahead and ask you to go ahead and...:::::SCREECHING HIGH FREQUENCY SOUNDS:::::
  • The fan and hard drive noise alone from my box is enough to drop flies at ten feet.
  • A Thai guy wrote a program that uses your computer speaker to repel mosquitoes, cockroaches, and rats!

    YAHOO! WHEEEEE ! IT IS ABOUT FRIGGIN' TIME. OH MY THAT IS THE GREATES...

    Oh.
    rats.
    I thought it said Katz.

  • by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:47PM (#3987804)
    Hey since this thing repels bugs, I think MS should license this technology and make it part of their OS, and we would get a bug-free system, wouldn't we?

  • hee (Score:3, Funny)

    by byrd77 ( 171150 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @02:49PM (#3987817) Homepage
    Gives whole new meaning to "RAID array"
  • Or this isn't ultrasonic: I can definitely hear Anti-MAL's sounds for all three pests. And the sounds aren't pretty: they're enough to repel me. BZZZZZZZZ....
  • /. ' ed (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheKubrix ( 585297 )
    For the troubled (ie lazy), you can see the page here (and download it from the mirror sites located at the bottom), bug proggie [216.239.35.100]
  • by jon doh! ( 463271 ) <jondoh@c u r z t e ch.com> on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @03:00PM (#3987898) Homepage
    i've used my computer to repel women for years...
  • by leto ( 8058 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @04:26PM (#3988375) Homepage
    I read the CNN [cnn.com] article and went to the download site. I downloaded the file [thaiware.com] from thaiware.com.

    I created a "testuser", chmod a+rw /dev/dsp* and ran the thing. It seems like it's doing absolutely nothing. Though I'm curious was the experts can say about the strace [xtdnet.nl]

    Makes you wonder what the Windows version does. Too bad. I could use a working solution :(

  • by anonymous_wombat ( 532191 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2002 @04:38PM (#3988455)
    Does it only work on mosquitos and roaches, or will it debug your software as well?

You are lost in the Swamps of Despair.

Working...