The weather is finally warm, which means it’s time for grilling, camping, hiking, and generally squeezing out more time outdoors. But rising temperatures don’t just make people crave a bit of nature; it also means bugs and bugs are at full strength.
If mosquitoes, bees, and other creepy crawlies that appear in the summer often leave you on the wrong side of a bite or sting, consider trying the Bug Bite Thing (yes, that’s the name), a tool that relieves itchy, pesky bites.
Created by a mother who wanted to find a better insect bite remedy for her daughter, the Bug Bite Thing uses suction to extract saliva or venom from an insect bite, instantly relieving any itchiness and swelling. It went viral after being featured on “Shark Tank” and is now the #1 Amazon bestseller for insect bite treatments. With over 4,000 reviews at the mega-retailer, we had to get our itchy, biting hands to one to see if it actually works. So, with our own Bug Bite Thing packed, we embarked on a week-long camping trip to see if this little treat could give us some much-needed relief.
A suction-based insect bite relief tool
If you constantly get bug bites in summer, this gadget can help you get some relief. It only works if you use it right after getting a bite, so if you’re vigilant, the Bug Bite Thing can help save you hours of itching.
First of all, we love the simplicity of the Bug Bite Thing. It has a simple design and its use is very intuitive. All you need to do is place the device over your bite with the plunger all the way down, then slowly pull the finger loops. This lifts the plunger, creating a suction ring that draws the bite irritant out. Suction is key, so be sure to place the opening as flat as possible over the bite. If it’s on a strange part of your body, like a toe or the top of your foot, you can flip the lid over and use the other side, which has a smaller suction area. Just be careful when applying it to your face or neck, as these areas are more prone to bruising. If you’re not getting a good seal, it helps to apply a little water to the area (especially if it’s furry) to help with suction.
Be sure not to pull the plunger higher than necessary. You should feel a slight suction, but never any pain or pinch – no need to overdo it. Once you find that balance, hold the plunger in place for 10-20 seconds and push down on the handles to release it. Repeat these steps two or three times, and the saliva or venom that causes irritation from a bite should be removed.
In addition to its simplicity, we found the Bug Bite Thing to be quite effective. It didn’t work 100% of the time, but the Bug Bite Thing helped alleviate most of the bites we received. We were bitten a few times on the thigh and foot, and when we caught them early and applied the Bug Bite Thing, any itching was gone almost instantly. Although the tool left a small hickey-like ring from the suction, it disappeared after a few minutes, and no swelling had formed, just a little redness.
After passing it on to our fellow campers, we found that punctuality is the biggest key to your success. The instructions say to use the Bug Bite Thing as soon as you notice a bite, and we think this is definitely the biggest factor in whether the Bug Bite Thing will actually work or not. If you notice its bite early, you can extract any irritants right away and get relief. However, if the bite is left alone, your body will start reacting to the irritant and it will be too late for the Insect Sting Thing to help.
The Bug Bite Thing costs less than $10 and can be easily cleaned and reused over and over again. We’ve had ours for about two years now and it’s still in fighting shape. So if you’re prone to bug bites and are observant enough to notice them when bugs attack, we think the Bug Bite Thing is worth a try.
The biggest downside of the Bug Bite Thing is that it is so dependent on when you notice your bite. There were a handful of mosquito bites that we didn’t find until later in the day and even though we tried using the device they still itched. The Bug Bite Thing is definitely not the magic cure for your bug problems, but it helps if you are vigilant.
If you’re not the type to notice bugs when they bite you, this gadget is probably not for you. Your best bet may be to just apply insect repellent and stick with anti-itch creams if you get bitten. But for just $10, we think the Bug Bite Thing is worth the investment to try on your next hike or picnic, because if it works for you, it’s so easy to throw in your bag and take it anywhere.
When looking for relief from bug bites, your first thought will likely go to anti-itch creams like hydrocortisone or other specific insect bite treatments like After Bite, which contains baking soda. While they are effective, if you want chemical-free relief, your options are much more limited.
There are creams made with natural ingredients like No-Bite-Me, which uses a combination of essential oils. In addition to the Bug Bite Thing’s suction-based design, the other way to get relief is through devices that use targeted heat, like the Bite Away. We haven’t tested any of them yet, but we love the idea of a reusable gadget like the Bug Bite Thing because you won’t have to buy and use as much anti-itch cream. However, if bites really bother you, we recommend keeping this cream on hand in case you miss a bite and it’s too late to use Bug Bite Thing.
For under $10, the Bug Bite Thing is definitely worth a try if you’re a mosquito magnet and even the best insect repellent sprays can’t keep the critters away. While it’s not a magic device that will make all your bug bites go away, it can definitely offer some relief if you use it correctly and quickly.
So if you’re constantly itching from summer bites, the Bug Bite Thing might just be the tool to finally find some relief. It is available on Amazon in packs of one, two, three and six.