I’ve been a mosquito magnet since I was born. I get dozens of insect bites on group hikes, camping trips, or family gatherings in the backyard when everyone else gets two or three. Last summer I counted 31 mosquito bites on my legs after a weekend camping in Acadia National Park. The itching was so bad that I put ice cubes in my leggings, hoping to numb the bites enough to sleep. It didn’t work: they itched and then all my pants were wet.
But I soon came across a TikTok with the Bug Bite Thing, a 0.32-ounce piece of plastic that works like a syringe but has a suction hole on one end. It supposedly pulls mosquito saliva from bites to relieve itching, and it’s designed to treat other bites or stings from bees, wasps, ants, and more. The Thing was created by two entrepreneurs, Kelley Higney and her mom, Ellen McAlister, who sold the product from their garage before appearing on an episode of Shark Tank in 2019 for cash. You did it and it is since then a bestseller on Amazon.
(Photo: Courtesy Bug Bite Thing)
I was excited but skeptical. After decades of being a human blood buffet and every remedy under the sun trying to prevent bites and treat them, it seemed too good to be true. But because the Bug Bite Thing was only $ 10, I decided to give it a try.
Reader: it works.
I still can not believe it. But it does. In my experience, while it doesn’t make the bites or itchiness go away completely, it does provide instant itch relief that lasts for about six to twelve hours. When I’m outside, I get bitten and my bites start to bother me again. I just suck it off again and the itchiness goes away again. I’ve also found the thing to reduce the total time bites stay on my body – about a day or two instead of a week.
Those who do not regularly fall victim to mosquitoes will still find the Bug Bite Thing a worthwhile investment. It easily sucked an almost invisible splinter out of my partner’s hand, and its light and compact nature means that it is Easy to fit in your backpack or car for any adventures planned. I haven’t been stung by a wasp or bitten by an ant to test these claims, but so far I’ve found it to be trustworthy and reliable.
I’m going to buy some more to pass on to friends and family, and this gear discovery alone is reason enough for me to say, please, please, let’s keep TikTok.
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Main photo: globalmoments / iStock
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