Bug Bite Thing
CNN —  

We’re deep into summer, which means for many, it’s time for grilling, camping and generally squeezing in more time outdoors before colder seasons arrive. But the warm weather doesn’t just make people crave a bit of nature; it also means bugs and insects are out in full force.

If mosquitoes, bees and all sorts of other creepy-crawlies that come out in the summer too often leave you at the wrong end of a bite or sting, consider buying your own Bug Bite Thing (yes, that’s its name), a tool that provides relief for itchy, bothersome bites.

Created by a mom who wanted to find a better remedy for bug bites for her daughter, the Bug Bite Thing uses suction to extract the saliva or venom from a bug bite, instantly relieving any itching and swelling. It went viral after being featured on “Shark Tank” and is now the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon for insect bite treatments. With more than 6,000 reviews at the mega retailer, we had to get our itchy, bite-ridden hands on one to see if it truly works. So with our own Bug Bite Thing packed away, we embarked on a weeklong camping trip to see if this little treatment could give us some much-needed relief.

The rundown

Bug Bite Thing

The Bug Bite Thing is extremely simple to use, but for best results, you should still make sure to read all the directions. Bug Bite Thing says its product works the best if you can treat the bite immediately or as soon as you notice it.

Once you realize you’ve been bitten, just put the Bug Bite Thing over the bite with the plunger completely down and slowly pull up on the finger handles. This raises the plunger, creating a ring of suction that extracts the irritant right out. The suction is key, so make sure you lay the opening as flat as possible over the bite. If it’s on an awkward part of your body, like a finger or the top of your foot, you can flip the cap and use the smaller side. Just be wary if you decide to apply it to your face or neck, since those areas are more prone to bruising. It also helps to apply a little bit of water to the area (especially if it’s hairy) to help with suction.

Make sure you don’t pull the plunger higher than you need to; you should feel slight suction but never any pain or pinching — there’s no need to go overboard. Once you have a good suction going, hold the plunger in place for 10 to 20 seconds, then push the handles down to release. Repeat those steps two or three times, and all saliva or venom should be removed from your bite.

The lowdown

Bug Bite Thing

We used the Bug Bite Thing on a few mosquito bites we got during a week of camping and were impressed with the results. We were bitten a couple times on the thigh and foot, and when we caught them early and applied the Bug Bite Thing, any itchiness went away almost instantly. Though the tool left a small hickeylike ring from the suction, it disappeared after a few minutes, and no bumps developed — only a little bit of redness.

We also tried the Bug Bite Thing on a few bites that were a couple days old, but it didn’t seem to help much with those. It definitely worked best when the bites were fresh, so we wouldn’t say it’s a magical, fix-all cure for every bug bite. Nevertheless, we were soon passing it around to our entire camping crew whenever a mosquito struck.

Best of all, this reusable device seems durable enough to last for many camping trips to come. The only sign of wear was the logo rubbing off. Plus, you can pop the cap off to wash and sanitize it between uses. It also seems totally kid-friendly, since Bug Bite Thing is free of creams and chemicals, and you can slowly increase the suction to make sure your little ones are comfortable.

The bottom line

At less than $10, the Bug Bite Thing is definitely worth a try if you’re a mosquito magnet and even the best bug sprays can’t keep the critters at bay. Plus, the reusable tool will end up saving you money in the long run, since you’ll no longer need to keep bottle after bottle of anti-itch cream on hand.

So if you’re constantly scratching from summer bites, the Bug Bite Thing might be just the tool to finally find some relief. It’s available at Amazon in packs of one, two, three and six.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.