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Itch Test

Testing three mosquito itch remedies: the gadget, the household name and the home remedy


Natalie Bell is a Winnipeg mom and HR professional who lives in Sage Creek and writes a blog called PegCityLovely. Her two daughters, 15-year-old Kiaunne (Kiki) Durrant-Bell and 11-year-old Ciera (Cici) Durant get horrible mosquito bites.

They're testing three itch remedies for us.

The Gadget: Therapik Insect Bite Treatment

This is a battery-operated wand that guarantees relief from bug bites. When you put the wand on your bites and press the button, it heats up the skin. The claim is that insect venom is neutralized by the heat and increased blood flow to the area. It costs $13.50 at Mountain Equipment Co-op. We're told it's very popular and is on back-order at Lee Valley Tools.

Effectiveness: The Therapik relieves the itch very well

Duration: The Therapik for me lasted almost 2 full days. But within those days I was still scratching the bite, just not as much as I usually would.

Ease of Use: This product was very easy to use, all you have to do is press a button for 30 seconds and you’re done!

Likes: Non-chemical, no mess, easy to use

Dislikes: I dislike that you have to put it on right after you get the bite. Because it does not work if you put it on, say, an half an hour after you got the bite.

The Household Name: AfterBite

AfterBite has been around for more than 30 years and is a well-known household product. It contains baking soda and tea tree oil and claims to instantly soothe itchiness from mosquito, flea, tick and other insect bites. AfterBite costs about $7 and is available at most stores.

Effectiveness: The AfterBite is very effective for the amount of time it works.

Duration: I would say that the AfterBite only lasted about 2 hours.

Ease of Use: Easiest to use out of the 3 products. Just dab a bit on and rub it in and you’re good to go!

Likes: Effective, portable.

Dislikes: Chemical, can be messy.

The Home Remedy: White Vinegar

It's in everyone's kitchens and has too many uses to count. The one we're rating here is its ability to soothe itchiness when you combine equal parts of vinegar and water and spray the mix onto your insect bites. A bottle of vinegar costs about $3 at the store.

Effectiveness: Very very effective!

Duration: 2 full days, without extra itching.

Ease of Use: Very easy, just mix it with water in a small bowl/ Tupperware container and then take a paper towel and dab it on the bite. Or soak a cotton swab in the mixture and tape it onto the bite.

Likes: Very Effective

Dislikes: Stings a bit, smell.