I’ve suffered terribly from mosquito bites since I was a small child. If I’m outdoors and somebody says “gee, there sure aren’t many mosquitos this year” I can confidently look at my arms and legs and know that I’ll find several actively feeding bloodsuckers and swelling bites from several more. I end up with large welts that will itch like crazy for a week or so, and will often ulcerate and bleed. Yuck. It’s uncomfortable at best.

Sometime a few years ago I discovered that putting scalding hot water on the bites would stop the itching, often for days (long enough for the bite to go away). The trick was to get the water hot enough to do the job without causing a severe burn. I later learned a more refined method of putting a metal spoon in the hot water and touching it to the bite. It made it easier to regulate the temperature, but I still would burn myself from time to time.

I conceptualized a design for a small, battery-powered device that would heat to the right temperature at the push of a button. I hadn’t even built a prototype when I learned that such devices already exist. I bought one and it’s like magic. At HA’s suggestion, I bought a few more. Turn it on, touch it to a bite, press the button (twice for extra power), and your bite is zapped.

bite zapper

Like all things medical, its effectiveness probably varies with different people, but for me the thing is amazing.

—2p

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