August 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm
by Christina Tynan-Wood
At the beginning of the summer, the folks at Therapik sent me their little doodad ($12.95) with the claim that it would “be an effective treatment for stings and bites from mosquitoes, bees, wasps, hornets, black flies, ants, fleas, ticks, chiggers and even jellyfish and stinging nettle.” Not a lotion or spray, it is an electronic device that “delivers heat in the precise temperature range necessary to deactivate the venom from over 20,000 different species of insects and sea creatures.”
This all sounded great in the pitch, so I agreed to try it. But when it arrived, I became very skeptical. It seemed to be little more than a glorified flashlight. I didn’t have any bites or stings to try it on at the time. So I did little more than shake my head at my own gullibility and toss it in the pile of gear that I found disappointing.
But I happened to throw it in my suitcase when I was packing for our recent trip to Hatteras because mosquitos are a hazard there. When my daughter came crying into my room, complaining that a mosquito had snacked on her all night while she was sleeping, I had to do something. I’m the mother. So I got it out and “zapped” her bites one at a time. It gave me something to do other than to admonish her to not scratch. That’s all I really expected from it. She went away mothered. I went back to my book. But a few hours she came back asking for more.
“Did it work?” I asked. She insisted it did. The bites I’d zapped were no longer itching. But she’d been attacked again. So I zapped her new bites and tried it on my own. And the bites calmed down. We started carrying it with us everywhere, using down moments in the car to zap new stings. It was a pleasant way to pass the time. I joked we were like monkeys with a high-tech preening toy. But the bites, one-by-one, were nullified.
Sometimes a particularly bad sting seemed to recover from being zapped and start to itch again. But we just zapped it again. I guess it’s more than just a glorified flashlight. We are home from our trip. We got eaten alive many times. But we are not suffering from any of those bites. We even voted. The Therapik won. It will be going with us on all future camping (even the luxury kind) trips in the future.