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Taking the Sting Out of Bug Bites: ‘Heat It’ Insect Bite Treatment Review

Salves and creams have been used for thousands of years to treat bug bites — but this tiny device plugs into a smartphone and provides targeted, instant itch relief with extremely high heat.

(Photo/Kraig Becker)(Photo/Kraig Becker)
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If you love everything about summer except the inevitable insect bites that come from being outdoors, Heat It is a techy little gadget that could help. Heat It promises fast relief from the discomfort of bug bites and bee stings. The tiny device plugs into the charging port of your smartphone, generating a surprising amount of therapeutic heat that eliminates pain and itching in a matter of seconds.

In short: If you’re prone to insect bites or just happen to find yourself in outdoor settings overrun with bugs, the Heat It is an exceptionally useful travel companion. The tiny device delivers on its promise of bringing fast, soothing relief from irritating insect attacks. Although, some may find the cure to be as irritating as the affliction.

Heat It Insect Bite Treatment


  • Intended use Mosquito and horsefly bites, wasp and bee stings
  • Smartphone compatibility iPhone 6 or newer, Android 5.0 or newer on phones with USB-C ports. Micro-USB is supported via a third-party adapter.
  • Temperature range 122-127 deg. F
  • Treatment duration Short (4 seconds), medium (7 seconds), long (9 seconds)
  • Water resistance IP42
  • Safety settings Protective modes for children and adults with sensitive skin
  • Make power iPhone: 300mA, Android 500mA
  • Weight 4 g


  • Relieves pain and itchiness from bug bites and stings
  • Works very quickly
  • The device is very small


  • It may be uncomfortable for kids or adults who are sensitive to heat
  • The tiny device could be easy to lose
  • Requires smartphone to be charged

Heat It Big Bite Itch Relief Review

I’ve come to accept the fact that bug bites and the occasional bee sting are part of the experience of being outdoors. Yes, the pain and itchiness that comes with those bites can be annoying. But such is the price we pay for pursuing our favorite activities during the warmer months of the year. 

But what if there was a device that you could carry with you on your adventures to provide bug bite itch and sting relief? Something so small that it easily fits on a keychain but delivers soothing relief in seconds?

That’s the promise of Heat It, a gadget that treats itchy insect bites without the need for drugs or ointments. 

How It Works

(Photo/Heat It)
(Photo/Heat It)

The Heat It device uses a small — but very hot — heating element to relieve the pain and itching. When heat is applied to a bug bite, it acts as a counter-irritant to the nerve cells. That inhibits the transmission of the itching signal to the brain, relieving the itchy annoyance of a bite or sting. You’re essentially using heat to trick your nerve cells and your brain.

To activate that heating element the gadget plugs into the charging port of a smartphone (Apple Lightning or USB-C). An app allows users to adjust various settings. For instance, you can choose the length of the treatment (4, 7, or 9 seconds). You can also select whether it is being used by an adult or a child. There is even a toggle switch that adjusts the intensity level for those with sensitive skin. 

Once the settings are selected users simply hit a big green start button. The app then displays an animation indicating that it is preparing the device for use. Then, a second animation appears, showing the Heat It is ready to be applied to the bite or sting. The app starts a countdown based on the duration of the treatment as selected in the settings. When finished, it deactivates the device, turning off the heating element.

Depending on the settings selected in the app, the Heat It warms up to temperatures ranging from 122 degrees F to 127 degrees F. That high level of heat applied to a bite or sting overrides the “itch factor,” making discomfort fade away when the heat is removed.

When finished, you simply remove the Heat It from the smartphone port and return it to your keychain. 

Does It Work?

Heat It
(Photo/Kraig Becker)

To say I was skeptical when I first heard about this device would be an understatement. As someone who has been active in the outdoors their entire life, the idea of treating bug bites without using ointments, sprays, or other chemical agents seemed too good to be true. Bug bite ointments like After Bite have been around for 45 years. Calamine lotion has been used to treat bug bites for 3,500 years. Both of those offer consistent relief.

But after testing the Heat It device, I can say that it delivers on its promises. And it brings something new to the table in the process.

The designers of Heat It said it is most effective when used to treat mosquito and horsefly bites, as well as wasp and bee stings. So far, my testing has been limited to just mosquito bites. I was fortunate enough to avoid any bee stings this summer. But after using it multiple times, I can say the device works as advertised, quickly bringing soothing relief to mosquito and horsefly bites. 

Insect Bite Treatment
(Photo/Kraig Becker)

The first time you use the Heat It, its high temperature can catch you off guard. It delivers a unique stinging sensation of its own. If the device were any larger, it would probably be uncomfortable to use against your skin. But fortunately, the heating element is small and it takes less than 10 seconds to complete the process.

Still, there will likely be some users who will find it a bit too intense for their liking. For them, I’d recommend adjusting the settings in the app and turning on the toggle for use with sensitive skin.

The Heat It is rated for use with kids 4 years and older, although the designers recommend that the person applying the device be at least 12 years old. The app settings even include settings for children that reduce the temperature by 3 degrees F, lowering the intensity of the treatment in the process. That treatment is accompanied by animations and sounds that are fun and unintimidating, which is appreciated by adults, too.

Small Drawbacks

insect bite treatment device
Bug bite itch relief; (photo/Kraig Becker)

As mentioned, the Heat It gets really hot. You’re essentially burning yourself to trick your brain into ignoring the bug bite/sting and provide itch relief. Some users with high heat sensitivity might not be able to use this device consistently.

That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when using the Heat It device. For example, it is very effective at reducing itchiness and discomfort, but the relief may be temporary for especially irritating bites. On occasion, I’ve had to use it a second time to completely treat the symptoms, although it did offer about 6 hours of relief between uses.  

It goes without saying that in order to use the Heat It, you’ll need your smartphone with you on your outdoor activities. And you’ll need to keep it charged, too. The Heat It doesn’t draw much power, but if your phone’s battery is dead, the device is useless. That isn’t a major problem these days, with the easy availability of external battery packs and solar charging devices. But, it is something to be aware of when relying on this gadget in the backcountry. 

Heat It Bug Bite Itch Relief: The Final Word

heat it insect bite healer device
(Photo/Kraig Becker)

Heat It’s size and functionality make it an excellent option for use on just about any outdoor adventure. Hikers, backpackers, and campers will especially appreciate how easy it is to use and how quickly it brings relief.

It is also handy for use around the home. Backyard bugs are just as annoying as those you encounter on the trail. It has some small drawbacks. But overall, it delivers on the promise to treat insect bites and offer near-instant relief in most cases.

Priced at $40, the Heat It is an inexpensive and easy way to treat insect bites and stings. The device comes in two versions, one that plugs into the proprietary Lightning port on an iPhone and another designed for Android phones with a USB-C port. Older devices that use micro-USB are supported via an On-the-Go (OTG) adapter sold separately. 

For more information on the Heat It, visit the official website for the device. 

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