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Bug Bite Thing

bug bite thingEllen McAlister and Kelley Higney want the Sharks to invest in their Bug Bite Thing, a device that sucks out poison from a bug bite, in Shark Tank episode 1105. Higney moved to Florida in 2013 was not prepared for the ferocity of Florida’s mosquitoes. They tortured her and her daughters. She tried every cream and home remedy in the book, but nothing eased the itching and pain of a bug bite. Higney was determined to find a solution and she searched far and wide until she did.

She came across the Bug Bite Thing online. It was originally invented by a doctor in Europe about 20 years ago. That doctor sold the rights to the device to a distributor in Denmark. Higney cut a deal with the distributor who manufactures the product and ships it to her warehouse in Jacksonville, Florida. She brands it and sells it as the Bug Bite Thing.

The device is like a reverse syringe that simply sucks out the poison from a mosquito, wasp or red ant bite. With the poison gone, there’s no itching or nasty welts. It has no chemicals and can be reused over and over again. Higney, who says she’s from a “long line of women entrepreneurs,” started the business in 2017. Initially selling and shipping out of her garage, she’s now selling in CVS and is expanding to the Canadian and Korean markets. The product is available world-wide on Amazon, too.

One “Thing” costs just $9.95, but they’re frequently sold in two or three packs. With several hundred thousand units sold, she likely needs a Shark’s help with the logistics of a rapidly growing company. Will a Shark take a bite out of this thing?

Company Information

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Posts about Bug Bite Thing on Shark Tank Blog

The BugBite Thing – Itch Prevention

Bug Bite Thing Shark Tank Recap

Ellen and Kelley enter seeking $150,000 for ten percent of their business. They tell their story and explain their private label arrangement. They hand out samples and demonstrate the product. About midway through 2019, they’ve sold $800,000 worth with projections for $2 million by the end of 2019. 

The Sharks love the 80% margins and a Shark fight ensues. Rohan and Kevin team up as do Mark and Barbara. They make offers but Lori swoops in and offers her golden ticket: $150,000 for 10% – just what they asked for. They do the deal with Lori as Barbara dramatically collapses and groans in her chair.

Bug Bite Thing Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. This deal did close and the product is listed on Lori’s website. You can find them at CVS stores, Wal Mart, Home Depot and on Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon has a bunch of knock-off products listed too.

In February, 2020, the company appeared in The Shark Tank Greatest of All Time Special in the “greatest Shark Attacks segment.” The featured scene is Barbara’s dramatic collapse.

The company gets an update segment in episode 1224 where they document “drastic” growth despite the global Covid-19 pandemic. In the update, they talk about being in the aforementioned stores and their rapid growth in sales.

As of September, 2021, the company announced they will expand into 25,000 retail locations in the USA. In addition to their current presence, they’ll be in Lowe’s, Joann’s and ACE Hardware nationwide and in regional chains Academy Sports + Outdoors, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Casey’s. They expect $15 million in revenue for the year. By May, 2023,  they have over $25 million in lifetime sales and they have people courting them for acquisition. In June, 2023, the company aquired TickEase, Inc., makers of patented tweezers for the removal of  ticks from people and pets; terms were not disclosed.