Monday, 18 July 2016

Review: Aspivenin

The entire insect world seems to regard my flesh as a rare delicacy so I'm always being stung when I go away. What can I do about it?

The ingeniously simple and practical Aspivenin is a small syringe-like pump with four tiny interchangeable cups. When you are stung, you place an Aspivenin cup over the skin, pull out the plunger and then slowly push it all the way back in. Doing so creates a vacuum under the cup - and this is strong enough to miraculously draw the sting back out while leaving the skin intact.

Q. How can you be sure it's got all the sting out?

A. Because you can see it. A tiny droplet of liquid appears on your skin - usually it is a slightly yellow colour, but it depends which species has just made a bee-line for you. With the sting extracted, the skin calms down and any minor swelling quickly goes away. The cups should be rinsed afterwards and the Aspivenin is safe to use on children. Fortunately, once "cocked" the Aspivenin is even easy to use one-handed - and it works in any temperature from -5 to +50 C. The Aspivenin is claimed to be effective on stings from bees, wasps, hornets, mosquitoes, vipers, scorpions, harvest ticks, jelly fish, weevers...

Q. I'm beginning to itch. Who came up with this gizmo?

A. Frenchman André Emerit, a lifelong inventor who had entered and won a competition to make a mini-pump. He died in 1997, aged of 85, and his son Michael is said to have had a hand in getting the Aspivenin into commercial production as a medical aid.

Q. Will it sting my pocket?

A. Hardly. It costs between £16.00 and £20,00 depending where you shop online

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