Ouch! Where did that bite come from?
Bug bites are common problems throughout the year, but sometimes it’s hard to tell which pest has bitten you. Depending on the insect, you may also develop different symptoms or illnesses!
Comparing a mosquito vs. spider bite isn’t always easy, but understanding the difference is important if you begin to feel ill.
In our article, we’ll show you the differences between mosquito and spider bites!
No bug bite is the same, even if they all itch! Insect bites and stings can cause different reactions depending on the pest. For example, an ant sting won’t hurt like a yellow jacket's!
Take a look at the distinctions between mosquito and spider bites, so you will know what to do the next time you spot a bug bite!
Time of Year
Unless you live in a year-round humid climate, mosquitoes aren’t a common problem during the fall or winter. Mosquitoes flit around outdoors when temperatures heat up in the spring, but most populations die down in cooler weather.
Male and female mosquitoes have relatively short lifespans, with males dying soon after mating. Females can live for around a month or two but typically won’t last longer than a few weeks.
Unlike other insects that settle down for the winter, most of these pests will have already died by the time temperatures drop. Some mosquitoes may hibernate, but only mosquito eggs can typically withstand chilly weather.
If you find insect bites during the winter, it’s safe to rule out mosquitoes. Spiders are common throughout the year, but homeowners typically notice these eight-legged pests as the leaves fall off the trees outdoors!
Frequency of Bites
The number of bites you’ve received can help further differentiate between a mosquito vs. spider bite. During hot summer days, you may return to your home with multiple itchy marks littered around your body.
Female mosquitoes will continually bite a subject to sate her hunger and feed multiple times over the course of a few days. If you’re in a mosquito-infested area, there’s no limit to the number of times these pests may land on you for a quick meal!
Spiders typically only bite their prey once, so it’s unlikely these pests will attack you again. Plus, most spiders only harm humans if they feel threatened. Unlike mosquitoes, they won’t seek you out and prefer to leave humans alone.
The tiny arachnids you find in your home won’t see you as food, so they often won’t attempt to get too close.
Mosquito bites are known for their signature itchy feeling, but how does their appearance differ from a spider’s bite?
If a mosquito has ever bitten you, you’re probably familiar with the swollen marks appearing on your skin after a day outdoors. These bumps look red and are hard to touch. Because of the mosquito's thin mouthpiece, you usually won’t see a puncture mark on the inside of the bite.
A spider bite may look differently depending on the species. For many non-venomous spiders, their bites may appear similar to a mosquito bite! The area is typically red and inflamed with two fang marks.
Most spider bites heal without complications, but a venomous spider bite could cause adverse skin reactions. In northern Washington, black widow spiders are a concern for many homeowners.
A black widow spider's bite is more notorious for the bodily symptoms it causes, but you may still notice a red rash, swelling, bump, and fang marks according to John Hopkins Medical Center.
Other spiders like the brown recluse can cause debilitating skin conditions. While not every brown recluse bite results in skin necrosis, some unlucky individuals will have serious side effects.
When bitten by a brown recluse, many report their skin turning red and bruising. The bite mark can develop into an ulcer or deep wound that will take weeks to heal completely. In extreme cases, these bites may require surgery to remove impacted skin.
Check out this video to learn more about the physical appearance of a mosquito vs. spider bite!
For regular insect bites, you shouldn’t notice any lingering symptoms. For most mosquito bites, you shouldn’t experience any pain. Spider bites are typically uncomfortable or painful, while mosquito bites are uncomfortably itchy!
However, mosquito and spider bites can cause some harmful side effects.
When bitten by a mosquito carrying a parasite or illness like West Nile virus, malaria, or the Zika virus, you will notice some symptoms different from a common bug bite.
West Nile virus and malaria have similar flu-like symptoms, but malaria typically is a more extreme and deadly illness.
Venomous spider bites can cause similar flu-like symptoms along with physical skin reactions. You may experience:
Of course, the symptoms of illnesses caused by different mosquito bites can differ from reactions toward venomous spiders, but many of these afflictions share similar effects. If you notice an insect bite and experience significant illness, contact a doctor with your concerns.
A pest bite isn’t fun, no matter the source! To avoid obnoxious and painful bites, you should focus on removing mosquitoes and spiders from your property.
Because mosquitoes are a common summertime nuisance, focus on making your yard inhospitable during the warm weather.
Empty all containers, toys, tires, or buckets full of rainwater and keep a close eye on birdbaths and ponds for increased mosquito activity.
Spiders are primarily solitary creatures but can still infest your home in droves! If your home has ample stores of pests, these arachnids will rest comfortably inside and snack on any stray insect that stops by.
DIY pest control options can help reduce the number of pests on your property, but it’s difficult to remove insects and spiders completely. Once these nuisances have a foothold inside or outside your home, it’s time to call a pest control agency to help you solve your problem!