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The Difference Between Mosquito Bites & Spider Bites

Black widow spider sitting in a corner of a home

Spiders, mosquitoes, and bites, oh my. Finding a bump on your body is unsettling when you are unsure of its origin. Most insect bites have one thing in common: a red swollen lump, letting us know that a foreign object has invaded our body. Scratching a bitten area can irritate the skin, making it harder to distinguish who the invader is. The two pests whose bites are easiest to confuse for one another are mosquitoes…and spiders.

Spiders come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There are 3,000 different species of spiders in America, but there are only a few that are dangerous. Four poisonous spiders in America are the brown recluse, black widow, hobo spider, and tarantula. It is uncommon for these insects to bite you multiple times around the same area, which helps narrow down where your bite came from.

Unlike spiders, who only bite you if they feel threatened, there is a need and purpose for every mosquito bite. The extracted blood from the host gives the female mosquito nutrition to give to her offspring. The side effect of the mosquito’s saliva exchange during the bite causes an itching irritating bump. This same mosquito will feed on people throughout her life, while a spider would rather never have to bite a person again.

It would seem like every insect wants to take a bite out of you, but how can you tell who the culprit is? In short, unless you have the actual insect with you, not even a doctor can tell you. But there are some general differences between a mosquito and spider bite that can help you narrow down what has bitten you.

12 Spider Bite Symptoms

  1. Swelling around the bite
  2. Itching or a rash
  3. Pain radiating from the bite
  4. Muscle pain or cramping
  5. Skin blisters that turn reddish-purple
  6. Headache
  7. Nausea and vomiting
  8. Fever, chills, and sweating
  9. Difficulty breathing
  10. Increased blood pressure
  11. Anxiety or restlessness
  12. Two small punctures in the middle of the bump

3 Mosquito Bite Symptoms

  1. Swelling, red puffy bump
  2. Itching
  3. Not common to have multiple bumps around the same area

To treat a mosquito or spider bite at home, apply an ice pack and take Benadryl to help with the itching. If symptoms occur, such as a fever, nausea, or fluid from that bitten area, consult a doctor immediately.

Check out our blogs about EEE, West Nile Virus, and other mosquito borne-illnesses and their symptoms. Remember, always to consult a doctor when symptoms arise after becoming bitten. The quicker a bite is evaluated, the better.

For ultimate control, Mosquito Squad technicians can protect your home and yard from spiders and mosquitoes by targeting their favorite hiding places every three weeks.