You come home from a great weekend in the outdoors feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. When you get home, you notice a bump on your arm that wasn’t there before.
Is it a mosquito bite? Or, have you been bitten by a tick? What’s the difference between a tick vs mosquito bite?
Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about tick bites and mosquito bites.
One of the biggest differences between a tick bite and a mosquito bite is the level of itchiness.
When a mosquito bites you, it breaks open your skin. When your skin is broken, your body will release histamine from your immune system. This response is what causes the itchiness, not anything that comes from the mosquito itself.
The more you scratch your mosquito bites, the more histamine that’s released, so the more you’ll itch.
Tick bites, on the other hand, don’t generally make you feel itchy. If you do get itchy from a tick bite, it’s likely because your skin has broken out in a rash and become dry.
Speaking of rashes, they are another distinguishing factor between mosquito bites and tick bites.
If a rash forms after the bite, then this means you were bitten by a tick. The rash typically forms after the tick has fallen off or been removed. Lyme disease, one of the most common tick-borne diseases, causes a circular rash around the bite spot.
If you believe you have this disease, you can check out this guide to learn about alternative medicine for Lyme disease.
The site of the bite may also help you figure out whether you’ve been bitten by a tick or mosquito.
While mosquitos can fly, ticks cannot even jump or leap. To get on your body, they must climb up from the ground. Even if you wear long pants and socks, a tick will climb on you and go for the first exposed body part.
For this reason, if you’ve been walking around a lot, you’re more likely to experience tick bites on the lower half of your body.
Mosquitos, on the other hand, choose where they’re going to bite based on your scent. Typically, they’ll aim for the lower half of your body, as mosquitos are attracted to the scent of your feet (that makes one of us). They also seek out spots where you cannot easily swat at them.
While this doesn’t have to do with the bite per se, it’s also worth noting that ticks and mosquitos have different traveling patterns. If you encounter one mosquito, you’re likely going to encounter a lot of them, as mosquitos tend to travel in packs.
This is why when you encounter mosquitos, it’s rare to walk away with just one bite. Ticks, on the other hand, feed off of their host once and then drop off. If you have multiple ticks on you, then you’ve likely run into a nest.
Tick vs Mosquito Bite: Now You Know
Now that you know the difference between a tick bite and a mosquito bite, it’s time to figure out which one you’ve encountered.
If it’s a mosquito bite, then you’ll want to avoid itching it and let it heal. If it’s a tick bite, then you’ll want to check to see if the tick is still attached to the bite. If it is, you’ll need to remove it.
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