Spider Bite vs Mosquito Bite; What Bit Me?

If you’re trying to figure out what bug bit you and the confusion is the spider bite vs mosquito bite, then I’ll help you differentiate between the two.

  • Symptoms of spider bites (e.g. Sydney funnel-web include pain, swelling, and red skin. On the other hand, mosquito bites mainly result in itchy, pink & raised skin bumps but may trigger severe allergic reactions.

So, when you know what’s in your yard – and control it well – it’ll be easy to control the bugs as you enjoy your outdoor sports, picnics, pool parties, and barbecues without those annoying insect bites. 

Related: Bed Bug Bites versus Mosquito Bites

Details: Spider Bite vs Mosquito Bite; What Bit Me?

1. Different in Bite Appearance?

a. Mosquito bite 

Mosquito bites to animals and humans mainly come from their females to get that blood meal – enabling great egg production.

  • Using their proboscis (mouthpart), mosquitos pierce your skin and suck blood.
  • Its saliva causes your skin to itch and bump. For some people, the effect is more strong redness, soreness, and swelling. 

The appearance of a mosquito bite include: 

  • Dark spots on the skin resembling some bruises 
  • Further, mosquito bites will result in reddish and puffy bumps that’ll appear some minutes following the bite. 
  • They cause reddish-brown, itchy, and hard bumps – which could also be multiple bumps that’ll appear within the day after the bite.

Individuals who’ll get adverse effects from mosquito bites include kids and adults that have immune system disorders or those who’ve not previously been bitten by these bugs. 

Further, mosquito bites reactions may have severe reactions including; 

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Hives
  • Low-grade fever
  • Wide-area skin redness and swelling
b. Spider Bite 

The charactratics of spider bites from spiders such as the lack of widow spiders include pinprick-like, sharp, and immediate pain.

Also, the bite location will be numb. Additional symptoms for bites from the black widow spider are;

  • Itchy skin rash
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Headache
  • Stiffness in the back, chest, shoulders, and painful muscle cramps 
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Excessive saliva production 
  • Swollen and droopy eyes 
  • Difficulty breathing

However, some of the bites from the spiders won’t be immediately noticeable or painful. But the spider bite pain could be faced within 1 hour.

For the brown recluse, the spider bite symptoms will include;

  • The Bite area will have an itchy skin
  • Could lead to a skin ulcer and blisters (and later result in scars) – which start with reddish skin or bruises.

Finally, bites by Hobo spiders – and its bite on your skin will include;

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Nausea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pus-producing blisters
  • Swollen and red skin 
  • Hardened bite-area skin
  • Severe headache that beings shortly after getting bitten – and the headache could remain active for about a week. 

2. Causes High-Risk illnesses?

a. Mosquito bite 

Mosquito bites will result in pink, red & rounded, plus itchy bumps. But this bite could result in severe illnesses like eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika virus. 

Zika virus will, for many humans, result in a flu-like illness. However, newborns from mothers infected with this virus could get microcephaly birth defects. 

The CDC notes that the West Nile virus was (in 2019) spread over 47 states of the US.

  • The virus symptoms will be evident within 2 – 14 days – these include skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, body aches, and headaches. 

Further, humans that get West Nile that’s severe may develop encephalitis, meningitis, and other signs like convulsions, high fever, disorientation, severe headache, and neck stiffness. 

  • But mosquitoes will largely infect humans with malaria – but the malaria cases have malaria transmission in the US.

The malaria flu will result in symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, muscle aches, headache, and fever. However, CDC notes that malaria is treatable & preventable.

Another mosquito species known as Aedes scapularis is found in Latin and Caribbean America but also in Florida – as noted by the JMEntomology

b. Spider Bite 

Spider bites won’t largely result in grave problems. However, you could experience pain, swelling, and redness around the area with the spider bite.

  • But bites from spiders like the hobo spiders, brown recluse, and the black widow may result in more grave effects

Such effects may include muscle cramps that are painful, severe headaches, and trouble breathing – such effects from spider bites could need urgent medical care.

But how serious are these spider bites? Well, bites from most spiders will be harmless. All spiders will have the venom poison but many of them have small fangs that won’t easily puncture the skin of a human.

So, which spider species will be venomous to humans? From the over 60 spider species, but only a few of these spiders will be dangerous – these include:

  • Hobo spiders – The brown-colored hobo spiders have a herringbone (V-shaped) of their belly – mainly occupying the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find them on woodpiles, window wells, crawl spaces, moist & dark basements – areas where they’ll create their funnel-shaped webs.
  • Brown recluses – Also referred to all the violin or fiddle-back spiders, the spiders largely found in the Southern and Midwestern states. You’ll largely find them in sheltered and dry places like on leaves, rocks, piles of wood. Also, you can find them in shoes, attics, and dark closets.
  • Black widows – These back window species will mainly occupy the outhouses, fence, woodpiles, and building eaves (overhangs) – and largely occupy the Southern & Western U.S. Their belly has an hourglass shape that is colored red.

The difference in Treatment of Spider and Mosquito Bites

After identifying that bite, it’s important to use the right technique to treat the various bug bites.

Treating Spider Bites: 

  • Begin by quickly locating that spider which bit you. You might need to search those hiding or dark areas – this will help you identify if the bite is toxic. 
  • For toxic spider bites such as from Brown recluse or Black Widow spider, you’ll require emergency medical treatment. 
  • Avoid home treatment if their spider at hand is noted to inject toxic through their bites
  • Thoroughly clean the spider bite, if the spider is identified as being non-toxic, and this will help avoid further infection
  • In addition, to prevent an additional allergic reaction from that spider bite, I advise you take some antihistamine

Treating Mosquito Bites: 

  • Compared to the bites from ticks or spiders, mosquito bites are known to be largely harmless
  • So, unless there are serious symptoms such as fever or nausea, you won’t require to take those drastic measures
  • To stop the skin itching after the mosquito bite, I recommend you rub some baking soda or salt. 
  • For those with no sensitive skin or even younger kids, you can use calamine lotion
  • Further, for mosquito bites, you may use some mild treatments such as honey, tea bags, and ice.

In summary, compared to mosquito bites, some of the spider bites will be more toxic and life-threatening. 

But with mosquito bites, it’s important to take appropriate prevention steps while also controlling the resulting diseases plus easing the biting pain.


On spider bite vs mosquito bite, in summary, that unsettling bite bump on your body could be from a mosquito or spider. 

Spiders bites that are largely poisonous are the tarantula, hobo spider, black widow, and brown recluse. 

  • But mosquitoes will bite even when they’re not threatened – mosquitoes aim to suck mosquitoes for reproduction and nutrition.

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