Insects like the bees, ants, mosquitoes and spiders tend to bite or sting as their defense mechanism when provoked or feel threatened. Insect bites may either be harmless or severely harmful. The symptoms these bites cause also vary per person. Some may only cause a few discomfort to some, while others might even develop an allergic reaction to these bites. People will always get insect bites in their lifetime and the most common ones are usually caused by a number of insects like mosquitoes and ticks. Knowing the difference of bites between the two is helpful in determining the proper treatment to use and in determining if urgent medical help is needed. The differences between tick bites vs mosquito bites are further discussed below.
People who enjoy the outdoors must be wary of ticks. They can attach to humans who brush past grasses or any other plants where they await their host to feed on blood. Both animals and humans are their potential hosts for blood. Most of the tick bites are not serious as these insects do not always carry diseases. Tick bites are usually painless even after the tick stops feeding and most of it do not possess any signs or symptoms. But for other cases, the bite will start to become itchy, burning, reddish and painful in some cases. Tick bites can be very small and almost impossible to see by the naked eye, and can also be large about the size of a pencil eraser. Some people are allergic to tick bites and develop a rash, swelling, numbness, shortness of breath and even paralysis. Although for cases when ticks do get infected with diseases by feeding on disease carrier hosts, their bites can be dangerous. They can transmit Lyme disease among other diseases.
Mosquitoes are everywhere and almost anyone is at risk of a mosquito bite. These insects also feed on human blood and a bite from a mosquito looks round, feels very itchy, and red or pinkish bump on the skin. Most of these mosquito bites are harmless but can also cause severe illness when bitten by disease carrying mosquitoes. They can become carriers of certain viruses and parasites and are able to transfer these to humans during a bite. Some of the diseases they can transmit to humans are the West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever virus and many others. When new symptoms start to appear after a mosquito bite such as fever, skin rash or swollen glands, it is important to seek medical attention as it may be a sign of a contracted disease. Also note that scratching an itchy mosquito bite may cause an infection. Most bites stop itching and heal on their own without using any kind of treatment, but applying a hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion may help reduce the itching. Sometimes, oral medications such as antihistamines will help reduce the skin’s reaction to the bite.
Knowing the difference between tick bites vs mosquito bites is helpful, but prevention is always the best way to avoid any serious bite reactions and most especially avoid diseases. To prevent getting bitten by ticks, it is best to keep your body covered when outdoors. Using tick repellents with DEET on skin or on clothing are also helpful. To protect one’s self from mosquito bites, the methods are just about the same as with the prevention from tick bites; keep one’s self covered when outdoors and use insect repellents. Also, use window screens to prevent entry of mosquitoes inside the home. Remove any standing water outside or even inside the house as these are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.