Tick Bite Vs Mosquito Bite

Ticks and mosquitoes are two of the most common vectors of life-threatening diseases. Since tick and mosquito bites look similar, you should be able to tell what bit you. Continue reading and learn how you can tell the difference between a tick bite and a mosquito bite.

Tick Bite vs Mosquito Bite: The Difference

The best way to identify a bite is to look at it closely. Mosquito bites are pinkish or red bumps that are flat and misshapen. They appear anywhere and do not follow a certain pattern on the bite site. The bites will not look red on dark skin.

They will only have a lighter color compared to your normal skin color. Aside from this, mosquito bites grow bigger as time passes by. That is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the bite is healing.

Mosquito bites vanish within minutes, so you do not need to wait long. Infected bites, however, may not disappear immediately.

Mosquito bites are also very itchy. When the mosquito inserts its mouthparts into the skin, the bite area will feel itchy. You will also feel a bit of pain. Tick bites, on the other hand, do not feel anything in the early stages because the tick secretes kininases while it sucks your blood.

Kininases works like a painkiller as it numbs the itchiness and discomfort that the bite may cause. The painkiller wears off eventually and leaves an itchy large bump at the bite site.

Due to this painkiller, ticks can cling to the host for days. If it remains undisturbed, the tick can remain attached to your skin for days. Adult female ticks can feed for 7-10 days, while tick larvae can cling to your skin and feed for 3 days. Nymphs can feed for 3-4 days while still attached to the skin of their host.

Tick bites are also bigger and darker compared to mosquito bites. The bite is a large flat pink or red circle with an “eye” in the center. The “eye” is a small, inflamed part of the skin that has been pinched together by the mouthparts of the tick.

The bite area may also seem like it has been burrowed into. That is because ticks burrow into the skin when they feed. Tick bites can also indicate the diseases they carry. If the tick is a vector of Lyme disease, the bite will have a ring around it.

tick bite mosquito bite difference

Symptoms and Treatment of Lyme Disease 

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The bacteria can be transmitted to humans through bites from infected deer or black-legged ticks. According to Mayo Clinic, the tick must be present on your skin for at least 1.5 days or 36 hours to spread the disease.

People who spend time or live-in wooded areas have a high risk of being infected with Lyme disease. Those with domesticated animals or pets that are spending time in wooded areas have a high risk as well.

People may react to Lyme disease differently. The symptoms can also differ in severity. Lyme disease is usually divided into 3 stages, but symptoms can overlap.

The most common symptoms of this disease are:

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Muscle Aches

  • Swollen Lymph Nodes

  • Fever

  • Joint Pain and Inflammation

  • Difficulty Concentrating

  • Smooth, Circular Rash Similar to a Bull’s Eye or Red Oval Anywhere on the Body

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Lyme disease should be treated immediately. Doctors usually prescribe cefuroxime, doxycycline or amoxicillin to children and adults infected with Lyme disease.

Amoxicillin and cefuroxime are usually prescribed to breastfeeding or nursing women. Once they see an improvement, doctors will usually change the treatment plan into an oral regimen. The entire treatment duration may take 14-28 days.

Symptoms of a Tick Bite

Unlike other bugs, ticks do not scoot off or fly away after biting their host. When they find a host, they burrow their head into the host’s skin and begin feeding. They will stay there and feed for several days. The host may not feel anything as the bite is not itchy and does not hurt. Since ticks are exceedingly small, the host may not notice them either


The tick may only look like a speck of dirt. But as the tick feeds, it becomes engorged. Thus, it becomes easier to find. You may also find a tiny red bump at the bite site. Some people react to tick bites with 1" to 2" of redness around the affected area. The area will not get larger unless it is a rash.

Ticks usually bite the host in warm, hairy, or humid or areas such as the groin, scalp, armpit and skin between the toes and fingers. Once they find a site to feed, they will stay there for several days to two weeks.

They will fall off once they are full. Unlike other bug bites, a tick bite does not have pus or fluid in it unless it is infected. Tick-borne diseases usually cause flu-like symptoms like chills, fever, headache, fatigue, and body aches.

Below are products we recommend to prevent tick and mosquito bites when you go out:

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How to Treat Tick Bites

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  • Do not remove a tick with your hands. Use a pair of tweezers to pull out the tick. Do not squeeze or twist them.

  • Once you have pulled out the whole tick, put it in a sealed container or jar. It is a good idea to see a doctor so that he can test or look at the tick to know if it is carrying diseases.

  • Wash the bite site and your hands with water and soap. 

If you have been bitten by an infected tick, your health provider may prescribe antibiotics to treat the disease.

Most Common Tick-Borne Diseases

Most symptoms or signs of tick-borne diseases will appear within a couple of days to weeks after the bite has occurred. If you have been bitten by a tick, you should visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible even if you are not showing any symptoms. Here are some of the most common tick-borne diseases. 

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

A rash will appear on your body 2-5 days after you first get symptoms. The rash usually starts as tiny, flat, pink dots on the ankles and wrists. After a while, it will spread to other parts of the body. The spots usually turn purple or red after one week.

Lyme Disease

People who are infected with Lyme disease usually develop a rash within 3-30 days. You will see an oval or red area of redness around the tick bite. The rash expands over days or weeks and usually reaches around 6" wide. The affected area may feel warm, but it is not itchy or painful. It may look like a bull’s-eye rash because as the rash expands, it clears in the center and develops a ring around the bite. 


The most common type of tularemia causes a painful open sore at the bite site. Tularemia is potentially fatal and highly contagious, but it can be treated with certain antibiotics if detected early.


Children are more likely to develop a rash compared to adults. Ehrlichiosis can cause small, flat, purple, or red dots or red areas covered with tiny bumps.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend taking any antibiotics after being bitten by ticks. In certain situations, however, one dose of doxycycline may reduce a person’s risk of Lyme disease. You should talk to your doctor if you reside in an area where tick-borne diseases are common.

Treatment for such diseases must be based on the history of tick exposure, symptoms, and blood test results. However, the best way to prevent tick-borne diseases is to avoid ticks in the first place. You can do this by avoiding brushy and wooded areas and checking your body for bugs after being outdoors.

Avoid getting tick and mosquito bites whenever you go out by using our recommended products:

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Mosquito & Tick - Jungle Juice Repellent 200G