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Difference Between a Mosquito & a Chigger Bite

By Brenna Davis ; Updated July 27, 2017

The lazy days of summer often bring with them the constant threat of bites from various insects. Chiggers and mosquitoes are among the most common biting insects, but their bites can be difficult to differentiate. If you want to eradicate biting insects from your yard or treat the bite, though, it's important to know what bug bit you.

Location of Bite

Chiggers are able to bite you when they jump up from the grass or fall down from a tree. Consequently, bites from chiggers are more likely to be localized around the feet and ankles or on the head and shoulders. If you have bites all over your body, though, you've probably been bitten by mosquitoes.

Number of Bites

Chiggers dig into the skin and repeatedly bite in the same area. The result is a cluster of bites in a particular locations. Conversely, mosquito bites are more likely to be on all exposed areas of your body.

Color of Bites

Most people are familiar with the deep pink hue of mosquito bites. Chigger bites, however, are more likely to be a deep red color.

Size and Shape

Chigger bites are typically slightly larger than mosquito bites and are more circular. If you're covered in large, swollen red dots, you've probably been bitten by chiggers. If your bites are shaped more like abstract circles without clearly defined edges, however, they're probably mosquito bites.

Bites on Children

Chiggers don't intentionally bite people. Instead, chiggers prefer to bite other animals and only inadvertently bite humans while looking for a more suitable meal. However, chiggers are more likely to mistake children for a good meal, though no one really knows why this is. It may be that children smell differently or that their skin tastes slightly different. If the only person who is covered in bites is a child, it's likely that they've been bitten by chiggers. Mosquitoes are more equal-opportunity biters.

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