Hawaii is a wonderful vacation spot for travelers across the world. The stunning islands offer tropical weather, clear waters, and talcum sand which is perfect for some time away from the demands of your everyday life.
If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, there are some things that you need to prepare for. One of the biggest questions people have when traveling to this location for the first time is whether there are mosquitoes in Hawaii and how they should deal with them.
In this guide, we are going to be talking about whether there are mosquitoes in Hawaii and how to protect yourself from the critters you may encounter on your travels.
Are There Mosquitoes In Hawaii?
The short answer to this question is yes, there are mosquitoes on all of the Hawaiian islands.
It has been suggested that the first invasion of mosquitoes came from whaling ships which were used by European settlers in the 19th century. The mosquitos are believed to have come from the bilge water, which was dumped by these whaling ships, and they have continued to breed on the islands today due to the warm, moist atmosphere.
Although mosquitoes are not as numerous in Hawaii as they are on the mainland, they are still present. Some locations in Hawaii may have an exceptionally high concentration of insects due to the weather conditions.
The most common kind of mosquito in Hawaii is known as Aedes aegypti or the Yellow Fever Mosquito.
You must take care of yourself in Hawaii because these are one of the only two species of mosquito that can carry diseases that will affect humans.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water, which can include even the smallest puddle in a parking lot. This is why they are more abundant in the rainy areas of Hawaii, such as the windward and mauka areas but they can appear anywhere.
What Problems Do Mosquitoes In Hawaii Cause?
Over one million humans worldwide are killed every year due to diseases that come from mosquito bites. These diseases include malaria, Zika, Chikungunya, and dengue fever which are some of the worst culprits to this statistic.
While malaria, which is one of the biggest killers, has never been reported in Hawaii, other mosquito-spread diseases have.
Hawaii has reported cases of Zika on the island, which can cause birth defects, dengue fever, as well as Chikungunya which causes joint pain and fever. So while these diseases may not be as fatal as malaria, their symptoms are still disastrous, and you should take care to avoid mosquitoes as much as possible.
Humans are not the only ones who are affected by the mosquitoes in Hawaii, as native birds are also suffering.
One type of mosquito which can be found in Hawaii, the Culex quinquefasciatus, carries avian malaria, which the native birds do not have an immunity to.
Mosquitoes, and with them the diseases they carry, were never supposed to be found in Hawaii and instead were introduced to the island by European settlers. As they are not native to the islands, many of the native animals like the birds are not prepared for the diseases mosquitoes carry, which is causing many deaths.
Following this, over half of all the bird species in Hawaii have become extinct since the mosquito invasion, which was introduced during the 1800s.
Nearly every surviving native bird to the islands is considered to be endangered or listed as threatened.
Before the mosquito invasion, it was reported that there were over 60 species of native birds on the Hawaiian islands, but now only 17 remain.
Mosquitoes are not just an issue for humans, although this is certainly going to be your main concern when booking a vacation to this tropical paradise. Luckily, there are ways you can avoid the insects and take care of yourself should you be bitten.
When Are Mosquitoes Active In Hawaii?
Mosquitoes can be found all around the Hawaiian islands due to the warm climates of this part of the world.
While they may be more abundant in rainy areas due to the moisture, which makes it easier for them to breed, simply avoiding these parts of Hawaii will not keep you out of harm’s way. It is possible to get bitten in the driest, most populous areas of Hawaii, too, which is why you need to remain vigilant on your trip and respond to bites as soon as possible.
The mosquitoes in Hawaii tend to be most active in the early hours of the day, such as early morning and later at night.
While the most common form of mosquitoes found in Hawaii is the Aedes aegypti, there are several species present across the islands, two of which will bite humans.
The most common kind, Aedes aegypti, tend to bite around two hours before sunset and sunrise as these are their most active hours. It is best to avoid being outside and in open areas during this time, as this is when you are most likely to be bitten.
How To Avoid Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bites can be dangerous at worst and an annoyance at best, meaning it is within your greatest interest to try to avoid them as much as possible in Hawaii.
When mosquitoes bite, they create tiny red welts on the skin, which become incredibly itchy pretty quickly. The period in which they will cause an itch can differ from person to person, with some claiming the itch to last ten minutes, whereas others may still experience this 10 days following the bite.
As it can be such an annoyance, you do not want your vacation ruined by a mosquito bite, so you should try to avoid them. The ways to avoid mosquito bites include:
DEET is a way to prevent mosquito bites because they cover your CO2 signal.
Humans emit a CO2 signal with every breath they take, and this is used by mosquitoes to locate blood, which causes them to bite. You can mask this signal using DEET treatments, and there are several options at the drugstore.
Spraying your skin and clothing with DEET is a way to make yourself invisible to mosquitoes and should drastically reduce your risk of being bitten.
An alternative to DEET treatments is natural mosquito repellents, which may be more suitable for sensitive skin.
While the temperatures in Hawaii are hot, wearing short clothing is a way to attract more mosquito bites. The more skin you can keep covered, the safer you will be when exploring the islands.
Instead of wearing shorts and t-shirts, opt for lightweight but longer clothing items that will protect your skin from bites.
It is also best for you to wear loose clothing in Hawaii as not only will this be cooler for the skin, but mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing. Avoid jeans or other fitted clothing items to prevent mosquito bites in Hawaii.
If you have been bitten, your first instinct may be to scratch at the red welt that has appeared, but this is the worst thing you can do.
While the skin is irritated and itchy, scratching it will only make things worse and will make it take longer to heal. Instead of scratching the skin, aim to soothe it instead with anti-itch cream, which can be bought over the counter or by using ice.
Serious bites or itching that will not subside can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, although make sure you speak to a pharmacist about your needs. It may be best to organize getting this treatment before going to Hawaii to be prepared.
It is best to be prepared for the worst, which is why you should carry camomile lotion or a similar soothing treatment with you at all times in Hawaii.
This ensures that should you get bitten, you can treat the area instantly and relieve the irritation. As itching can make things worse, it is best to apply a soothing ointment to the skin, and camomile lotion can be incredibly effective.
Keeping these treatments with you at all times is a great way to treat mosquito bites, and many may also work as a repellent to prevent more.
Mosquitoes are in Hawaii, and you will find them on all the islands due to the warm climate.
These insects breed in standing water and will be more abundant in rainy moist areas of the island. However, it is still possible to encounter mosquitoes and be bitten by them in the dryer locations too.
This means that no matter what you do, it is not possible to completely avoid these critters. Instead, it is best to be prepared for mosquitoes when you arrive in Hawaii and remain this way throughout your trip.
You can protect and prevent yourself from getting bitten when exploring the islands by wearing long, loose clothing and mosquito repellents.
If you are bitten by a mosquito, avoid scratching the skin and seek medical treatment if the irritation does not subside.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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