Are There Mosquitoes in Hawaii?

Yes. All of the Hawaiian islands have mosquitoes.

But mosquitoes are not native to them. They were first introduced to Hawaii by European ships and trade in the early 1800s.

Since then, six non-native mosquito species have become established in Hawaii.

In 1826, sailors introduced the Southern house mosquito to Maui when they emptied their water barrels.

Somewhere between 1892 and 1900, the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito were also introduced.

Three additional mosquito species were introduced to the islands in the following century.

Of the six mosquito species, three are harmful to humans or Hawaiʻi’s native wildlife.

Yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes spread deadly human diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and chikungunya.

The House Mosquitoes are carriers of avian malaria and avian pox to Hawaiʻi’s forest birds.

Are There Mosquitoes In Honolulu?

Yes. Four of the six species in Hawaii are found in Honolulu. 

They are: 

  • The Southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)
  • The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) 
  • The inland floodwater mosquito or tomguito (Aedes vexans)
  • The bromeliad mosquito (Wyeomyia mitchellii)

Although these species are found in Honolulu, reports of their infestations are minor. 

In a study, they found that out of 1,051 mosquito tracking sites, only 17% of them showed any mosquito activity. 

While there are mosquitos in Honolulu, the frequency and amount are much less than in other parts of Hawaii.

How Bad Are Mosquitoes In Hawaii?

While all Hawaii islands have mosquitoes, they are not an immediate threat to both residents and travelers.

That’s because Hawaii does not have the mosquito species needed to spread common mosquito diseases such as malaria and encephalitis.

However, mosquitoes that transmit dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus diseases, known as Aedes mosquitoes, are found in Hawaii.

One mosquito species, Aedes albopictus, can be found on all islands. And another species called can be found on the Big Island.

As such, it’s still vital that you protect yourself from mosquitoes when traveling in Hawaii.

Wear mosquito skin repellent and mosquito resistant clothing, especially outdoors.

Types of Mosquitoes In Hawaii:

There are six species of mosquitoes found in Hawaii.
All of which are non-native and were introduced to the by human travel.

The six types of mosquitoes found in the Islands are:

  1. The Southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)
  2. The Yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
  3. The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)
  4. The inland floodwater mosquito or tomguito (Aedes vexans)
  5. East Asian bush or rock pool mosquito (Ochlerotatus japonicus japonicus)
  6. The bromeliad mosquito (Wyeomyia mitchellii)

The first mosquito that came to Hawaii was the Southern house mosquito. It was first introduced to the island of Maui in 1826 by sailors.

Somewhere between 1892 and 1900, the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito were also introduced in Hawaii.

Then in 1962, the inland floodwater mosquito or tomguito were reported to be established on the island of Oahu.

In 1981 a bromeliad-inhabiting mosquito was discovered on Oahu. Today, this species of mosquito established on Hawaii Islands.

In 2004, another container mosquito from the Oriental region, known as East Asian bush or rock pool mosquito, were confirmed to be present on Hawaii Island.

Of the six mosquito species, three are harmful to humans or Hawaiʻi’s native wildlife.

The House Mosquitoes are carriers of avian malaria and avian pox to Hawaiʻi’s forest birds.

Yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes spread deadly human diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and chikungunya.

Do I Need Mosquito Repellent in Hawaii?

Yes.

While Hawaii has one of the best mosquito records across all the US, disease-carrying mosquitoes are still present in all islands.

As such, you must protect yourself when visiting.

One of the most common ways to prevent mosquitoes from biting you is by applying chemical repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or PMD.

DEET

DEET was initially created in 1946 to keep US Army troops safe from mosquito-borne illnesses.

Since it’s inception, it’s been one of the most reliable mosquito repellants in the world.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends DEET as one of the best repellents against mosquitoes.

That said, DEET does have its drawbacks.

Although rare, some people may experience skin irritation with DEET, especially in high concentrations.

Some also find the smell and feel of DEET to be unpleasant. For some users, DEET may feel too greasy on the skin.

Also, while DEET is safe to use on skin, it is known to damage some plastics and certain synthetic materials, such as rayon, spandex, and vinyl.

If you are planning to wear DEET, keep it away from your sunglasses and any clothes made of rayon, spandex, and vinyl.

In case it gets on these materials, make sure to wash them immediately to avoid damage.

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Picaridin

Picaridin is another popular mosquito repellent used on human skin or clothing.

It can come in the form of liquids, sprays, aerosols, or wipes.

Picaridin was first made in the 1980s, but it was only available in the United States in 2005.

Although it doesn’t have the long-standing record of DEET, Picaridin has been proven to be just as effective at repelling mosquitoes.

It also has several distinct advantages over DEET.

For one, picaridin doesn’t have the greasy that consumers complain about with DEET.

It is also odorless and doesn’t damage plastics or other synthetic materials.

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PMD

PMD is a natural oil extracted from the eucalyptus plant.

It’s a great natural alternative to DEET and Picaridin as a mosquito repellant.

Researchers found that repellants containing lemon eucalyptus oil are just as effective and long-lasting as products containing DEET.

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Wear Light Colored Clothing

Mosquitoes are attracted to black, deep blue, and red. To keep yourself from being a target, stick to light colors.

Wear Loose, Long Sleeve Shirts, and Long Pants

Mosquitoes target exposed skin. To keep them away, cover as much as your skin as possible.

You’ll also want to wear thicker fabrics when you can.

Looser clothing is also better than one that fits tightly on your body.

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