Readers ask me this question a lot. Yes, all of the Hawaiian islands have mosquitoes. They were most likely introduced from bilge water carried in whaling ships in the early 19th century.
Aedes aegypti is one of the most common species noted by black and white spots. It is very invasive and found on all islands. You can avoid bites by wearing long sleeves and pants in the morning and evening hours and by using insect repellant containing DEET, such as Cutter 54010 Skinsations 6-Ounce Insect Repellent Pump Spray 7-Percent DEET, Case Pack of 1.
I also love Cutter All Family 15 Count Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes 7.15% DEET HG-95838 because you can toss the wipes into your carry on luggage or purse, and you don’t have to worry about TSA toiletry screening or spills. The wipes also work great on squirmy kids.
Drier leeward sides of the islands–such as Honolulu on O’ahu, Poipu on Kaua’i and Kihei on Maui–have fewer of the bugs because there is less standing water where mosquitoes breed.
Wetter windward areas of the islands–such as Hilo on Hawaii island, Hana on Maui and Hanalei on Kauai–have more mosquitoes because there is a lot more rain, which leaves standing water in pots, buckets, gutters, old tires, and even potholes in streets where the bugs breed. In windward areas, strong trade winds tend to keep down the numbers of mosquitoes that can actually land and bite. When you are in the wind, you will receive fewer bites.
The good news is Hawaii does not have malaria, a debilitating fever disease carried by mosquitoes in most tropical zones in the world.
Most grocery stores in Hawaii sell products that contain DEET, which confuses mosquitoes so they don’t land on skin sprayed with it. It’s also easy to find sting ease products that help with itching. You might also make a natural repellant that’s more gentle by mixing into a base of vodka equal parts of the essential oils cinnamon, tea tree and lemon.