Mosquitoes in Hawaii are never shown on postcards or travel websites. Are there mosquitoes in Hawaii? Unfortunately, yes, all of the Hawaiian islands have mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not native to Hawaii. They are invasive. Whaling ships in the early 19th century introduced mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes in Hawaii are most active in the morning and evening hours. The are several species of mosquitoes in Hawaii, two of which like to bite humans. One species limited to birds, but it not going to impact your vacation. Aedes aegypti is one of the most common species noted by black and white spots. These are found on all islands. They bite two hours before and after sunrise and sunset.
Avoid bites from mosquitoes in Hawaii with DEET
DEET prevents bites because it hides your CO2 signal. Mosquitoes use CO2 as the chemical signal to locate blood. Therefore, you become invisible to mosquitoes when you spray your clothing or skin with DEET.
Many people use Cutter 54010 Skinsations 6-Ounce Insect Repellent Pump Spray 7-Percent DEET, Case Pack of 1. I use Cutter All Family 15 Count Insect Repellent Mosquito Wipes 7.15% DEET HG-95838 . The wipes tuck into my day pack or purse and never leak or cause worry about TSA toiletry bag screening. Wipes work great on squirmy kids.
If you are allergic to DEET, try a natural mosquito repellant. These are more gentle to sensitive skin because they are not as harsh. The recipe is simple. Mix into a base of vodka equal parts of the essential oils cinnamon, tea tree, and lemon. I fill a small spray bottle and carry it in my purse.
Avoid bites with clothing
Most people with bites are wearing shorts and t-shirts. Instead, I wear a lightweight long sleeve shirt and loose-fitting pants. I avoid bites by wearing permethrin clothing, such as ExOfficio Men’s BugsAway Tarka Lightweight Long-Sleeve Shirt . Likewise, mosquitoes in Hawaii can usually bite through tight-fitting clothing, including jeans. Therefore, wear loose clothing when possible.
Treat red, itchy bites
How sensitive you are to mosquito bites is a realistic concern. If you live in an area with lots of seasonal mosquitoes (think Minnesota or Maine), chances are your immune system is not going to freak out over a few bites in the evening or while hiking near a stream. You will want to carry some kind of repellant containing DEET. I personally like Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Wipes, 20 Towelettes because they work even in thick clouds of mosquitoes and you can toss them into your purse or pack and not worry about spills.
Mosquito bites cause red, itchy welts. Some people experience itching for 10 minutes while other people itch for 10 days. The immune system is to blame because mosquitoes inject a chemical as they bite. This chemical is an anti-coagulant, which prevents blood from clotting. The immune system reacts, causing welts.
Itching tends to make welts worse. Instead, apply ice for 10 minutes every hour. Over-the-counter medicines may also help. These include antihistamines for severe reactions and sting relief.
If you’re not sure how you’re going to react to a few mosquito bites, I suggest (and I’m not a doctor so this is not medical advice, just practical travel advice) keeping a 20% DEET spray, such as Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent 25-Percent DEET Pump Spray, 6-Ounce, on hand for the mornings and evenings when mosquitoes are most active and use it if you notice you’re being bitten.
If you are sensitive to bites, keep hand to relieve the itching some calamine lotion, such as Caladryl Clear Lotion, 6 Ounce, or sting ease, such as StingEze Max2 Insect Bite Itch Relief Dauber, 0.5-Ounce.
Sting relief products reduce pain and discomfort. Most grocery stores sell sting ease products that reduce itching from insect bites. Still, I carry individually wrapped Read more about dengue and zika in Hawaii. If you are concerned about dengue fever, stay in leeward areas.
Finally, if you are allergic to mosquitoes, plan your travel to avoid wet areas. Waterfall hikes are located in windward areas. Bring plenty of repellent to reapply after swimming. Also, wear protective clothing and apply sting relief as needed.