Hawaii has mosquitoes as well as the smaller no-see-um biting gnats. They are more prevalent in rainy areas and also wherever there’s less concrete.
- The best prevention is covering as much skin as you can starting late afternoon and while hiking.
- Use insect repellents on exposed skin. From our experience, Deep Woods (by Off) works best in Hawaii.
- Check out the Environmental Working Group’s report on repellent safety.
- Don’t scratch. No-see-um bites itch terribly, but if you can manage to not scratch them, they usually stop itching and virtually disappear within an hour or two. If you scratch, you end up with a bloody mess. Mosquito bites may not go away as rapidly, but they too will heal much more quickly if you can manage to not scratch.
Mosquitoes are responsible for diseases including Malaria, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever and Japanese Encephalitis.
Luckily, Hawaii hasn’t been effected by West Nile Virus, although all of the 48 mainland states have.
The Hawaii State Department of Health is at heightened awareness for mosquito borne diseases, especially inasmuch as two of the species which carry dangerous viruses live here in the islands.
In 2002, there was an outbreak of dengue fever in Hawai’i, with the majority of cases on Maui. More than 100 people contracted the disease. We have had no further outbreaks since then.