Mosquitoes are the bane of human existence. Well, they’re annoying at the very least. And sadly, Honolulu is not immune to these insects. You can encounter mosquitoes on every island of the archipelago, even though not native to the islands.
Why are there mosquitoes in Honolulu? It is believed that mosquitoes were introduced in the early 1800s by whaling ships. Because mosquitoes were not native to the Islands, there was no natural resistance to the diseases they brought. Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance to our community, but they can carry diseases transmittable to humans and wildlife.
What kind of mosquitoes are in Honolulu?
You can easily recognize mosquitoes by their three pairs of legs and thin bodies. They have long, sharp, beak-like mouthparts (called a proboscis). The females of the species are the ones that suck blood. Blood meals provide them with the proteins they need to carry eggs to maturity. Mosquitoes are fragile insects that are easy to kill, but they are a nuisance since they can reproduce at a fast pace.
Mosquitoes can be broken down into two categories: daytime biters and nighttime biters. Each is respectively active during different times of the day. The most prominent species of daytime biting mosquitoes are Aedes albopictus (the Asian Tiger Mosquito) and Wyeomyia mitchelli (the Bromeliad Mosquito). If you are getting bitten while trying to spend time in your backyard during the day or afternoon, Asian tiger or bromeliad mosquitoes are probably to blame. If you’re getting bit at night; you’ve most likely encountered Aedes vexans (Inland Floodwater Mosquito) or Culex quinquefasciatus (the Southern House Mosquito). No matter what time of day spending in your yard, mosquitoes are lurking and ready to bite.
What diseases do mosquitoes carry?
The most common diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in our area are Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika Virus. Most mosquitoes do not carry these severe and sometimes deadly diseases, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So what are these diseases and how can they potentially impact humans?
- Dengue– Common symptoms include a rash that appears on hands, legs, and feet. Sudden onset of headaches, fever, or muscle pain can also indicate dengue.
- Chikungunya– Common symptoms include joint pain in hands and feet, fever, and rash.
- Zika Virus–Common symptoms last several days to a week, including fever, rash, headache, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, and joint pain.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.
How can I get rid of mosquitoes in my yard?
Managing mosquito swarms around your home is not complicated but can be tricky as swarms can include many insects that reproduce at a fast pace. They breed in standing water that collects after it rains. By dumping water or eliminating places where water can collect, you’ll be reducing the chances of mosquito activity in your yard. Familiar places that water collects are in empty flower pots or the drainage trays that they sit on, birdbaths, unused pools, clogged gutters, utility buckets, old tires, and pet bowls.
Unlike other mosquitoes, bromeliad mosquitoes breed almost exclusively on the leaves of pineapple lilies. If you are getting bit during the day, it could be pineapple lilies drawing the mosquitoes in.
How can I avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 that humans produce, which is like a homing beacon they can follow to find blood proteins. It is always good to try to protect yourself from biting mosquitoes by using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants. Loose clothing is usually better at protecting from bites since mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothing. We know that fully covering up when it’s sweltering hot isn’t an option for most people.
If it’s too warm for you to wear long sleeves or pants outdoors, you can use store-bought repellent sprays. DEET-based products are excellent at hiding the CO2 signals coming off your body. Keep in mind, DEET does not kill mosquitoes. It repels the mosquitoes so that they cannot follow your scent.
Mosquito bites typically become red and itchy. Mosquitoes inject an anti-coagulant chemical when they bite, to prevent blood from clotting while they are feeding. Your level of reaction depends on how sensitive your body is. You can apply an antihistamine cream or apply ice for about ten minutes to treat the itching and the welts.
The best way to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes is with a professional mosquito control plan.
How can Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions get rid of mosquitoes in my yard?
If you are suffering from mosquito bites or want to prevent them before they happen, trust the professionals at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions! Our mosquito service helps protect the health of your family and pets. Learn more about how we can keep your mosquitoes out of your yard by clicking here. Give us a call or fill out the contact form on this page to get started!