About the Mosquitoes in Tonga
Waking up to itchy red bites on your legs is the downside of a tropical getaway. While mosquitoes are present in Tonga, they are rarely in abundance unless you’re in the forest or by stagnant water. Plus, Tonga is free from major mosquito-transmitted diseases like yellow fever and malaria. However, while not as serious, dengue fever and chikungunya, has historically been present in Tonga, so it’s always worth trying to avoid mosquito bites whenever possible! We’ll go through some tips for avoiding mosquito bites in Tonga in the list below.
For more information on health and safety in Tonga, see How to Keep Safe in Tonga.
1. Use Natural Mosquito Repellent
Sprays, creams, soaps, bracelets, even stickers, wipes and roll-on gels, natural mosquito repellents come in many interesting forms! Just check out the 10 Best Natural Mosquito Repellents for Tonga for ideas! Natural ingredients like lemon, eucalyptus, geranium oil, vanilla bean extract, cedar oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil and more are all effective natural ingredients to deter mosquitos. What’s more, they are free from DEET which is otherwise toxic to the skin especially when mixed with sunscreens, moisturisers and other skin products.
2. Make Sure Your Accommodation Has a Mosquito Net and/or Fly Screens
Most guesthouses and resorts outside of Nuku’alofa and Neiafu town centres offer mosquito nets and/or insect screens on the windows in Tonga, but there are a few of the budget options which don’t. Make sure you check whether your accommodation has these options before booking.
3. Stay in Urban Areas
While not exactly an ideal solution when wanting to explore the islands of Tonga, urban areas tend to experience a lot fewer mosquitos than areas with vegetation. This only really applies to the town centres of Nuku’alofa in Tongatapu and Neiafu in Vava’u. This is why you tend to not find mosquito nets or screens in the hotels of these towns.
4. Avoid Going Out Just After Rain
Rainfall is when mosquitos are at their most active. To help decrease your chances of being bitten, consider doing something indoors when it’s raining and/or just after the rain. Alternatively, get out on the ocean with some kayaking or snorkelling where mosquitos are far less present around moving water.
5. Avoid the Wet Season
For the reasons stated above, mosquitos are a lot more active in the wet season. The wet season in Tonga is between December and April/May (see What are the Seasons in Tonga?) and is when you will find the most mosquito activity. While we usually recommend visiting Tonga in its quietest season, if you really want to avoid mosquitos, the wet season is best avoided. Learn more about the weather in Tonga here.
6. Stay on Tongatapu
With the idea of staying away from the rain, another way you can reduce your rainy days is by staying where in Tonga’s driest climate. Tongatapu is the island group with the driest climate, receiving approximately 1,600mm (63″) of rain a year compared to Vava’u which receives around 2,100mm (83″) a year. However, there are months of the year where Tongatapu does tend to experience more rainfall than Vava’u, so check out our Weather & Climate articles to see how much precipitation is typically experienced each month.
7. Don’t Stay by Stagnant Ponds or Puddles
Yes, keeping on with the water theme, mosquitoes are particularly active around still pools of waters. Swimming pools and by the sea is usually Ok where water is moving, but stagnant ponds and puddles are typically where mosquitos live. So keep your long conversations or day bed away from pools of water.
8. Get Your Dose of Vitamin B
Although not solidly scientifically proven, vitamin B is said to be a good deterrent of mosquitos if you have enough of it in your system! Vitamin B is highly present in seafood, from crabs to fish, which conveniently happen to be staple foods in Tonga, as well as in bananas, eggs and potatoes. Alternatively, vitamin B dietary supplements, such as Vitamin B Complex supplements for adults or these Natural Calcium Citrate supplements for kids could be a good addition to your day to avoid mosquitos. In case of doubt, ask your doctor. For more meds/health products to pack for Tonga, see What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Tonga.
9. Stay Inside at Dusk and Dawn
While mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day, the prime feeding time and frenzy of activity are during dusk and dawn. During these times, it’s best to stay indoors if you want to avoid mosquito bites. Maybe opt to have your breakfast and evening meals inside.
10. Get Your Vaccinations Done
While mosquito-spread diseases are not common in Tonga and chikungunya and dengue fever can’t be prevented with vaccines, we feel that this is still a good place to remind you of vaccines that are recommended for Tonga, including vaccines for measles, Hepatitis A and typhoid. Learn more in Do You Need Vaccines to Travel to Tonga?