mosquitoes in the maldives

Are there Mosquitoes in the Maldives?

Asia’s smallest country by landmass, the Maldives is also home to that small terror of tropical climes.  The mosquito.  Or to be more correct, a scourge of mosquitoes.  That’s the collective term for a group of mosquitoes.  While you are less likely to find mosquitoes on the resort islands, mosquitoes are a problem on the local islands, which, is where you’re likely to be visiting if you’re visiting the Maldives on a budget. Here’s what to expect when it comes to mosquitoes in the Maldives.

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Warm temperatures, humid conditions, and high rainfall.  It’s this climate that the mosquitoes love.  And it’s that climate that you’ll find in the Maldives.  Although the sea breeze tends to keep the humidity down.  The resort islands tend to take a lot of precautions to reduce the mosquito population, but the same precautions don’t happen on the local islands of the Maldives.

How to Avoid Mosquitoes in the Maldives

There’s nothing different about the mosquitoes in the Maldives from the mosquitoes that you’ll find elsewhere, they bit me there as much as they bit me anywhere else.  Apart from the Colombian Amazon or Alaska, where they chewed through 3 layers of clothes to get to me.  I’ve not experienced it as brutal as that.  However, they are present here in the Maldives and there are several measures you can take to avoid them.

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  1. Try and stay somewhere with a breeze.  Moving air keeps them away.  So if you can’t find a place to sit that has a breeze, sit somewhere with a fan.  Or A/C.  Or both.
  2. Few of the windows at hotels in the Maldives have netting on the windows, so if you’re inside, especially at dawn or dusk, keep the windows and doors closed.
  3. Use a good mosquito repellent on any exposed skin – especially in the early morning and at dusk. If you’re using any repellent with DEET in, be sure to shower it off before going to bed.
  4. Wear light-coloured clothes, and long sleeves or long loose light trousers if you’re prone to being bitten.  And yes, socks are a good idea too.  A bite between your toes or on the sole of your foot is agony for days afterward.

Why are Mosquitoes a Problem in the Maldives?

If you’re like me then any insect bite is a problem.  Bites on me swell up, leave red lumps, and itch like crazy. But the bite reaction could be the least of your problems.  Malaria is NOT a problem in the Maldives.  I needed to write that as it’s the first thing that people think of when you talk about mosquitoes.  But other illnesses have come to prominence in recent years and they’ll impact you in similar ways and they’re spread by mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes in the Maldives are no better or worse than mosquitoes anywhere else.  Aside from the fact that they don’t carry Malaria.

Mosquitoes in the Maldives spread diseases like Zika Virus, Dengue Virus, and Chikungunya.  It’s always wise before you travel to an area to check with your government to see if there are any warnings about outbreaks. We’re from the UK, so we use the FCDO advice for the Maldives.

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Mosquito-driven diseases in the Maldives

The primary diseases caused by Maldivian mosquitoes are as follows, with a brief overview and a link to find out more information.

Zika Virus

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus.  It’s similar to dengue fever, but most people have a mild reaction to it, with high temperatures, muscle aches, and a headache for a few days.  There is no specific vaccine or medicine for the Zika virus.  Zika virus is mostly associated with a birth defect called microcephaly, which can affect children if you are pregnant and get bitten by a mosquito carrying the Zika Virus.   More from Johns Hopkins on Zika Virus here.

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is caused by a virus, which is passed on by a certain type of mosquito.  It’s usually passed on during and just after the rainy season.  These mosquitoes are active during the day and often inside as well as near homes.  There’s no vaccine for Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever usually lasts up to a week with high fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a rash.  There’s more on Dengue Fever from Johns Hopkins here.

Chikungunya

Again caused by mosquitoes, Chikungunya delivers fever and joint pain as well as headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.  In November 2023 the US FDA approved Ixchiq, the first Chikungunya vaccine.  You can read more about Chikungunya here

How the Maldives Resort Islands Get Rid of Mosquitoes

The expensive resort islands of the Maldives take considerable actions to ensure that mosquitoes don’t ruin their guests’ stay.  There are usually specific measures taken, to remove the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.  This includes fogging, the use of mosquito repellent devices, and the clearing of any standing water areas where mosquitoes breed.

Fogging to Remove Mosquitoes
Fogging to Remove Mosquitoes

Standing water tends to occur after periods of heavy rain, so if you’re traveling in monsoon season you’ll be seeing a lot of puddles that take a while to drain.  We traveled most recently to the Maldives in December and arrived after a particularly heavy rainstorm to pools and pools of standing water on Maafushi.

Our Personal Experience of Mosquitoes in the Maldives

While the glorious travel photos of resort islands in the Maldives give no indication of any pests, like mosquitoes that you might encounter they’re still there, although you’re unlikely to experience them in any great numbers on resort islands. If your Maldives itinerary includes visiting the Maldives on a budget and traveling to the local islands of the Maldives, then you should plan to meet mosquitoes, especially if you’re traveling during the wet season.

We visited and stayed on the islands of Male, from Male to Maafushi, from Maafushi to Fulidhoo and then we took a break on the Malahini Bandos Resort Island, before returning to Male and going to Dhiffushi and also from Male to Thulusdhoo too. 

Maafushi Deckchairs Maldives
Maafushi Deckchairs Maldives

We stayed in accommodation that had air conditioning and that had good reviews with no mentions of mosquitoes in the reviews.

In Maafushi we stayed at the Sun Shine View

In Fulidhoo we stayed at the Malas Island View

On Thulusdhoo we stayed at the Batuta Surf View

On Dhiffushi we stayed at the Isla Dhiffushi

On Male, we stayed at the UMET Seaview

Our resort island stay was at the Malahini Bandos Resort

Malahini Bandos Resort Maldives
Malahini Bandos Resort Maldives

We experienced mosquitoes on several of the islands, but because I tend to be a mosquito magnet we used repellent and covered up at both dawn and dusk.

FAQ about mosquitoes in the Maldives

Here’s what you’ll need to know about mosquitoes in the Maldives.

Are there any mosquitoes in the Maldives?

Yes.  There are mosquitoes in the Maldives.  If you’re staying on resort islands, then the resort island management will take action against mosquitoes.  This usually includes the removal of standing water and fogging on a daily or weekly basis.

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How bad are the mosquitoes in the Maldives?

I got no mosquito bites on the resort island, the Malahini Bandos Resort that we traveled to.  You can read my review of our trip here. I didn’t even feel as though I was going to be bitten.  On the local islands, I got a few bites when we sat down to breakfast and dinner (putting my legs under the table appeared to be the issue). And, at sunset on one of the local islands, I got several bites too.

Are the mosquitoes in the Maldives dangerous?

It depends on what you mean by dangerous.  I would not want to get infected with Zika Virus, Dengue Virus, or Chikungunya.  For me mosquito bites themselves, even without an associated infection, take days, sometimes weeks to go down.  So to me, any bite is deeply unpleasant.

When to go to the Maldives to avoid mosquitoes?

Travel to the Maldives during the high season, aka the dry season, from the end of November to the end of April to reduce contact with mosquitoes.

Do you need antimalarials to go to the Maldives?

Malaria is not normally present in the Maldives.  For any healthcare and vaccine information always consult a medical professional.

Are there daytime mosquitoes in the Maldives?

Yes, you’ll find mosquitoes during the day.  In 2023 there was an outbreak of Dengue Fever in Dharavandoo, coming from the Asian Tiger Mosquito.  Dharavandoo is one of the local islands of the Maldives where there are no active mosquito control procedures.

Where to go to the Maldives to avoid mosquitoes?

You’ll encounter fewer mosquitoes in the Maldives by traveling to the resort islands.  You’ll also see fewer mosquitoes (or feel fewer mosquitoes) by traveling to the Maldives during the dry season (from December until the end of April).

Which islands in the Maldives are Mosquito-free?

There is at least one resort in the Maldives that claims to have eradicated mosquitoes, that’s the Soneva Fushi Resort.  This resort has worked with several different approaches, from traps to hot fogging and mist blowing. 

How to avoid mosquito-transmitted diseases in the Maldives

Of the mosquito-driven diseases mentioned above the only one to have a vaccine is Chikungunya and that’s relatively new.  The only way to avoid mosquito-driven diseases in the Maldives is to not get bitten.

This means covering up (long loose light coloured clothing) and using mosquito repellent.  Avoid dawn and dusk, although some mosquitoes are also present during the day.  Avoid stagnant or standing water and lush vegetation.

Can you buy mosquito repellent in the Maldives?

Yes, you can buy mosquito repellent in the Maldives, but it’s more expensive.  Put it on your Maldives packing list and take it with you.

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Final Words on Mosquitoes in the Maldives

There were mosquitoes in the Maldives (aside from our visit to the resort island of Malahini Bandos), but they were no worse or better than other places we’ve visited and spent time in during our travels in Asia.  It helped, of course, that the rooms that we stayed in had air conditioning and that we were careful to avoid dawn and dusk and to always use good mosquito repellent and covered up when we thought we might get bitten.

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