Exotic mosquitoes are species of mosquitoes that live overseas and do not live in New Zealand. Many exotic mosquito species are of risk to public health, as they can infect people with serious diseases like Dengue Fever and Malaria.

Talk to your doctor before you travel. They will be able to tell you about health problems that are relevant to your destination, and make recommendations that can keep you safe e.g. vaccinations, medications. 

We recommend that you seek medical advice immediately and tell the doctor about your travel if, during or in the first three weeks after your trip, you feel unwell.

Protect Yourself and Your Whānau

New Zealand is fortunate enough to have no local mosquito-borne disease transmission. In some parts of the world the risk of mosquito- borne disease can be high. These are the steps you can take to protect yourself from being bitten while travelling.


  • Stay in places with screens on windows and doors.
  • Use insect sprays when mosquitoes are around.
  • Use mosquito coils.
  • Use a mosquito net over your bed at night. You can spray this with pesticide if you wish.
  • Turn on air conditioning if you have it – this is very effective at keeping mosquitoes out of a room.


  • Use insect repellent, preferably containing diethyltoluamide (DEET). High concentrations of DEET protect better, but concentrations over 35% are not recommended if there is a choice of products available. This is because in rare cases they can cause poisoning. Other products containing 20-25% picaridin and those containing about 30% lemon eucalyptus oil (equating to about 20% para-methane-diol (PMD)) can also be used. Repellents should not be applied to wounds, irritated skin, eyes or mouth.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats. Clothing can be treated with repellent.
  • Use zip-up screens on tents.
  • Avoid places where mozzies are most active, such as swampy areas.


What we do at Toi Te Ora

Toi Te Ora Public Health conducts a mosquito surveillance programme at the Tauranga Port and Vessel Works. A variety of traps are used at and around the port to capture mosquitoes and larvae. These traps are checked weekly by our Health Protection Team at Toi Te Ora Public Health. Any captured mosquitoes or larvae are sent off to the laboratory in Wellington to ensure they are not exotic.  

For more information on how to avoid being bitten when travelling: Mosquitoes | Ministry of Health NZ

For more information on keeping healthy while travelling: Australia - Traveler| Travelers' Health | CDC