bugs, snakes, etc
I have been reading the threads for a while now and I keep reading about the mosquitos in the VI. How bad are they and is there any other things I need to know about. Snakes, Insects, Sharks, Plants, etc. I am looking to relocate there soon.
Any info would be appreciated.
Sounds like someone has an issue w/ creepy crawlies. Mosquitos are here and apparently staying. Take a regiment of B1 vitamin before your arrival. Makes your blood taste bad or something. Also traditional Off (w/ Deet) works well. White vinegar is a natural repellant. I have never seen any personally, but snakes have to be there. Isn't that why the mongoose is there?? Lots of other intestering bugs and critters. Scorpions, chimmichangas and more. Nothing to fear though. I have not yet heard any shark horror stories. There are sharks though I'm sure.
Definately Mosquitos are here to stay. But if you are living here you can take measures to vastly eliminate them inside your home, outside is another story. Things like don't leave potted plants or buckets ourside with stagnent water in them (mosquitos breath in water), keep bushes and grass trimmed, keep doors closed particularly in the afternoon when they seem to come out more, if you have a really open home you can get a net for the bed, you can spray the house (under beds and in darker areas) once in a while if you have a mosquito problem. Outside - if you do lots of hanging out outside on a porch or something some off of some kind is useful.
Snakes - read http://vinow.com/news/aug03/animals.php about endangered animals in the USVI. The tree boa is one of them, next to never seen. Actually the mongoose was brought in for the rats but one animal is noctural the other isn't so that didn't work as planned and the mongoose ate instead bird and snake eggs and other things. So not likey you will see a snake and if you do its endangered, call the fish and wildlife dept.!!
Sharks - again not common to see them but they are here.
Insects and other things - there are flies, bees, jackspaniards (not sure thats the right spelling or the right name), bumblebees, scorpions, gongolos(again not the right name I dont think), centipedes, millipedes, well you get the picture. The good news is the bees and other similar animals stick pretty much to hanging around the plants. I have gotten stung by bees though. Rarely seen scorpions. The centipedes and other crawlies always seem to come out more after it rains. You will see roaches often and when it rains the winged termites come out in mass quantities and are attracted to light, so its best to turn off lights not being used in the house as they will get in somehow.
Plants - there are some poisonous plants like oleander - but its the sap when ingested that is harmful. The frangipani sap and manchaneel tree sap will make the skin itchy and or burn the skin. Some plants have thorns like bouganvillea, monkey no climb tree, cactus and others. There are itchy plants like sting-a-nettle.
I came up with more then I thought I would 🙂 - Overall there are insects here but can be looked out for and avoided and the others are fairly unseen.
Has anyone mentioned biting fire ants. My wife and I were " attacked" on St Croix. the ants move very quickly and left pain, swelling and inflamation on our feet and ankles. We had no serious problems, but I am told that if they are allowed to continue to bite the results can be bad.
And... How do you tell the difference between a Sea Palm tree and the deady MANCHINEEL tree? I'm confused...
Palm or coconut trees look nothing like manchineel trees. Manchineel trees are like big bushes with sort of long green heart shape leaves and little green "fruit" that sort of look like a small apple. The "fruit" turn brown when they are old. Leaves, sap, fruit all poisonous.
Did a little Goggling and came up with this site that has pictures of the Manchineel tree.