Cayman has a warm and humid climate, and consequently uninvited guests such as ants, cockroaches, termites, weevils, centipedes and scorpions also live here.
Scorpions tend to be more prevalent after periods of heavy rain and home infestations can occur in large numbers. Although not particularly poisonous, they have a very painful sting and if any symptoms occur, you should visit the hospital or doctor as a safety precaution.
Termites are a major problem in this region and can cause a lot of damage to a property. If you are planning to purchase a house it is important to have a termite inspection done prior to purchase. If you are planning to build a house, have a pre-treatment for termites done prior to building.
Rodents are an all-year problem in Cayman and there are two species of rat and one species of mouse on-Island. People with pets will likely encounter ticks and fleas — local vets sell NexGard chewable tablets which are an effective flea and tick control medicine for dogs. Ticks are a particular nuisance during dry weather and if you have a tick infestation in your home, then a reliable pest company needs to spray the floors of your home twice over a two-week period.
Cayman has biting insects such as fire ants, mosquitoes and sandflies. It is the task of the Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU) to suppress the mosquito population and assist in preventing mosquito-borne diseases. The MRCU conducts aerial spraying with insecticides before the rainy season to kill larvae and evening sprays to kill adult mosquitoes. Fogging trucks are used for ground spraying at times when mosquitoes are most active. To minimise mosquito problems on your property, ensure there are no open containers where water might grow stagnate, as these areas are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Large land crabs are common across the Island. Migrations are prompted by heavy rain and storms when thousands make their way to the sea to spawn. Many Caymanians catch land crabs, so when driving in crab season, use caution and watch for ‘crabbers’ along the roadside. Crab is a delicious Caymanian delicacy found in local restaurants during crab season.
Chickens and roosters roam freely in the Cayman Islands and can often be a nuisance. You can request that a trap be set for free by the Department of Agriculture, who will then come and take them away. Call (345) 947 3090.
Non-indigenous, invasive green iguanas are a massive problem, and must not be mistaken with the endemic Cayman blue iguana, which is a protected species. The green iguana is a pest that breeds in large numbers and has no predators. In an effort to wipe them out, a Government mandated cull was launched in October 2018. The ultimate target for the cull is 1.3 million, and as of August 2019, numbers have surpassed the 800,000 mark. If these voracious eaters are wreaking havoc on your garden, it is easy to catch the iguanas with a long stick (12-14ft) with a noose made of weed-whacker line affixed to the end. You can also call Joseph on (345) 939 6075 who is a registered DoE culler, and has a licence for an air rifle. He will come to your home, cull and dispose of the iguanas, for a few dollars per carcass.
If you are buying a property you should check if the property has been sprayed regularly for pests. If renting, ask your landlord if they have a pest control company that sprays quarterly to control ants, scorpions and cockroaches. Most property owners will do this as a matter of course to protect their investment. If your landlord doesn’t arrange this, it might be worth organising it yourself. If not mitigated, pests can become a serious problem in the Cayman Islands. A typical house, depending on size, costs between CI$135-CI$165 per quarter to treat. Treating a two-bedroom apartment costs in the range of CI$125-CI$140 per quarter.