Cayman has a warm and humid climate, and consequently uninvited guests such as ants, cockroaches, termites, weevils, centipedes and scorpions also live here.
However, keeping pests under control in the Cayman Islands is not a problem if you follow our guide and implement regular pest control services. If you are renting then a good landlord will have the outside of your house sprayed quarterly and once a year the inside of your house/apartment will be sprayed as well. Then you might find a few cockroaches but they will be on their backs and not doing well at all! Below are the various pests which you might encounter in Cayman:
Scorpions tend to be more prevalent after periods of heavy rain and home infestations can occur although it is very rare. Cayman's scorpions are not particularly poisonous but they do have a very painful sting and if you are stung then you should visit the hospital or a doctor as a safety precaution. 25 years ago Cayman had no scorpions but the story is that a shipload of soil arrived from Costa Rica for a house in Patrick's Island and within it there were scorpion eggs. We have had scorpions ever since. You might well never see one but they do appear near disturbed land and when building is going on. If you encounter any in your house a pest company can put a powder down in your attic and around the outside of your house which kills them.
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. If you see a rat on your property then call a pest company and they can bring a rat box around to try and poison it.
Ticks and fleas - People with pets will likely encounter ticks and fleas, especially if they do not keep their animals on a Flee/tick prevention programme to keep them at bay. 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. As a reminder ticks look very different depending on whether they are male or female: the males are small, flat and move very fast but it is the females which latch on and get round and very fat. Once they have eaten all the blood they need, they fall off, crawl into a corner of your home, dry up and eventually crack open with thousands of baby ticks. It is absolutely horrible! If you do not keep your dog on a tick control programme you will have to check them very regularly if you want to prevent an infestation!
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 stagnat, 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 have been 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 January 1st 2020, 1.1 million had been culled. 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 is definitely 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. Do not forget that lawns need to be sprayed quarterly as well. If they aren't then you will almost certainly have a grub and or a chinch bug problem in no time at all.