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Bugs and Snakes

Port Ellen, United...
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Bugs and Snakes

We're going to Barbados in July with our 3 children - one is only 7 yrs old - to stay with friends. Just want to check if there are any bugs or snakes that are poisonous or that we should be wary off? My friends are so desperate for us to visit they keep saying 'there's nothing to worry about' but I've been reading up (which I know is dangerous!) about denge fever and centipedes and now I'm starting to wonder especially about my 7 year old!

Burlington, Canada
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1. Re: Bugs and Snakes

In the Caribbean where it's hot and humid you get "mosquitoes" some carry dengue in Barbados as in other Caribbean countries. Use normal mosquito precautions and common sense just as in anything else.

Centipedes exist in many parts of the world including Barbados, UK, US, Canada just to name a few.

No poisonous snakes in Barbados.

Edited: 14 May 2012, 11:06
Barbados
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2. Re: Bugs and Snakes

Ileach67

You're biggest concern here should be mosquitoes, millipedes and centipedes. Millipedes in particular are QUITE abundant at the moment. They're all around the house, the driveway, the road etc. For the mosquitoes, a can of OFF keeps them away perfectly fine.

There aren't any posionous snakes here to worry about.

Hope this helps

Regards

Port Ellen, United...
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3. Re: Bugs and Snakes

Thanks for this. . . . the mozzies I know what precautions to take and the thanks for the ref to OFF what about the centipedes and millipedes do they bite and if so can they be dangerous. . . . are they likely to be in your bedding would you have to check it the way you do in Australia?

Barbados
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4. Re: Bugs and Snakes

Millipedes are not an issue - if you handle them they give off a substance that may irritate, so just don't handle them. Centipedes do bite, and quite hard - the bite will swell, burn and itch. But for a 7-year old child the bites won't be life-threatening. Centipedes bite when threatened, so usually it happens when you surprise one in some way. They won't just come up to you and bite. I have lived here my whole life (nearly 44 years) and have only been bitten once - I believe I stepped on the tail of one at night in an open field while wearing flip flops, and it flipped around and bit me on the little toe. I could see the 2 distinctive little holes from the biters. If a centipede gets in your bed and you roll on it, it will bite. Yes it does happen, but it is fairly rare. I actually got stung by a bee in my bed, but I've never been bitten by a centipede at home - neither has my family. You could check shoes before putting your foot in them, or shake out your bedding at night if it makes you feel better. We don't bother to do those things - being bitten by a centipede is not like being bitten by a scorpion. It will be uncomfortable, but you won't need a doctor (unless you have a rare allergic reaction or something, and I've never known someone who has). We have small grass snakes, but they are not venomous.

Basically there is a small chance of being bitten by something, but a miniscule chance of needing any kind of medical attention after it.

Sheffield, England
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5. Re: Bugs and Snakes

In addition to the above advice, I would recommend plastic/rubber type shoes for use in the sea (for adults and children) to prevent stings from sea urchins, lion fish and the like. Also it's a good idea not to allow children to play on areas of the beach which are not washed by the tide because of the risk of parasites etc from cat faeces etc.

Both of these things are common sense precautions anywhere and are not specific to Barbados. Barbados is, in my view, relatively bug etc free for a country in the tropics and I would not hesitate to take children there - just take account of the advice in the above posts and they'll have a great time.

Sheffield, United...
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6. Re: Bugs and Snakes

Meanwhile dont forget to point out the wonderful bird life, green monkeys and tree frogs - children will love them all !

Edited: 14 May 2012, 14:50
Barbados
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7. Re: Bugs and Snakes

We also have pretty little green lizards - they are small, not big like iguanas, and perfectly harmless. In fact, they like to eat mosquitos and other flying insects, so I like to have them around! Inside the house you might see very pale lizards (almost white) that we call "wood slaves" - those are also harmless and very, very shy - they like to hide away in the daytime, but they also eat lots of bugs and are good to have around.

Barbados
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8. Re: Bugs and Snakes

Ileach67

You're most welcome.

Millipedes are an issue as some varieties emit poisonous liquid secretions. These should be handled with caution when being eradicated. When I was 9 I got a severe rash on my arm as a result of the liquid secretion of a millipede.

Centipedes can definitely be caught up in bedding. I've killed about half a dozen over the last three years found in various rooms of the house. They mostly like damp dark areas. As long as their is moisture around, there is a good chance of seeing them.

Hope this helps

Regards

Derbyshire, United...
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9. Re: Bugs and Snakes

I think your friends are right overall, Barbados really just doesn't have the nasties which you find in Australia etc. I think you have had good advice re: mozzies. I'd also second Almatt's suggestion of sea shoes. Hope you decide to go and have a good trip!

Port Ellen, United...
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10. Re: Bugs and Snakes

Thanks for all the advice. . . . .cant wait to go now :)