Creatures of the Caribbean: Friend or Foe? Part One

DSC01680When you move to St. Croix, you will encounter a new set of animals and bugs that may seem foreign to you.  We don’t write this to scare you away (every island has them), but to give you an honest introduction to island life.  The open-air nature of home construction in the Caribbean makes it more likely for creatures to sneak inside, but rest assured professional exterminators are readily available.  We share this information so that when you encounter something you know whether to pet it, smash it or run away!


These little green lizards are prevalent on St. Croix and often manage to sneak inside homes.  They are affectionately called “house lizards” (like house cats), locally because they are welcome guests which are harmless to people and eat mosquitoes.

Some mosquitoes in the Caribbean carry Dengue Fever.  So you will want to use protection against insect bites, just as you would try to avoid mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in the states.


Centipedes seem to be the most feared common pest on St. Croix.  While their bite is generally not serious (barring an allergic reaction), it does hurt.

Don’t mistake these for the extremely common millipedes, locally called “gungalas,” which are totally harmless.  Because larger millipedes and smaller centipedes look alike, watch how they walk.  A centipede goes in an s-shape pattern while the millipede walks a straight path.


Often on the roadside, mongoose look like an adorable mix between a ferret and a squirrel.  Don’t buy it!  They are fierce predators with quite the bite.  But they are scared of humans and will run away from people.

If you’re looking to avoid as many creatures as possible, Chris Hanley can show you homes in more developed areas of St. Croix away from thick folliage.  He was the top broker on-island in 2014 and is the authority on Virgin Islands real estate.  Contact Chris today and download our free guide the 10 Best Reasons for Living on St. Croix.  10_best_banner