Other Pests

There are a wealth of insects and other pests which impact on homes, crops etc across the Caribbean region.  The Powder Post Beetle, Silverfish and Spiders make up a segment of this population.

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Powder Post Beetle

Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface, filling it with a very fine powder-like dust. Powderpost beetles have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces. These beetles are reddish-brown in color.

Appearance

  • Typically Reddish Brown to Black in Colour..

  • They have 6 legs.

  • Shaped like a narrow oval, they grow to about 1/4 inch.

Habits

Adult powderpost beetles are very active at night, enjoy flying and are attracted to the light.

Habitat

Powderpost beetles often attack hardwoods, and can be found in hardwood floors, timbers and crates, antiques and other objects made of hardwood materials.


Threats

Some researchers believe that powderpost beetles are second only to termites in the region in their destructiveness to wood and wood products.

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Silverfish

Lifecycle

The silverfish female lays about one to three eggs per day, placing them in cracks, under objects or left exposed. Developmental time is three to four months under favorable conditions of 72-90 degrees F and at least 50-75 percent relative humidity. Otherwise, it may require up to two to three years. The majority of silverfish live up to three years.

Silverfish are not considered a threat to humans, as they do not bite or spread disease. However, they can cause harm to personal belongings, especially those made out of paper. Silverfish are known to infest items such as wallpaper, books and envelopes, so these materials can become damaged over time as a result of a silverfish infestation. They can also feed on glue and clothing, as well as food items such as rolled oats and flour. Their favorite protein meals include dried beef and dead or injured of their kind.

Habits

Silverfish move fast and are good climbers. They can survive for weeks without food or water, but require a high humidity environment of 70 to 90 percent. Silverfish prefer areas of room temperature (70-85 degrees F/21-29 degrees C). They are nocturnal and prefer to hide or rest in tight cracks or crevices during the day. Silverfish can be found almost anywhere in a house including living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, attics, basements, garages and shake roofs. In fact, shake roofs are excellent breeding sites for silverfish during the warmer months, as they have an abundance of moisture, cellulose, starch and dead insects. From there, they can easily gain entrance and move down through the insulation to enter a home.

Silverfish are known to infest commercial structures such as offices, stores and libraries. They are often introduced into buildings via cardboard cartons of books and papers from an infested location. They will roam quite some distance while searching for food, but once they find a satisfactory food source, they remain close to it. Within structures, they will breed in a variety of areas, including wall voids, in/under the subflooring, ceilings, etc.

Threats

Silverfish are mainly a nuisance pest. Indoors, they can cause property damage by chewing holes in clothing, upholstery and paper goods, such as wallpaper and books. This is why it is important to get rid of silverfish if you are dealing with an infestation.

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Spiders

Appearance

​The majority of spiders in Barbados can do no harm to anyone. They may however be unpleasant to look at and their webs can cause a mess.

Spiders are arthropods that have eight legs. They have more legs and different body parts than insects, and they also don’t move around in the same way insects do.

Spiders are in the arachnid class, but not all arachnids are spiders.  There are about 30,000 known species of spiders. Most spiders use a web to catch their prey, which is usually insects.


The largest spider is the Goliath tarantula, and they can catch birds. The smallest spider in the world is less than 1mm long!​

Spider Facts

  • Spiders are arthropods, like insects – they have an exoskeleton that is on the outside of their body instead of the inside (unlike humans).

  • There are around 40,000 known species of spiders.

  • There are a few main differences between spiders and insects, and one of these is the number of legs – all spiders have eight legs.

  • Spider bodies are made up of two main parts – the cephalothorax and the abdomen.

  • Spiders create silk from spinneret glands in their abdomen.

  • Spider silk is extremely strong, and has a number of different uses.

  • One of the ways spiders use silk is to create webs, which catch prey.

  • There are a few different kinds of spider webs, such as orbs, funnels and sheets.

  • Not all spiders catch their prey in webs – some hide and wait for insects to come by.

  • Spiders lay eggs, and store them in an egg sac to keep them safe.


Did you know?

In Barbados we have a handful of spiders.

Black House Spider

  • This species is a robust spider, 1-1.5cm in body length.

  • Carapace and legs are dark brown to black and the abdomen is charcoal grey. The dorsal pattern of white marking is sometimes indistinct.

  • Poisonous but no recorded fatalities.

Common House Spider

  • Adult – body length excluding legs 1/4" – 3/8". Yellow brown body with faint markings. Abdomen pale grey brown with short hairs.

Daddy Long Legs

  • 7-9mm long

  • Characterised by having very long legs

Funnel Web Spider

  • A large, bulky spider, with females reaching over 35mm in body length and males around 25mm

  • The head region is characteristically glossy black, while the abdomen is dark brown or purplish in colour. The body and legs are covered with fine hairs