Are there venomous snakes or poisonous spiders on St. Lucia?
YES. St Lucia is a tropical paradise which attracts millions of tourists every year. Many vacations or holidays go by without an incident involving biting reptiles, arachnids, or bugs. But, many people do come into contact with snakes and some people have been seriously injured.
Cheap vacations to St Lucia in luxury all inclusive resorts are out of this world. Stray away from the perimeter of the compound, and the protection against the islands dangers is mainly lost.
There are many different types of snakes living and breeding on St Lucia. Many tourists inadvertently blunder across snakes whilst out trekking in the beautiful countryside and forests.
This is when snake bites can be fatal, if anti-serums are not administered immediately. Please note, not all areas or islands have deadly reptiles or animals living on them or indiginous to them.
This is the most poisonous or venomous snake on St Lucia. The Fer-de-lance ( Bothrops Caribbaeus ) is rarely seen around built up St Lucia, unless travelling through the dense forests. Although their close proximity to human habits is the cause of many snakebites.
Fer-de-Lance is French for 'Spearhead' and these snakes are so called due to the shape of their head. One of the viper family, the venom from this snake can cause vomiting, headaches, swelling for up to 36 hours after the initial bite, and bleeding from the nose and gums.
Bitten victims may also suffer from hypertension, gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, and may slip in and out of consciousnesses. this is before the onset of death.
The Fer-de-lance snake in St. Lucia can grow up to 1.8m in length, although most found are actually shorter. If a person sees this snake whilst out walking or taking one of the fabulous St Lucia wilderness safaris, avoid as much as possible.
Do not be tempted to try to get a close up photograph as these snakes are easily startled and will defend themselves if they feel threatened in any way.
Never run away from a snake, always walk away slowly and carefully, they may not be alone. If bitten, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY, your life may depend on it.
Many untreated snake bites may result in an amputation of a limb. The death rate from snakes on St. Lucia is minimal, but tourists and nationals do get bitten. Anti-serum is available at all hospitals and many red cross centers.
The formidable Boa Constrictor snake has made a home on the beautiful isle of St Lucia. Although the snake does not have venom glands, it does not need them.
The Constrictor family of snakes are notorious for grabbing their victims with their powerful jaws and suffocating them with their coils made from their own bodies.
This is the largest snake in St Lucia and is usually a light brown in color with the belly being yellow with black spots.
There are only four types of snake left on St. Lucia. The St Lucia Racer snake is now confined to the Maria Islet and is very rarely seen. It grows to approximately 3 feet in length and feeds on lizards frogs and small birds.
The other is in the Guinness Book of Records as the worlds smallest snake. Called the Worm Snake, it only grows to 6 inches in length and 1/8" in diameter and poses no threat to humans.
NB. Always walk calmly away from snakes. DO NOT RUN.
Spiders of St Lucia
Like any tropical, sub-tropical, wet or dry country in the world, there are spiders that live on the island. Many 'house' spiders which are small and insignificant, can be found wherever a person travels.
Although there are no reports of deaths, serious illness, or bite wounds, from spiders on St Lucia, it is a tropical country where insects breed at amazing rates.
The worlds most feared spider. This movie legend does exist on St Lucia and around the Caribbean and other islands. Feared mainly because of its' size rather than its bite, the Tarantula is usually harmless.
Has been known to wander into homes across the island scaring the living daylights out of tourists. Most locals just brush them back outside or pick them up and throw them over the fence.
The Tarantula spider on St Lucia is rarely seen as it hides from the Desert Hawk Wasp and avoids human contact when ever possible.
Millepedes & Centipedes
Nearly all millipedes and centipedes are herbivores, and present no threat to humans. They can deliver a little nip from their tail pincers, but usually nothing more.
Some millipedes have been associated with certain treatable diseases and just looking at them can make some people squirmish. Growing to over 6 inches in length, these can scare a child into having nightmares, but are nothing to worry about.
Mosquitoes are a big problem in St Lucia, as they are in all tropical countries. All travelers are forewarned to travel with a mosquito repellent at all times.
St Lucian mosquitoes do not carry malaria, but can cause severe itching and bite marks. Many vacations, jungle treks, or even deep sea fishing trips can be ruined by biting mosquitoes.
Hotels and all inclusive resorts in St Lucia provide their clients with mosquito nets on request.
The intense heat of the sun causes more injuries every year than all of the above put together. Third degree burns are commonplace within the first two days for thousands of tourists whom are not used to the heat and do not wear a sunscreen.
Protection for children should not be taken lightly as sunburn will ruin a vacation for the whole family. Prior to leaving for a vacation or holiday to the Caribbean or St Lucia, pre-purchase all your sun screen and insect repellents.
Please comment on your experiences
Malcolm Hearne on July 30, 2020:
As a regular visitor to St Lucia I have seen many of the mentioned insects. One notable experience was in a restaurant when a visitor was bitten by a centipede, within minutes her leg was swollen and turning black and she started to sweat, by the time the ambulance arrived she had passed out. We learned later that she had recovered after a few days in hospital
Miguel on January 03, 2018:
This is not true. The centipedes are not herbivours and thier bite is quite painful. I am from st. Lucia and have seen centipedes on two occasions, with my own eyes eating a small toad and a lizard. So they do bite and it is very painful.