An early pest control measure in Trinidad

Raymond Manuel


THE problems which can be caused to health and agriculture by the introduction, wilfully or accidentally, of foreign insect species, are well known today. Almost two hundred years ago there was some concern for Trinidad. It appears that there was fear of introducing an ant species which apparently was doing some damage in the Antilles. This resulted in the King of Spain commanding the Governor of Trinidad to appoint suitable subjects to search vessels and the effects of arriving settlers in order to prevent its introduction. Whether that fear was real or unfounded is beside the point, but the edict represents probably the earliest pest control regulation in the history of Trinidad, and is certainly one of the earliest in the New World.

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