SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been handling many requests on what people can do to keep monkeys off of their property. With the insistent dry weather, the Nature Foundation has been receiving many calls from residents wondering how to keep monkeys off of their property.
“Because of the weather we have been receiving many calls from people asking how to get rid of these animals in their gardens and on their properties. We have therefore been researching the best ways the population can take the initiative to control the invasive species,” commented Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets.
The Foundation has also been working with counterparts in St. Kitts and Nevis and with specialists who work on controlling invasive species on how to effectively control the population in a sustainable way.
“The issue is cost. The Foundation in and of itself does not have the financial means or the necessary support to enter into an investigation on how to control the invasive monkey population. Therefore, we have been working with officials in St. Kitts as well as institutions outside of the region to come up with a strategy on how best to control the population. In the meantime, we have come up with some recommendations, which may sound strange, but which have proven effective in other regions, in controlling the impacts monkeys have on communities:
The Foundation recommends a few tips:
- You can use a hosepipe or garden hose to squirt and wet them. They're not fond of being hosed and will run away. If they come into or near your house, you can use a water pistol.
- You can simply shoe them away by walking towards them and waving a dishcloth or towel at them. They may stand their ground and threaten you – but don't be intimidated and they will flee.
- Vervet monkeys are genetically predisposed to be fearful of snakes – so many advise placement of realistic looking rubber snakes in the garden – but never leave them in one place for too long – as they will learn to ignore it. Try tying it to a piece of string and moving it when the monkeys come close – and they will flee.
- Do not feed the monkeys
- Vervet monkeys are often scared off by dogs and having them on your property will keep them away.
- Vervet monkeys tend to be more afraid of men than women so a male confronting a monkey will be more effective than a female.
- Make sure your trash bins are covered and preferably have clipped on lids so that the monkeys aren't able to open them.
- Use bird netting or similar products to cover your vegetable gardens to keep monkeys away from your vegetables. Sprinkle hot pepper flakes or spray chili pepper infused water on plants to keep monkeys away from them.
9. Pick the fruit off of fruit trees