Watch out for falling iguanas!
That’s probably a sentence you never thought you’d read, hear, or say, but it’s true. In Florida this winter, iguanas are truly falling from above and you should be careful.
Iguanas vary in size. If you were hit by a little one, you’d be fine. However, if a full-grown iguana fell on you from a decent height and landed on you just right, you could get hurt.
Why are iguanas falling from above?
To learn more about this crazy phenomenon and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from falling iguanas, read on.
Falling Iguana Alert
On Tuesday, January 20, 2020, the National Weather Service in Florida issued an unofficial warning. They told people to be on the look out for falling iguanas. What’s even crazier is the fact that this was not the first time this type of warning had been sent out.
As you probably know, iguanas are reptiles. Like all other reptiles, iguanas are cold-blooded. You might remember learning about reptiles and other cold-blooded creatures in grade school. Unlike mammals and other warm-blooded animals whose blood temperature stays within a small range to maintain homeostasis, the temperature of the blood of cold-blooded animals fluctuates with the ambient temperature.
When the weather is warm, iguanas and other reptiles are in their top form. It’s almost as if they are charged by the power of the sun. In reality, as their blood gets warmer as their skin collects the heat from the sun’s rays, they can move about much more easily.
On the other hand, when the weather is cold, the opposite happens. As the temperature drops, so does the temperature of their blood. This cold blood moves more slowly, and the iguanas move slowly too as a result.
When the outdoor temperature hits fifty degrees, iguanas and other reptiles move slower.
If it drops further, to about forty degrees, they can hardly move. Their joints get stiff and they get very still. Cold weather stuns iguanas. If the temperature remains this low for a period of time, they may begin to have difficulty holding onto things, like the tree branch hanging over your driveway.
You know what happens next: falling iguanas.
Iguanas in Florida
Sometimes the weather gets so cold that iguanas can freeze to death. However, in south Florida the weather rarely gets that cold. There were a few days in 2010 that resulted in many dead invasive reptiles in the area, including iguanas.
The most common iguana in Florida is the green iguana. These are invasive species that are not native to the area, but they hail from warmer areas to the south. You can find native green iguanas in Brazil and Paraguay and Mexico. From there, humans brought them to places like Puerto Rico and Florida and Texas as pets and over time, some escaped and bred.
Most of the time, due to the fact that the weather in these places is similar to their home territories, they thrive and live happy lives.
That is, until the temperature drops. It’s uncommon that we experience such cold weather in south Florida, but it does happen from time to time. As long as the weather stays above freezing, these falling iguanas do generally survive. They hit the ground and lie there a bit and when they are warmed by the sun they are soon reanimated. Then they scurry back up their favorite tree to safety.
If the weather stays cold for a longer period, however, iguanas may die. When that happens, some people collect them and eat them. In their native range, they are often hunted and eaten. People say they taste like chicken.
How to Stay Safe from Falling Iguanas
Even on a cold day, your chances of getting hit by a falling iguana are slim. However, this is something you want to be careful about. A full grown green iguana can weigh as much as eight pounds, so if one hits you, it’s like having a small bowling ball fall on your head. Depending on the angle at which it hits, you could even end up in the hospital.
The best way to avoid falling iguanas is with simple awareness. You must keep in mind the possibility of falling iguanas when the temperatures begin to drop. When you leave your house, check the trees above you for iguanas. They are quite camouflaged, but they are also not that difficult to spot.
You should also avoid walking under trees with overhanging branches. Iguanas also like to hang out on roofs, so be careful when you go in and out of buildings as well.
Although it will be a funny story if you are hit by a falling iguana, for your own safety, it’s probably better to avoid them if you can.
A lot of Florida homeowners view iguanas as pests and seek their removal from their property. Although they are cute and fun to watch, they can cause a lot of property damage if left unchecked and they can reproduce rapidly.
A single female green iguana can lay between twenty and seventy eggs per year. Not all of the babies will survive, but enough will survive to cause a problem after a few years.
Iguanas dig burrows and these burrows can interfere with water and underground power lines. These burrows can also look unsightly and their numerous holes can make walking around your property a treacherous undertaking.
One way to decrease your chances of being hit by falling iguanas is to call an iguana control service to get them removed from your property. If you are looking for a great service in south Florida, please give us a call. We will not only help you get rid of the iguanas on your property right now, but we will work with you to help avoid iguanas taking up residence at your place in the future, too.
Please give us a call today. We are happy to answer any questions you might have and we look forward to working with you.