Researchers estimate there are now millions of iguanas living in Florida. Their overall population continues to climb as female iguanas are capable of laying dozens of eggs in one batch.
This growth has been a nightmare for Florida homeowners, business owners, and government agencies. Not only can iguanas get aggressive around pets, but they also spread disease and burrow through important infrastructure.
Have you started noticing iguanas around your yard? We’ve compiled this article with some iguana removal tips and tricks to get them away before they cause serious damage.
Keep reading below to learn the history of iguanas in Florida, prevention techniques, and when to call a professional for help.
What’s the Deal With Iguanas in Florida?
Iguanas are categorized as an invasive species by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Although they’re officially known as Green Iguanas, they can also appear brown, black, or even bright orange colors.
Native to Central and South America, iguanas started appearing in Florida during the 1960s as exotic pets. Many of these iguanas either escaped captivity or were released by their owners.
Their population has grown across the state. Besides being a nuisance, they have caused millions of dollars of property damage. They eat residential and commercial vegetation, burrow into public infrastructure (sidewalks, seawalls, berms, or home foundations), and consume threatened native species.
Iguanas are also capable of transmitting Salmonella to humans through water or surfaces.
Don’t Put off Dealing With Iguanas on Your Property
While the amount of iguanas has exploded across Florida, residents insist that annual cold spells help keep the population in check. New iguana research is actually showing that some iguanas are becoming more tolerant of colder weather.
As a result, wild iguanas are being spotted further north in Florida. Fewer are also seen falling from the trees on a chilly day.
Iguanas don’t die when this happens, rather they’re stunned for a while until warming back up. It’s because they’re cold-blooded and can’t regulate their own body temperature.
The evidence of this rapid evolution in Florida is encouraging for scientists concerned about environmental resilience. But, the problem is it could make the iguana problem worse statewide.
For this reason, you should deal with iguanas on your property as soon as possible. Don’t put it off thinking a neighbor or cold spell will take care of one for you.
If you’re new to Florida or you’ve been living here for years, chances are you’ll cross paths with an iguana. Here are three tips for getting rid of an iguana on your property.
1. Iguana Control Precaution: Keep Your Garden & Landscaping Tidy
Early prevention can go a long way in keeping iguanas off your property. They take up residence in your yard if you grow vegetables or plants they enjoy eating.
First of all, don’t feed iguanas and don’t leave old food laying around in compost piles. This will attract them to your house. If you leave pet food outside for a dog or cat, bring it in when they’re finished.
You probably enjoy keeping your yard or garden looking sharp. But, keeping up on your property will actually deter iguanas. They’ll have nowhere to hide in a finely manicured lawn.
Some homeowners wrap their trees in sheet metal so iguanas can’t climb. They also put fencing around any vegetables to keep pests out.
And, finally, choose plants iguanas don’t eat for your yard: Chenille, Croton, Mexican Petunia, Oleander, Silver Buttonwood, and more.
2. Check Your Home for Potential Iguana Dens
Whenever working outside in your yard, make sure to check around your house for any holes. They’re probably naturally occurring, but any new holes may also be a sign you have an iguana taking up residence.
Use a shovel to close off any new holes that appear in your yard. Some homeowners fill holes with rocks. Make sure to check your home foundation as well. If you notice anything strange in your foundation, get it fixed as soon as possible. Don’t wait!
Iguanas are known for building complex burrow systems around houses, seawalls, or canal banks. There are stories from all over Florida about the damage they can do.
One country club in Miami, for instance, had to pay $40,000 in plumbing repairs after iguanas dug under the kitchen causing pipes to collapse.
Frequently checking your property for new holes will help protect your investment.
3. Call a Professional To Handle Iguana Removal
Have you tried everything and can’t seem to get rid of the iguanas in your yard? It may be time to hire a professional. They deal with iguanas daily and have a variety of tools and techniques to get the job done.
A professional iguana removal company could start you off with a monitoring service.
After that, the company may install fences, fill holes, or attach sheet metal to trees. And they’ll have the equipment and experience to trap any large, stubborn iguanas from your property.
Killing iguanas in your yard is another option but there are laws and regulations you need to follow. They aren’t a protected species, but it could be problematic discharging a firearm or crossbow in a residential neighborhood.
There are also regulations when it comes to disposing of a dead iguana. All of the rules and regulations make killing one tricky, so the best thing you can do is reach out to a professional iguana trapper.
Need Help Removing Iguanas?
You should have no problem with iguana removal after reading this article. Remember staying on top of your yard or garden is the best way to prevent iguanas from showing up in the first place. You can also fill holes, install fencing, or sheet metal on trees to keep them from hanging out.
There are many options for getting rid of iguanas but for the health of your yard and your family, you should go all-natural with a company like ours.
Need help getting started on iguana prevention or removing some really stubborn iguanas from your yard?
Contact us now for a free estimate if you live in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, or Monroe Counties.