Iguanas are popular exotic pets in the United States, until they get too big or difficult to care for. Released iguanas have become established in parts of southern Florida and can be a nuisance to homeowners. The green iguana, Mexican spiny-tailed iguana and black spiny-tailed iguana are the three most common invasive iguana species in Florida.
Iguana Nuisances & Damage
Iguana eating habits can harm your landscaping plants, flowers and ornamental trees. These nuisance wildlife will also help themselves to any fruit you are growing in your lawn or garden like bananas, berries and tomatoes. Iguana burrows built along sidewalks and seawalls can damage the structures and even lead to collapse.
The most common species of iguana to inhabit Florida are the green iguana, the Mexican spiny- tailed iguana, and the black spiny-tailed iguana. In some cases, larger, spiny-tailed iguanas can be mistaken for alligators because of their dorsal spines and darker color. The average length for an iguana in the United States is 6 1⁄2 ft. Their bodies are green and covered in scales. Many times they are described as looking like the mini version of a mythical dragon.
Iguanas In The Yard & The Garden
Iguanas primarily eat fruit, flowers and other plants but will sometimes eat insects, bird eggs, lizards and other small animals. As babies or hatchlings, they will actually eat adult droppings because it provides a special bacteria that helps them digest plants. They spend the night in burrows they dig in protected areas and bask in open spaces like sidewalks, docks and lawns during the day. They are very good swimmers and will usually settle near water. When alarmed, iguanas will dive into the water and swim away. This makes it challenging to trap and remove these nuisance wildlife. They will get defensive if cornered or tampered with by pets or people. They have sharp teeth and claws, and will bite, scratch or deliver a slap with their strong tails.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I keep iguanas away?
Here are some useful tips to prevent iguanas from living on your property and basking on your sidewalk: Be sure to remove any overgrowth, rocks or other shelter spots the iguanas can use for protection. Wrap sheet metal around the base of your ornamental trees. Leave about 18 inches of space between the metal and tree. You can also install electric fences on seawalls and docks to deter iguanas. Persistent harassment may encourage iguanas to permanently leave your property. To annoy them, spray them with a water hose, make loud noises, or dangle CDs on plants to scare them.
Benefits of Professional Iguana Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a iguana problem. Finding and treating the iguanas can be challenging, especially if they are loose in your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the iguana nuisance.