Green, scaly, invaders are stomping all over Florida cities and causing problems. It’s not Godzilla terrorizing the Sunshine State, it’s iguanas — and they’re overtaking the environment.
Iguanas are considered an invasive species in Florida. This means that they don’t belong in the area and can cause a lot of damage to local wildlife and even your property.
If you’ve seen the videos of iguanas taking over people’s homes, imagine what it’s like to find them in your back yard. Don’t wait until things get out of control — follow this guide on how to get rid of iguanas and take back your property.
Can You Kill an Iguana in Florida?
It’s technically not illegal to kill an iguana in certain parts of Florida. The issue is how exactly you kill them.
There are animal cruelty laws as well as firearm laws that come in to play when it comes to getting rid of iguanas in Florida. The iguana can’t suffer if you decide to destroy it.
That means you can’t shoot it with an arrow or crossbow, you can’t decapitate it, and you can’t freeze or poison it, among other guidelines. There are restrictions when it comes to discharging a firearm in certain Florida cities and towns, too, which can make it difficult to shoot them.
The killing blow needs to be immediate and painless. Many professionals use a captive bolt gun or pellet gun.
Afterwards, you have to be careful with how you dispose of the body, too. You can’t transport and abandon the body in another part of the state.
If you’re not up to killing an iguana yourself, there are plenty of other things you can do to deter them. Read on for tips and tricks that will keep your home iguana-free.
Iguanas love to dig and will burrow under your fence to get into your yard. Don’t make it easy for them — install barriers to keep them out.
Put in metal plates under your fence to make it hard for them to get in. Make sure it extends several inches underneath the ground so that they can’t burrow around it.
If you happen to find an iguana hole, fill it with rocks and then cover it with dirt. Iguanas will only dig through soft dirt and grass, not rocks, so don’t make it easy for them.
Protect Your Pool
Iguanas are excellent swimmers and love to go for a dip. Unfortunately, they might choose to do that in your pool, contaminating it with their feces and salmonella.
Keep your pool covered when you’re not using it. Putting a cage around your pool or child-proof fencing will show them they’re not welcome to go for a swim on your property.
Got a dock or or sea wall? Put up sheet metal there too to make the surface too slippery to climb.
Tying plastic bottles on your boat make it hard for iguanas to climb aboard as well. Shore up any sea walls with additional fencing.
Don’t Feed the Iguanas
Don’t feed iguanas, either on purpose or by accident. Giving them handouts just encourages them to keep coming around.
Your home shouldn’t be an all-you-can-eat buffet, either. That means getting rid of things that iguanas love to eat.
Don’t leave any food unattended. Make sure the lid to your trashcan is on tight and that they can’t get into it.
If you have any fruit trees, don’t leave fallen fruit laying on the ground. Pick any low-hanging fruit that they might be able to get to as soon as you can.
Don’t leave any pet food outside where iguanas can get to it either. Essentially, don’t leave anything that would tempt an iguana to hang out in your yard.
Protect Your Trees and Plants
Besides digging, iguanas also love climbing things. Take a look at your yard and figure out if you have any trees or rocks that you think an iguana would like to climb up on.
You can put metal guards around the base of your tree. The slippery surface makes your trees hard for an iguana to climb.
For bushes and shrubs, you can use a cage or wire netting to protect them. Look for piles of rock or thickets where iguanas like to hide.
Pick up any fallen palm fronds and don’t let leaves pile up. Iguanas like to lounge underneath vegetation to escape the heat in the daytime.
Iguanas love to eat flowering plants like orchids and hibiscus and veggies like broccoli, beets, and leafy greens like kale. Removing these from your lawn or making them hard for iguanas to get to will deter them.
Trapping and Catching Iguanas
If you consistently have issues with iguanas invading your property, it might be time to try removing the problem altogether. You don’t have to kill them but you can try trapping them.
There are DIY traps you can use to try to capture one. If you do catch one, you have to feed it once every 24 hours and give it to the correct authorities, not just release it somewhere else.
The problem with DIY traps is that you might catch your neighbor’s pet or end up hurting yourself or the iguana. It’s best to call in the pros at this point.
How to Get Rid of Iguanas
There are many ways to repel or eliminate these scaly invaders. Our guide on how to get rid of iguanas gives you a lot of good options you can use right away.
The first step is to make sure your property isn’t iguana-friendly. Make sure there’s no food out where they can get it, no trees to climb, and no areas that are easy for them to dig in.
Still seeing lots of iguanas on your lawn even after taking steps to iguana-proof your yard? If you’re ready to truly tackle your iguana problem, it’s time to call in the professionals.
We’re here to help. Reach out to us today to get your free quote on iguana removal services.