Iguanas are primarily a problem in southern Florida, where they breed in great numbers. They litter boat docks, and sometimes get into houses.
Iguanas are some of the most interesting and colorful lizards that are to be seen in the world, and for this reason they will often make popular pets for those interested in exotic animals. There are also many species of iguanas that are populous across the southern states of the USA, and it will be these animals that can prove to be the biggest problem that homeowners will need to deal with.
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There are a number of problems that people who have iguanas using or living in their garden may experience. Iguanas are naturally herbivorous, which means that if you have a wide range of plants in your garden the iguana will often find many of these to be very tasty. Their jagged teeth will not only be ideal for tearing up plants, but if they are threatened then they can bite humans and domestic pets, and this can be painful and will require medical treatment.
Trapping And Snaring Iguanas
The two main ways to catch iguanas are by trapping and snaring them. Snares can be bought online and in some stores, and will generally be sold pre loaded. The best snares will be those that allow a certain freedom of movement both in terms of the twisting and writhing, but will still hold them and prevent them from escaping. These should be placed in areas where the iguana, or iguanas in some cases will be sighted regularly, as they do tend to use the same paths. The trap should be checked regularly, and any iguanas caught should be carefully transferred into a cage. The other option for those who have an iguana problem and want to do something about it themselves is to use a cage trap. These can be designed just to catch one animal at a time, or can be repeater traps allowing a number of iguanas to enter but won't allow them to escape. The positioning will usually be more important than using bait for these traps, but fruit such as mangoes or bananas are said to be successful bait.
What To Do Once You Have Caught The Iguana
The majority of states in the USA will have specific regulations about what people should do with the iguanas once they have been captured. Releasing animals back into the wild in a different location will usually be illegal because they are not a native species, so in most cases they will need to be humanely euthanized. One common way to do this is to put them into a chest freezer, and this is the only humane way recognized by the state to euthanize an iguana in Florida. It may be worth speaking with a local pet store as the younger iguanas could still be trained and sold as pets, but the older animals will often be too wild to make good pets. Some states will also have an individual or company that restricted species such as iguanas should be given to so they can arrange for them to be humanely euthanized.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Iguanas
Iguanas can often be a problem in the southern states, and in Florida in particular these lizards can often become a big problem. As well as being a danger to domestic pets and children if they are cornered, iguanas can often cause damage to plants in your garden, and will also prefer to defecate in water, which will usually be a pond or swimming pool in many gardens. It is for these reasons that people will want to get rid of iguanas if they move into their yard, and although it is possible to catch and euthanize the animals yourself, there are also a number of professional wildlife services that can help with the problem too.
Do Iguana Repellents Work?
I doubt it. I've seen repellents sold for every animal, and it's all a money-grabbing gimmick. Even in an enclosed space like a chimney, a repellent doesn't work. Think about spraying one outside! There'll be no effect on the animal. I see that there are various iguana repellents sold on Amazon.com and other retailers like the one pictured below, but check out the reviews. Not very good, even when you take into account all the fake 5-star reviews that the manufacturer pays for. But what do I know. I haven't actually personally tested any of these products myself for this specific animal. So maybe there's something I don't know. But I do know, from years of experience and dozens of field tests, that snake repellents are 100% worthless, and I'm guessing it's the same for iguana repellents.
You can also read my article about how to get rid of lizards such as anoles. I've also written an article about how to get rid of frogs, which do cause problems from time to time, though rarely.
SOME SPECIFIC IGUANA AREAS OF INTEREST:
How To Get Rid Of Iguanas In Your Yard
If you live in an area with iguanas and they seem to be attracted to your yard, then there are a few things that you need to know. Iguanas are more likely seen in the middle of the day when they can bask in the sun. They seem slow, but in reality can move much faster when needed. The reasons they have chosen your yard is because it provides food and possibly a hiding place, so in order to get them out of there you have to take away those two things. Trapping them is an option but it may not be necessary. The first thing to do is to clean out any clutter that you may have on your yard. Clutter is the perfect spot for iguanas as they can use it to hide or as shelter from the elements. Take away the clutter and in many cases the iguanas will leave. Iguanas can also hide in hollow trees so keep an eye out for that as well. As far as food goes, you should never feed the iguanas or they will keep coming back. Iguanas love to eat (destroy) plants and some of their favorites include berries and hibiscus. Do not leave fruits or scraps on the yard as that can be another thing attracting iguanas.
What Kind Of Nuisance Do Iguanas Cause
So you have seen an iguana or two close to your property and thought “what's the harm?” That is a common question especially from people who are moving from a cooler place in the country to one that is more tropical. People who have dealt with iguanas in the past can tell you that they are not like any other pest that can invade your property. The damage they can cause is very real and not easy to deal with. So what kind of nuisance do iguanas cause? For starters they can do a lot of damage to your vegetation. Iguanas eat plants and that is especially true when you are talking about fruit plants. They can also defecate in your property which is not the worst smelling droppings that you could ever deal with but it can be unsightly nonetheless. They also need a shelter and if you do not have clutter or somewhere for them to go into then they will burrow. Finally they can transmit diseases such as salmonella or an infection due to accidental contact with them. The contact of course has to include contact with feces, a bite or a scratch, but those things happen and you should beware of them.
How To Get Rid Of Iguanas In Your Garden
The first thing that you should know about the iguanas coming into your garden is that there is a very good chance that they were someone's pet. That said it is always a bad idea to attempt to pick one up because it can result on a nasty scratch or worse an infection. Just because at one point an iguana was a pet it does not mean that it has not become dangerous by going feral. The reason they are coming into your garden is because they are looking for food and they know that where there is humans there is food. To get rid of the iguanas in your garden you will need to make a few changes to make the garden not appealing to the iguana. That means you should never leave any sort of food close to the garden. Piles of stone or branches make for a perfect hiding place for an iguana so you should consider having them removed. If the iguana has burrowed in your garden then make sure that you close up all of the burrows. Chances are they will be in trees or in shrubs. One of the best ways to start removing them is to trap and relocate. In some areas there are reptile sanctuaries that can help you.
What Kind Of Diseases Do Iguanas Have People Can Get
Iguanas can be found in the warmer areas in the country and they are even becoming something of a new exotic pet. Whether you live around them or you want to keep them as a pet when allowed you should know the diseases and infections that you can get from them. There are things that you should look for when you live in close proximity to iguanas, one of which is salmonella. Salmonella is one of the most common diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans and reptiles such as iguanas carry it and spread it through their feces. Infections can also affect you when you have or live close to iguanas. They can come from both bites and scratches. Iguanas have long claws which can make for some nasty scratches, but even the ones that do not do much damage need to be paid attention to. You should also exercise caution when cleaning their cages or an area in your property where they have defecated. Mites are also a common occurrence with iguanas. If you have the iguana as a pet then it is important to treat both the animal and the cage.