With their look between a lizard and an ancient dinosaur, iguanas have found their home in Florida’s shrubs and trees. They can be found anywhere from small towns to large urban areas. Among the most common types you can find are green iguanas, black spiny tail iguanas, and Mexican spiny tail iguanas. All of them thrive in Florida due to its welcoming weather conditions ideal for their survival. If you feel that iguanas have invaded your property, the best course of action is to call an iguana control company to deal with them.
How many iguanas are there in Florida?
Although some species are native to the area, others are invasive but flourish here so well that studies have estimated that more than 7,000 of them have made Florida their home. Finding them in the southernmost part of the state is much more common because they are attracted to the subtropical weather that is typical of the area. The heat and humidity provide them with ideal conditions to thrive and multiply. And since there are no natural predators in the area, it is easy for their numbers to keep growing unchecked.
What problems do iguanas represent for Florida’s ecosystem?
Iguanas are true enemies of the environment in Florida mostly because they can easily devour great amounts of vegetation and destroy entire swaths of landscaping. They prefer a wide variety of crops and young plants, although they’d much rather enjoy the hibiscus and orchids that are typical of the area.
Sadly, their preference for flowering plants has resulted in a decline in the population of butterflies. The extinction of so many flowering plants because they represent a staple in the diet of iguanas has been blamed for the disappearance of the Miami Blue butterfly.
Iguanas have also impacted the government’s replanting program with their unending appetite for anything that grows. Their destructive habits damage the state’s infrastructure because they tend to tear up drainage canals. They do this by digging burrows too close to the canals, causing their collapse.
Should humans be worried about the iguanas in Florida?
Iguanas are not by nature a threat to people or pets, although it has been shown that their feces are capable of transmitting salmonella. It is more likely that iguanas might be scared of people or pets and may run away from them when they feel threatened.
Nevertheless, it is not recommended that you or your children get too close to them since they may use their serrated teeth to attack by misinterpreting the situation and believing that you represent a threat to their safety. Although their bites are not venomous, they can cause deep cuts that may require stitches and become infected.
If you feel like iguanas have overrun your backyard, there are some steps you can take to recover your yard. Remove dense areas of vegetation where they like to burrow and consult an iguana control specialist on what to plant that will not be attractive to them. You may also want to hang mirrors from bushes and trees since their reflection may scare them off or spray them with a stream of water from your garden hose to chase them away.