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Types of Lizards
Most people seem to want to get rid of those little lizards in Florida, the ones that can change color from green to brown. They are called anoles. They run around everywhere, by the thousands. They are harmless. But some people don't like them. There are also quite a few geckos in Florida. In the desert, Gila Monsters are venomous, but they are so rare, you should count yourself lucky to see one! In the south part of Florida and even in other areas such as California where pets have escaped, iguanas are a bit more of a legitimate problem so you can also read my article about how to get rid of iguanas.
Lizards are part of a large group of animals that can range from being very small up to animals that are three or four feet in length. These cold blooded animals will generally be more prevalent in warmer areas where they can bask in the heat of the sun, although there are many that are quite well spread across much of the United States. There are some lizards which will be native species, and others that have been released by pet owners and have then found another lizard to mate with them.
The best way to catch lizards will usually be to trap them, and whether they are large or small the type of diet that they normally eat will depend on the best type of bait. Many lizards are either omnivorous or herbivores, so in this case using fruit or vegetables as bait will often be enough to attract them in. In the cases of the smallest lizards, choosing a trap with a very fine mesh or in a solid box will often be necessary as they can be very good at squeezing through small gaps.
One of the common lizards that are found in many states are the Anoles, and these are found across the southern and south eastern states. Anoles are generally quite harmless, and will be more likely to be considered a pest because people don't like them rather than a specific type of behavior. If they are confronted without a route through which they can escape they may bite, but this is very rare. Indeed there are many Anoles that actually help people to deal with other pests, as they eat spiders, cockroaches and other insects as a part of their diet. Once they are trapped and removed, the best way to prevent these lizards from coming back is to remove the food sources that will have attracted them to the area in the first place.
One type of lizard which is often found in Florida is the Black Spiny-tailed Iguana, and the males of the species can actually grow up to five feet in length. They are also the quickest lizards on earth and are likely to flee very quickly if confronted with a human. Another possibility that people may come across will be monitor lizards, and although these are not native to North America they are often kept as pets and sadly there are many examples of owners releasing them in to the wild if they get too big or cost too much to feed.
If you do see a larger lizard that you are concerned about, then it is usually best to call in a professional rather than trying to catch the animal yourself. These lizards will have teeth and can deliver a nasty bite if confronted. If you only see the lizard once then it will likely move on unless there is a particular food source drawing it to your property, but it has been known for those who have swimming pools to find lizards using their pool as a home.
How To Trap A Lizard/Iguana
There are many species of lizards that are native to North America, and there are also species such as the Green Iguana that are the offspring of released pets which have become a major pest. These animals can range from only an inch or two up to nearly five feet in length, so the solution to trapping the lizards will depend on the ones causing the problems. Although their teeth are primarily used to eat plants, the teeth of the larger lizards especially can deliver a painful bite to people who are careless when trapping them.
The Best Traps To Catch A Lizard
One of the most popular options for catching a lizard or iguana is the snare, and it can be particularly effective because the animals naturally run with their heads up in the air in a position that makes snaring more effective. The snare should be of a suitable size to the lizard that is being caught, and is usually fixed to a stake or a fence post to hold the animal in place. This snare will tighten around the animal in place when the iguana runs through the point where the trap is set, and this is designed so that it cannot escape until it is released by the trapper. The other alternative is to use a cage trap with bait, and when the lizard enters into the trap the door will shut behind it keeping the animal in a cage until the trapper returns. With both of these traps it is important to check the traps regularly to ensure that the lizard doesn't have to suffer unnecessarily, especially in the snare where it can eventually kill itself if left alone.
The Best Bait And Location For A Lizard Trap
Lizards will mostly be vegetarians, and for those who are looking to choose bait to catch an iguana sweet fruit will often be the most effective bait. Grapes, papaya, melon and mango are all good fruits to use as lizard bait, and many people will find that prebaiting their trap will make it more effective once the trap has been set. In terms of choosing the best location for your trap, it will usually be best to place it near the route that the iguana uses to get into the garden. If you have an iguana that gets through a hole in the fence or a gap in the hedge, then setting a snare in this gap can be particularly effective because it will not see the trap until it is caught. If you have a property near the water, then iguanas and other lizards will often walk or run near the water's edge, which can be another useful place to place the trap.
Precautions To Take When Handling Iguanas And Other Lizards
The larger the lizard that has been trapped, then it is usually fair to say that the more dangerous it can be. Although there are very few parasites and diseases that can be transmitted from lizard to human, they do have sharp teeth that can deliver a painful bite, so wearing protective clothing such as thick gloves is an intelligent precaution to take.
It is worth checking your local laws before releasing a trapped lizard, as some states will have specific rules about releasing non native species such as the green iguana. Where it is appropriate, it is best to take the animal at least ten miles away from your property, and then to release the animal in an area that is away from urban areas where iguanas and other lizards can be particularly problematic.
Conclusion on How To Get Rid Of Lizards
Lizards can often be exceptionally beautiful animals, and from the smallest up to the biggest they can play an important role in the ecosystem. However, in some situations they can become a pest, and this is when people will want to get rid of them. As it is not as simple as dealing with mice or rats, it is often best to call a professional, especially if the lizard that needs to be removed is quite large or has shown some signs of aggression with yourself or others.