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Iguanas are beautiful creatures, but they’re not the kind of animal you would want to have running rampant in your back garden. There is a very big difference between a pet iguana in a vivarium, and a wild iguana wreaking havoc in your back yard. The biggest difference, of course, is that many homeowners don’t want a pet lizard, let alone a wild one.
Iguanas in general are known to be an “invasive species”. This means that they are not originally from the United States, and are, in fact, a literal alien to the land. These lizards are actually indigenous to South and Central America, but are now found ‘in the wild’ in places such as Tex, Louisiana, Florida, and more.
As a general rule, the iguanas you come across ‘in the wild’ will only be a few feet long. In their natural habitat, back in Central and South America, they can grow to considerably bigger. This doesn't mean that they are any less intimidating here though, and when they are lured into large concrete areas to sunbathe, usually settling in spaces close to water (such as your swimming pool or a lake/stream, for example), they can give homeowners a nasty fright. At two to three feet in length, in some cases, it's not like you could miss them.
There are a few ways that you can modify your back garden to make sure wandering iguanas don’t pose a problem for you, and these include:
In all honesty, this is probably NOT going to work. The only repellent that has been shown to have any effect on wild animals is eviction fluid, commonly used for female raccoons with a nest of youngsters. Iguana repellent is reportedly made from low impact, all-natural food grade ingredients, and comes in both spray bottles and granule forms. According to the marketing and promotion, iguana repellent contains an ingredient that the iguana doesn’t particularly like, thus encouraging it to walk somewhere else.
Iguanas have managed to overcome the odds and survive in a land they weren't originally meant to live in, what makes you think that something that smells or tastes a little bad is going to keep them away? Iguana repellent is likely to be a waste of your time, whether you're looking at sprays, granules, all-natural ingredients, or otherwise.
Iguana Glue Traps
We have seen a number of websites out there offering information on how to keep away iguanas, but using glue traps for iguanas is definitely not a great idea. You can buy these glue traps for rodents too, and when these rats and mice get stuck on the glue traps, they have a nasty habit of quite literally eating their own leg in order to break free, quite like something out of a horror movie.
Glue traps for iguanas are equally as inhumane. Once you have captured the iguana, you are then going to need to free it from the glue trap. This will often result in nasty wounds to the iguana, with sections of skin still stuck to the trap. When you try to release an injured iguana back into the wild, it will quickly die. It wont' be able to run away fast enough to stop itself becoming prey to some predator, and it may not even be able to find food or water.
If you choose not to release the iguana back into the wild (which is actually unlawful in some states across the USA), you then need to work out how to destroy the animal, which means killing it. Once again, just as there are legalities surrounding the release of these lizards back into the wild, there are also laws and regulations, differing across the states, depicting HOW you should euthanize these creatures. You will need to read up on the laws in your state to ensure you are not breaking the law and liable for a fine, or perhaps even a jail sentence.
How to Keep Away Iguanas (The Right Way)
Do not attempt to touch this animal. Although it more than likely started out as a pet, and therefore quite tame, living in the wild would have made the iguana act more feral, and it won't take long for changes to take effect. If you corner the animal, or it feels threatened in any way, there is a good chance it could attack.
Many lizards will scamper away as soon as they realize they have been spotted, so shooing the creature along with the help of a broom can help, and then you can make changes to your land to ensure nothing entices it back in again.
Nine times out of ten, the iguana will have come into your property because it has found a source of food. If it isn't a source of food, it'll be water, so houses with pools will be more likely to come under attack. Lastly, iguanas and other lizards love to sunbathe, so if you have large stone or concrete spaces, the lizard will make great use of the space, soaking up the sun.
Clear up. That’s the first simple thing you can do in your garden to keep iguanas away. Learn what the lizards eat and then remove those things from your land. Make sure you clean away after yourself, not leaving food scraps out for all animals to enjoy. Fresh vegetables and fruit are firm favorites for these iguanas, and you will want to protect these plants if they are growing in your back yard.
You can protect growing patches with fences, erected so that lizards can’t find their way around or over them. The fences actually make it easier when it comes to trapping the lizards also, if that's the route you'd like to take. The animals have a habit of scampering around the fence, so a trap placed along it will have more success than others.
Finally, make sure that you aren't leaving anywhere for this lizard to set up home and relax, such as piles or rock and wood, also also other garden debris. It is often the most innocent of things which entice these creatures closer, and once you eliminate them, life gets much easier.
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How To Guide: Who should I hire? - What questions to ask, to look for, who NOT to hire.
How To Guide: do it yourself! - Advice on saving money by doing wildlife removal yourself.
Guide: How much does wildlife removal cost? - Analysis of wildlife control prices.
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