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If you have iguanas in your yard, you’ll probably want to get rid of them. For a start, many iguanas aren’t actually meant to be where you find them. They are an invasive species, and they are only out there ‘in the wild’ because people once owned them as pets and didn’t look after them properly. These lizards have been left to escape, and some have even been deliberately released into the wild. They seem to be doing pretty well, and have now started breeding with each other. That's how an invasive species works - it is a new species that isn’t originally meant to live on that land, but after introduction it does surprisingly well, despite all odds.
This iguanas have already survived impressive life-battles to STILL be alive in a big, wide world they aren’t even meant to be a part of, so you can understand how difficult it might be to get rid of them. Luckily, with a few property modifications, none of which are overly extensive, your home could be iguana-proof, and safe from a whole bunch of wild animals just desperate to break into your home.
How to get rid of iguanas
You'll want to start with your land - garden or yard. It takes very simple things to make a space hospitable for a little lizard guest, but one of the things they love the most, is water. If you have a bird feeder, pond, stream or even a swimming pool in your back yard, you’ll be at a greater risk of having lizard invaders. They aren't just excited for the water itself, but the bugs and insects that flock to water, especially in the heat of the summer. Mosquitos and plenty of other bugs make up a great bulk of these lizard’s diet, so where there is an abundance of these you are likely to see lizards.
Ponds should be covered when they are not used, and this will help to protect it from other animals too, including bears and raccoons. There are plenty of videos of these wild animals indulging in some pool-play, but the cross contamination is a real danger. Diseases are being spread in the pool, folks, you shouldn’t get in after the animals without a proper and exhaustive cleanup operation.
As well as making sure you don't leave water covered in your garden, you should also make sure that you aren’t watering your garden too frequently. We know that you want your lawn to be luscious and green, but lots of water means lots of bugs, beetles and insects, and this is just what lizards, as well as a host of other wild animals, are looking for. If you keep watering to a minimum, only where necessary, you will be helping to save some water and making sure that you’re doing your bit to keep wild animals at bay.
Succulents are a blessing for iguanas, as are other low-lying shrubs. If they can’t find a decent source of water on their travels, they’ll chomp down on the succulents in order to get the hydration and nutrition they need. This means that not only do low-lying shrubs and bushes provide plenty of cover so the animal can hide, but also provides them with food and water too. Could you trim these succulents down? Cut them down? Dig them up? Maybe put a protective barrier around them, or the soil they're planted in?
Netting can be used to cover and protect the lower shrubs and bushes, and this is easy to install and then take off again, as and when you need to. If you have bushes or shrubs close to the house, it is highly recommend that you cut them down. You don’t want anything near to your home that could entice the creature closer. If they get close enough to hide in the bushes surrounding your home, they’re close enough to get in.
Finally, although having lights at night is a good idea to try and deter certain wild animals, it actually attracts lizards, such as iguanas. They are drawn to the light, not for the light itself, but for the insects and bugs that flock to the light when the sun goes down. If you’ve ever been sat outside in the summer, around sunset, you’ll know these bugs are rife. Although iguanas help to keep the populations of these bugs down, that does mean they need to get close enough to eat them, and that means getting close enough to your home to get inside.
How to get rid of an iguana in the house
If you do already have an iguana in the house, don’t panic. These animals are more likely to run than attack, but don’t take that for granted. If you have a wooden box, place it on the floor. Make sure the box is big enough to contain the lizard, and then use a broomstick or something similar to carefully and gently shoo the creature into the box. Make sure you’re wearing thick and protective gloves before shutting the box carefully around the lizard.
Congratulations, you have just caught your first iguana. Sadly, it’s not that easily with all will animals, and it won’t always be that easy with this one either.
If you are encouraged to buy iguana detergents or repellents, don’t bother. There isn’t one registered to actually work, and nine times out of ten, homeowners give up and call companies like us in anyway. You’ll generally end up wasting more money by trying these methods first.
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.animals in the atticnoises in the attic