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Iguanas are actually easily to trap, once you know what you're doing ... sort-of. If you have an iguana in your home, for example, they are sometimes easily enough captured with a wooden box and a wooden broomstick. It sounds like the start of a magic spell, but if you put that cardboard box down on the floor, close to the wall, and then use the broom stick to shoo the creature it, you might just find that it works. And you won't have needed to get close enough to the iguana for it to pose too much of a problem for you.
If the iguana is quite a fast moving one, it has been suggested that you can carefully and gently spray it with cool water. Not hot, not too cold, just a bit chilly. It sometimes works to slow them down, giving you enough time to put your cardboard box trapping skills to good use.
The thing with trapping iguanas is that you can’t release them back into the wild once you're done with them. Once the novelty has worn off — you have mastered the art of getting a wild animal into a cage or box — it’s time to work out what to do next. The reality of it isn’t pretty.
Iguanas are classed as an invasive species. This means that it is likely to be unlawful for you trap this animal on your land, and then release it again back into the wild. There are a number of reasons why you’re not permitted to do this, and they’re all good reasons too:
1 - Invasive species upset the natural wildlife. There’s a new predator in town, which means animals that were already there will now need to compete with a brand new animal for food, water, shelter, and territory. These “old” animals won't know how to deal with the “new” animal, and in short, the metaphorical apple cart is well and truly upset.
2 - Trapped and released animals rarely survive for long, regardless of species. You're going to be releasing this animal into a brand new territory that it doesn't know. It won't know where to find food or water, and more than that, it won't know how to find shelter. If it doesn't find shelter quickly enough, it will become a target for predatory animals. These include birds of prey, mammals, snakes, fish, amphibians, and more.
3 - If you release the iguana back into the wild again, and you don't release it far enough away from your home, not only could you get into trouble with the cops, but you could also find that the animal makes its way right back to your house / yard again. Many wild animals travel for several miles in the hunt for food, water and shelter, and some of them will cover a very large area in next to no time at all. These creatures know how to find their way home. They've been doing it for longer than we have in the wild, and they don't have street names and GPS to give them a hand. It won't be long before the iguana finds its way back to your home again, and if you haven't completely the necessary property modifications to ensure it won't become a problem, it will become just that — a problem.
So, what do you do with an iguana after you have caught it?
You could find a home for the iguana. In some States you will find shelters that take in these invasive species, give them a good once-over, determine whether or not they will make good pets, and then find them a suitable home.
If they won't make a suitable pet, they will be destroyed — euthanized. These invasive iguanas have started breeding out in the wild now, and many of these babies are likely to be feral, and therefore unsuitable as pets. These will also need to be destroyed if they are captured.
If you have an iguana problem, it is highly advisable that you seek professional help. This is not a problem you will want to get wrong, especially when you look a little closer into the legalities.
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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