If you are frustrated and exasperated by the ever-present iguanas in your yard, you may have reached the end of your rope trying to get them out, only to confirm that they are excellent at hiding and are clearly winning the game. You might even be considering some drastic actions and just kill them. The question is: is it legal to kill them in Florida or will you get in trouble with the law if you do?
The truth is that the iguana population in South Florida has literally exploded. And people who have to deal with them on a regular basis are tired of seeing these prehistoric-looking creatures around. Their frustration lies in witnessing them destroying landscapes, pooping in swimming pools, damaging seawalls, burrowing into the ground to create extensive tunnels that damage foundations and sidewalks, and being general nuisances.
Can iguanas be legally killed in Florida?
The Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission (FWCC) has defined the iguanas that can be found throughout the South Florida area as an invasive species, not native to the state but recognized as causing a great impact to native wildlife. By being non-native, iguanas are not protected in Florida. This means that they can be captured and killed as long as the killing is carried out in a humane fashion any time they are found on private property, year-round, and without the need to obtain a hunting license or permit.
The FWCC also states that it is illegal to relocate or release iguanas found on private property to other locations in Florida.
Is there anything I can do to deter iguanas from entering my property?
Deterring iguanas from making a home on your property is the best strategy you can implement in the fight against iguanas. By taking certain steps, you can discourage them from entering your property in the first place. Here are some examples of what you can do:
- Fill any holes that you find and any areas where soft soil may encourage iguanas to dig their burrows.
- Remove any plants that attract iguanas, such as hibiscus, bougainvillea, orchids, bananas, and mangoes.
- Plant iguana-resistant plants such as Ixora, oleander, citrus, milkweed, or crotons.
- Hang wind chimes or any item that makes intermittent noises from tree branches.
- Hang small mirrors or old CDs that have reflective surfaces from tree branches. Periodically move them around so that iguanas don’t realize they are stationary and cause no danger.
- Never feed them, and do not leave any food around.
- If you do not want to alter your landscaping, use screens around them to keep iguanas from devouring your precious flowers.
- Install flat metal sheets around tree trunks to keep iguanas from climbing up.
- Trim bushes and tree branches to keep iguanas from accessing your roof or crawl under eaves.
Are you dealing with an iguana infestation?
If you have one or two iguanas in your yard, you may decide to accept their presence and just learn to live with them, taking some of the above precautions to prevent their population from increasing. If the number has grown to a dozen or more, you may want to consider calling a professional iguana removal service to rid your property of these bothersome creatures and be able to enjoy your yard once again.