Florida faces increasing issues from invasive iguanas

Problems include salmonella, erosion, power outages

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is dealing with a growing problem: invasive iguanas.

The giant lizards are not native to Florida, and the animals have been blamed in recent years for causing damage to buildings and power outages.

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State wildlife experts say iguanas can also transmit salmonella to pets and cause erosion near lakes and canals.

Iguanas have almost no natural predators and can lay up to 70 eggs per year.

In 2021, Florida banned pet owners from future possession of iguanas.

And with a cold snap hitting Florida this weekend, there will be a chance for falling iguanas!

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said colder temperatures cause iguanas to “temporarily lose all muscle control.”

“Whatever you do, don’t bring wild green iguanas into your home or your car to warm up! They can recover more quickly than you think and become defensive, using their long tails and sharp teeth & claws,” FWC said in a Facebook post.

Here are some ways to deter iguanas from your area:

  • Removing plants that act as attractants
  • Filling in holes to discourage burrowing
  • Hanging wind chimes or other items that make intermittent noises
  • Hanging CDs that have reflective surfaces
  • Spraying the animals with water as a deterrent

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About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.