Why Iguanas Threaten Florida’s Ecosystem

The warm weather and glorious sun-drenched beaches are the reason visitors flock to Florida. But another less-welcome type of visitor has decided to call Florida home… the iguana. They’ve become rather iconic running through yards or perched upon rooftops, though these creatures are not native to Florida.

Iguanas are not as docile as they may seem when you see them lounging in tree branches or basking in the sun. According to Miami’s Iguana Control, you should be alarmed if you see an iguana on your property. This is because these creatures cause harm to Florida’s tender ecosystem.

Eating Endangered Species

If you’ve noticed iguanas in your yard, they are likely feasting on your foliage. They destroy plants that native species eat, such as the nickerbean that hosts the endangered Miami Blue butterfly, plus they will eat other animals too. This fact surprises plenty of people simply because iguanas are herbivores. However, juvenile green iguanas will eat endangered tree snails and their mature counterparts will slurp up bird eggs. 

Destroying Structures

Man-made structures aren’t part of an ecosystem per se, however, when iguanas burrow underground, they can destroy the foundations of sidewalks, homes, and seawalls. A collapse of these things can impact the surrounding environment and harm other native species of plants and animals.

Contamination Through Bacteria

When iguanas leave their droppings everywhere, they deposit salmonella bacteria. This can make humans and other animals ill. They can leave it in your pool, on your deck and chairs, and all over. 

What You Can Do to Prevent Green Iguana Destruction

Believe it or not, green iguanas are protected by anti-cruelty laws. If you see them on your property, you can do a few things to keep them from further destroying Florida’s ecosystem.

For one, don’t bring back any plants when visiting another land. Often, that’s how non-native animals like iguanas can get here. For another, your plants may be attracting them in droves. Always choose native Floridian plant species for your landscaping.

You can hang wind chimes which make a noise that drives iguanas away, however if the noise bothers you too, just spray them with water from your hose. This will tell them to go away without causing them harm. 

Effectively Removing Iguanas from Florida’s Ecosystem

Perhaps one of the best things you can do to help protect Florida’s ecosystem from iguanas is by having them properly removed from your property. If you have tried tactics to safely deter them and you still see them roaming all around, they’re likely burrowing on your land.

You will need professionals to handle it from there, and they will have the right permits to do so within the law. Additionally, they will remove them in a humane way and help keep this invasive species from getting further out of control. Those that professionally remove iguanas know how to spot the signs of an iguana infestation and will work diligently to get them to disappear from your property.

It’s one of the best ways to help protect Florida’s native plants and animals from unnecessary destruction and keep this land thriving.

Huynh Nguyen

Huynh Nguyen is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Huynh joined USTimeToday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing admin@ustimetoday.com.

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