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Say Goodbye to Yard Iguanas: 6 Effective Solutions

Iguanas might be amazing pets in captivity, but no one wants yard iguanas around. Keep your property safe!

Yard iguanas are a big problem, as they are an invasive species in the southern US and can do serious damage to gardens and lawns.

The green iguanas are native to Central and South America, but once they were brought by the pet trade to Florida in the 1960s, they slowly became a problem. Some iguanas escaped and others were let outside by the owners, and this is how they are now an invasive species.

On average, an iguana can live up to 15 years in the wild. They are large, and what makes them terrifying for many people is that if they feel threatened, they can become aggressive. Besides all the damage they do, iguanas also leave their droppings behind, which can spread disease and even infect your pets.

We want to share with you some of the best and most humane methods to get rid of yard iguanas. The best approach is to discourage them from entering your yard. So, read on and discover how to keep this pest away from your yard.

yard iguanas
Photo by SSPhotoman from Shutterstock

1. Take care of the trees first

Yard iguanas love to climb into the trees because that is the best place to sleep and sunbathe. If you have fruit trees, they’ll like them even more, as this also offers them some sweet treats.

Another fact about iguanas and trees is that once the winter starts, it can get dangerous and unsettling. Cold weather can make iguanas enter a state of “torpor.” This means that the cold temporarily paralyzes them, and when this happens, they start falling from the trees.

Never take a paralyzed iguana into your home because once it wakes up, it can get aggressive. Better let nature do its thing, and you can make sure the iguana will be alright.

But if you want to avoid this altogether, you can stop iguanas from climbing the trees in your yard from the start. You will need a plastic sheet or metal wrap and place it around the trees. Secure them in place, and this will make your garden less appealing for iguanas because they won’t be able to climb into the trees.

2. Give them no place to hide

Yard iguanas and many other creatures adore having a good hiding place. They are not really attracted to places that don’t offer them places to hide, and because of this, one good strategy to keep yard iguanas away is to keep your backyard tidy.

A little yard cleanup can go a long way, so you can start by getting rid of those raked leaves and those rock stacks. Overgrown vegetation, such as tall grass and bushes, is another amazing hiding spot you should take care of.

When they don’t have somewhere to hide, they feel exposed, and this might discourage them from making a home out of your garden. Now, a tidy yard won’t completely solve the problem, but their presence will be more obvious, and you can spot them more easily.

3. Plant some repellent plants

When you want to fight against the iguana invasion, you need to know that you can use your garden as a weapon. Planting some citrus trees like lemon, lime, and orange, or even oleander and garlic, will keep yard iguanas away.

These creatures are herbivores and have a hearty appetite, but these plants are not on their menu. They hate the citrus scent, and this might make them move to a garden that has more tastier plants.

The University of Florida’s IFAS Extension also recommends plants that have thick leaves. This texture is hard for these creatures to chew, and they will leave your yard alone in no time.

If you truly want to be bold, there are some basic veggies many people have in their gardens, such as spinach, turnips, and carrots, which are repellent to yard iguanas, and even more, they are toxic.

4. Spice things up

Ok, we already know by now that yard iguanas are real gourmands that enjoy munching the plants you have in your garden. Also, they have a great sense of smell, so they can rapidly discover if there is something good to eat around.

Guess what would happen if you strategically sprinkled some crushed red pepper flakes around your yard? Iguanas are not fans of spicy things, and as soon as they feel the smell of spice in the air, they will most likely leave the perimeter of your yard. Keep in mind that in cases of rain and strong winds, you will need to add the red pepper flakes once again.

5. Chicken wire and special fencing

Ok, this one is for those who can’t compromise and are not willing to remove the plants that attract yard iguanas from their garden. Hopefully, these methods will help, and you will be able to keep these green giants away by creating some proper physical barriers.

The first method is to install chicken wire. You can put them around the whole yard or just around the plants that are loved by the iguanas. The small openings prevent iguanas from squeezing through, and this will protect your plants.

One thing about yard iguanas is that they are notorious burrowers. They might like to dig even more than a dachshund, and we suggest that when you decide to use chicken wire, make sure you bury the bottom edge of the fencing at least a foot deep.

If you are looking for something better than chicken wire, there are some good alternatives on the market. Galvanized steel mesh or hardware cloth is perfect to do this job, and the difference between them and the chicken wire is that these last options are superior in terms of strength and durability.

Chain-link might seem like another great type of dancing to keep the yard iguanas at a distance, but experts advise us that this is not a humane method. Due to the large openings, iguanas might end up trapped in the fence, and this can cause injuries.

yard iguanas
Photo by Josue Chong from Shutterstock

6. Never let trash and food scraps outside

Indeed, yard iguanas are herbivores, which means they will eat your plants and flowers, but this is not all they eat. For example, even if they don’t eat sugar in nature, it is not poisonous to them, and they are actually attracted to sugary foods and drinks.

We know that you love those summer evenings when you go out in the garden and just have dinner there, but always remember to not leave trash behind. Clean up afterward, and make sure that there is nothing left that can attract the iguanas.

But if you think that once you get everything into the trash can, your mission is complete, we are here to tell you that there is one more thing you need to do. Make sure you secure the trash can because iguanas don’t find it difficult to just open the lid and then search inside.

Ready to deter yard iguanas and protect your beautiful garden? Using these methods will surely help you, and you will regain control over your garden. If you feel like the problem is bigger and you think you need assistance, don’t hesitate to consult a local wildlife control specialist.

Using sound can also be helpful in your battle with iguanas: 2022 Ultrasonic Animal Repeller. Solar Animal Repeller. with Flashing LED Lights Siren Green T01 0

You should also read: These 9 Helpful Pet-Friendly Products that Keep Mice at Bay


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