Iguanas are considered an invasive species in the state of Florida. Without natural predators, these animals have been able to multiply in record numbers — causing significant damage along the entire Florida coastline. Iguanas are a regional concern regulated by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
To further enhance remediation efforts, the City of Miami Beach has hired several iguana removal contractors to service public property, including parks, greenspaces and near waterways, seven days a week in South, Mid, and North Beach areas. Vendors will be posting signage in the vicinity of their work.
Please follow the recommendations provided below to help deter green iguanas from private properties.
Potential Impacts to the Community
- Green iguanas can cause damage to residential and commercial landscape vegetation and are often considered a nuisance by property owners. Iguanas are attracted to trees with foliage or flowers, most fruits (except citrus) and almost any vegetable.
- Green iguanas can cause damage to infrastructure by digging burrows that erode and collapse sidewalks, foundations, seawalls, berms and canal banks.
- Although primarily herbivores, researchers found the remains of tree snails in the stomachs of green iguanas in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, suggesting that iguanas could present a threat to native and endangered species of tree snails.
What Can I Do as a Property Owner?
- Green and spinytail iguanas are not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty laws and can be removed from private property year-round.
- The FWC encourages the removal of iguanas from private properties by landowners.
- All species of iguana may be humanely captured and removed from private property without a permit at any time.
- Captured iguanas can be kept as personal pets or can be humanely euthanized, but cannot be relocated and released at other locations in Florida.
- For the welfare of any caught animal, traps should be set in a shaded area.
- Homeowners that trap iguanas on their property can obtain euthanasia services from local exotic veterinarians, humane societies or animal control offices.
- Iguanas are protected by anticruelty laws, and inhumane treatment of them is punishable by law.
Deter the iguana by modifying the habitat around your home or humanely harassing the iguana using the following methods:
- 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
Never feed iguanas directly or inadvertently by leaving pet foods or ripened fruits outside. Avoid planting vegetation that iguanas eat. Iguana-resistant plants include:
- Some pentas
- Some crotons
- Tough, thick leaved plants
Protect valuable plants or gardens with cages or screened enclosures. Place a piece of sheet metal around a dock piling or tree trunk approximately 18 inches from the ground to prevent iguanas from climbing.
- Homeowners who capture other nonnative species and need help should call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888.483.4681.
- Click here to view the FWC's Iguanas webpage.