Have you heard of the sneaky Green Iguana? This reptile is not only an invasive species, but it’s also causing damage and spreading disease throughout our community. Their droppings are everywhere – on docks, boats, porches, decks, and even in swimming pools! Plus, they can transmit the infectious bacterium Salmonella to humans.
Green iguanas are not native to South Florida. They were likely introduced to the area through the pet trade, as they were popular pets in the past. Over time, some iguanas were either intentionally or unintentionally released into the wild by their owners or escaped from captivity.
These released iguanas were able to establish breeding populations, and their numbers grew rapidly due to the warm and humid climate in South Florida, which is similar to their native range in Central and South America. With no natural predators and an abundance of food sources, the population of green iguanas in South Florida exploded. Today, they are considered an invasive species and pose a serious threat to the local ecosystem.
But don’t worry, there are some easy ways to deal with these pesky creatures. Property owners can get creative by modifying the Iguana habitat, removing their favorite plants, and filling in holes to make their property less inviting. You can even spray them with water to encourage relocation (it’s like a fun game of tag!).
Adventurous homeowners can capture and remove the animals themselves (just make sure to follow the anti-cruelty laws). If you’re not up for the task, no problem – the City of Hollywood has hired a team of professional trappers who wear bright orange shirts with “Wildlife Trapper” written on them. They use pellet air rifles for humane removal and are licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Florida Fish and Wildlife. They’re like the superheroes of iguana removal!
So let’s all work together to keep our community clean and safe. If you have any questions or concerns about iguana control, call the City of Hollywood Department of Public Works at 954-967-4526. Let’s show those iguanas who’s boss!