Although iguanas aren’t much of a threat to people or pets, they can be annoying, as they’re known to destroy infrastructure and tear up the yard by burrowing. Fortunately, there are a wide range of ways to get rid of iguanas that trespass on your property. How you choose to get rid of iguanas is going to depend on where you live, your budget, and the effort you’re willing to exert.
1. Call A Private Company
If you don’t want to deal with the problem and your budget allows it, consider calling a pest control company that specializes in removing iguanas.
The company will send trained professionals to your property with specialized equipment that can get the job done much faster than most people. Some private companies may shoot the animal (usually with a pellet gun) while others will set up traps, remove the iguana from your property once it’s trapped, and humanely euthanize it to prevent the animal from suffering.
2. Humanely Shoot The Iguana
Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to legally shoot and kill iguanas that trespass on your property. However, always make sure you are abiding by the law when using any type of firearm.
High powered pellet rifles are commonly used in some states, as they’re sufficiently powerful to kill an adult iguana.
Although iguanas are considered invasive species in many states, please keep in mind they’re protected by the bipartisan Prevent Animal Cruelty & Torture (PACT) Act. PACT criminalizes individuals who intentionally crush, burn, drown, suffocate, or impale an animal resulting in serious bodily injury.
3. Humane Traps & Euthanasia
If you don’t want to shoot the iguana, but still want to take matters into your own hands, then maybe consider setting up humane traps on your property.
The most common type of iguana traps are metallic cages that close shut when the iguana is inside. You can find those for sale online for a relatively low price.
What Is The Best Food To Trap Iguanas?
Non-acidic fruit such as mangos, bananas, papayas, strawberries, and grapes, are the best type of food for trapping iguanas. I can personally attest to this as my pet iguana used to go crazy over fruit. Vegetables may work as well but not as effectively as fruit.
4. Motion-Activated Animal Repellent & Sprinkler
Although you can manually use a water bottle to spray iguanas, getting close to a full grown 7 ft reptile may not be the brightest idea.
However, you can spare yourself the risk by investing in a motion-activated animal repellent and sprinkler, which can be found at your local Wal-mart or online.
The device works by detecting movement using a built-in sensor and automatically spraying the animal with a jet of water from many feet away. As if that wasn’t good enough, it doubles as a regular lawn sprinkler.
5. Fence Your Property
It goes without saying that fencing your property will be necessary if you wish to keep iguanas out. However, iguanas are excellent climbers, which means you’ll have to use a special iguana barrier that can be installed by private companies.
If you plan on personally building the barrier, you’ll have to use slick material that iguanas can’t climb, as thanks to their sharp, hooked claws, they can climb up chicken wire and even stucco. Additionally, the wall or barrier must also prevent iguanas from digging underneath it and getting through.
If you live near water, there are specialized sea wall barriers that are specifically designed to prevent iguanas from entering the property.
6. Fill Any Holes In Your Yard
Although iguanas are arboreal, meaning they live and spend most of their time on trees, females will dig burrows to lay their eggs. Additionally, all iguanas will dig underneath walls or structures in their attempt to find food.
The best thing you can do to prevent further burrowing is to fill the holes in. I understand its not convenient, but then again, that’s what teenagers are for.
7. Hang Wind Chimes
Iguanas have excellent hearing, and not surprisingly, can hear better than humans. They can detect frequencies between 500-3000hz while humans range between 2000-5000hz. In other words, they can detect the faintest of sounds.
Therefore, hanging wind chimes or setting up other noise-making devices or decorations can help deter iguanas.
However, I’d like to say that hanging wind chimes and CD’s (which we’ll cover next) aren’t nearly as effective as the other tips in this post. Hence, I highly suggest combining wind chimes or CD’s with other iguana-deterring tactics.
8. Hang CD’s
Iguanas are very receptive to the world around them. Since bright reflections, such as those from CD’s, are not found in an iguanas’ natural environment, the unfamiliarity and harshness on the eyes may scare and prevent the lizard from continuing further into the property.
9. Iguana Repelling Products
Iguana repellents come in many different forms including liquid sprays, mothballs and powder-like ingredients. They function by producing smells that are unpleasant to iguanas but virtually undetectable to people.
Some repellents can include harmful chemicals while others are made with completely natural ingredients.
Many of these products can be found in stores like Home Depot or Wal-Mart, especially if iguanas tend to be a problem in your area.
10. Don’t Grow Plants That Attract Iguanas
The primary reason why iguanas may be wandering onto your property may be due to the type of plants in your garden.
Iguanas love vegetables, leafy greens, and non-acidic fruits. Therefore, stop growing iguanas’ food to reduce the number of iguanas coming into your property.
11. Grow Plants That Deter Iguanas
If, after reading the last tip, you still want to grow plants that may attract iguanas, consider growing plants that deter iguanas as well.
Unlike the products found in-stores, growing your own plants ensures you and your family are not exposed to harmful chemicals.
If you have a garden you’d like to protect, grow the iguana-repellents alongside your garden plants.
Plants that repel iguanas include the following:
- Pigeon plum
12. Pluck Ripe Fruit & Veggies
Adding to the last two points, make it a habit to harvest ripe fruit and vegetables to minimize the amount of food left outside for iguanas. At the very least, pick all fruit off the ground.
13. Use Secure Lids For Your Trash Bins
Although iguanas are considered herbivores, few types of food are not on their menu. Not surprisingly, dumpster diving for tasty leftovers is absolutely not a problem.
Plastic bags and loose lids will not prevent a hungry iguana from getting to the food. Therefore, use secure lids for all your outside trash cans, and if possible, place a cylinder block on top.
14. Don’t Leave People Or Pet Food Outside
As I’ve previously mentioned, the fact that iguanas are herbivorous does very little to prevent them from eating all types of food, including dog and cat food.
Therefore, feed your pets indoors, or bring their food bowls inside when they’re done eating.
15. Install Sheet Metal Around Trees
Iguanas spend most of their lives on trees. In fact, James Hatfield, author of, “The Green Iguana The Ultimate Owner’s Manual,” states that iguanas are the only reptiles which live and feed on trees.
If you have large trees on your property, iguanas may constantly intrude simply for the sake of climbing your trees.
Fortunately, the dilemma can be solved by installing sheet metal at least 18 inches away from the base of trees, making it near impossible for iguanas to climb up.
16. Maintain Your Property’s Vegetation
Thick vegetation makes it easier for iguanas to hide or escape, and is very likely to attract them. Therefore, trim your hedges, prune your trees, and remove any excess brush currently on your property.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Chicken Wire Keep Iguanas Out?
Iguanas can easily climb chicken wire, which is why only some of them will be deterred. However, it can be effectively used underground to prevent iguanas from digging underneath walls and barriers.
How Do I Get Rid Of Iguanas Without Hurting Them?
The most effective ways to get rid of iguanas without harming them includes hanging wind chimes or CD’s, installing motion sensor water sprays or iguana-proof barriers, applying in-store or natural repellents, filling all holes in the yard, using secure lids on trash bins, not leaving people or pet food outside, picking ripe fruits or vegetables, and maintaining vegetation.
Will Electric Fences Keep Iguanas Out?
Electric fences are effective at deterring iguanas, and are commonly used on properties containing bodies of water.
Do Mothballs Keep Iguanas Away?
Mothballs may be effective in deterring iguanas. However, they contain the chemicals naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene which can be harmful to people and pets.
Does Cayenne Pepper Deter Iguanas?
Spraying your garden plants with cayenne pepper hot sauce can help keep iguanas away as they don’t hot or acidic food.
Will Vinegar Keep Iguanas Away?
Iguanas have a strong sense of smell, which is why spraying vinegar on your garden plants or walls can help keep them away.
Does Peppermint Keep Iguanas Away?
Iguanas dislike the smell of peppermint. Therefore, spraying peppermint oils on your garden plants or walls can keep them away.