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Top 10 tips to avoid
an infestation of iguanas
in private properties 

By: Tom Portuallo
If you live in South Florida, it is very likely that iguanas have become something you see often. Iguanas are native to Central and South America and began to appear in South Florida during the 1960s as exotic pets. Many of these iguanas escaped captivity or were released by their owners, and over the years their population grew throughout the state. In addition to being a nuisance, they have caused millions of dollars in property damage, eating away residential and commercial vegetation, digging holes and burrows in public infrastructure (sidewalks, boardwalks, berms, or foundations of homes), and consuming endangered native species . Iguanas can also transmit salmonella to humans through water or surfaces.

What can homeowners do to protect themselves from these pesky invaders?
First of all, here are 10 helpful tips to avoid attracting iguanas to your property.
1.   Keep your garden and landscape tidy, making them less attractive for iguanas to make their nests.
2.   Choose plants that iguanas will not eat for your garden, such as chenille plant, croton,  Mexican petunia, oleander, silver button, and others.
3.   Do not feed the iguanas.
Four.   Don't leave old food in compost piles.
5.   If you leave pet food outside for a dog or cat, pick it up when your pet has finished eating.
6.   Put fences around your gardens.

Here's what to do if you suspect iguanas have already invaded your property:

7.  Check around your yard for holes in the ground, which may or may not be a sign that an iguana has started living there.
8.  Use a shovel to close new holes in the garden. 
9.  Some determined homeowners take the extra precaution of filling the holes with rocks.
10. Get a recommendation on the best, most experienced and trusted iguana trapper.

If none of these methods work, is it legal for owners to shoot and kill the iguanas? 

Killing iguanas in your yard is an option, but there are laws and regulations that you must follow. Iguanas are not a protected species, but they must be euthanized quickly and compassionately. Note that Florida law prohibits the relocation, sale, or transfer of iguanas, but allows humane euthanasia. Also be aware that firing a firearm or crossbow in a residential area could cause trouble with law enforcement. What's more, the rules and regulations for disposing of dead iguanas make killing these creatures complicated and it is for this reason that the best decision one can make to comply with the law is to call in a trusted and experienced professional in catch iguanas.
Removing iguanas effectively, complying with cruelty to animals regulations and other laws, is a specialized service. It is not a free hunting season to kill iguanas. Each method we employ illustrates our respect for the property owner and their property.

About the author:
Tom Portuallo is the owner and founder of Iguana Control, the largest iguana infestation control company in South Florida. Based in Pompano Beach, the company has served Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties since 2009.

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