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What you can do about iguanas

Grappling with the iguana infestation is a group sport in Boca. Do you know what you can and can’t do about the pesky lizards?

A full house of 155 residents turned out to hear an iguana biologist detail the legal options. Turns out iguanas can be killed humanely, even with a firearm and in daylight. No poisons. They’re protected by anti-cruelty laws.

“We don’t want them to suffer, so I use a pellet gun with a scope. I’m a firearms instructor, so I know what I’m doing,” Tony Coulter said after Wednesday’s briefing by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“I live on a canal in Delray,” a big iguana attraction, said Lisa Kennedy. “I get 5-footers on my dock.”

You can make your property uninviting. That’s what Brenda Cann did. She had droppings on her pool deck until she bought a repellent, Iguana Rid, at Home Depot.

Within weeks they invaded Pat St. Germaine’s yard to feed. “They already killed a rosebush and made a bare spot,” by digging, she said.

A toy iguana in a trap was on display with posters at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s iguana briefing at the Downtown Library.

Hiring trappers is perfectly legal, but not cheap. One resident said a neighbor pays $100 a month. A list of nuisance wildlife trappers is on, and type ‘trappers by county.’

What didn’t work, residents agreed? Mothballs. Aiming sprays from hoses. Making loud noises. Hanging shiny discs on trees.

FWC’s iguana biologist David Jacob called the species’ presence “an invasion.”

Here’s some iguana facts and where to report a sighting or get more information.

·    Green and black spiny tail iguanas are the most sighted here, and the green adult males turn bright orange for mating.

·    Greens can lay up to 70 eggs and thrive in urban and suburban environments.

·    Iguanas can grow up to 4 to 6 feet.

·    Few predators can capture a full-grown iguana.

·    Never feed iguanas directly or inadvertently by leaving out pet food or having ripe fruit on your property.

·    Protect orchids, roses, hibiscus and trees with cages or screened enclosures.

·    The closest FWC office is in West Palm Beach. Call 561-625-5122.

By Marci Shatzman


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