Iguanas Continue To Invade Florida, Causing Growing Problems

Green Iguana in Florida Keys

Photo: E+

Iguanas, which are not native to Florida, have become a growing problem in the state.

As the population of these giant lizards continues to increase, so do the issues associated with them. They are considered an invasive species and have caused costly structural damage, power outages, and even spread salmonella to pets. They are also known to eat gardens, get into pools, and find their way inside toilets.

Experts believe that climate change is helping the iguanas grow their numbers and spread further north.

The National Weather Service in Miami even issues falling iguana advisories during colder temperatures.

West Palm Beach spent 1.8 million dollars in 2020 to fix a damaged dam caused by iguanas burrowing near lakes and canals.

In Lake Worth Beach, the iguana population has become so out of control that they get into electrical substations, causing multiple power outages. To combat this problem, the city has started using vegetation control to keep the iguanas out.

Scientists believe that it is unlikely that the population can be eliminated, so people will have to learn to live with them.

In 2021, Florida banned pet owners from possessing iguanas in the future. With a female iguana able to lay up to 70 eggs annually and almost no natural predators, controlling its population will remain challenging.