It’s Summer and it is Baby Iguana time! However, it is NOT A Baby . . . It’s BABIES O’PLENTY. A group of Iguanas together, like a flock of birds or school of fish, is called a “Mess”. What an apropos name for what they can do.
This image is what awaited me at one of our Island properties this weekend – Tiny green iguanas everywhere. My guess would be around 50+, but it is impossible to count the hoards of these fast moving critters. They were climbing trees, chasing each other and racing up the sides of the pool screen. Oh, boy!
Note – Every mature female iguana lays 20-70 eggs annually. To see the results of that hatch all at one time, on a single property is somewhat overwhelming. These little 6” bright green lizards will grow to 24” within 6 months, up to 36” inches in one year and nearly to four feet by the age of 3 years old. Of the 80+ Iguanas I have removed this year, 15% were over 48” long.
The mating season for Iguanas is October to Mid-December. That starts the clock. In about 65 days, the female will dig a burrow and lay her eggs. Like Turtles, they do not tend to the eggs or babies when they hatch, it is much like putting your babies in a basket on the Church doorstep. Drop and go.
Depending on ambient temperatures, the babies will hatch in 90-120 days. Typically here in SW Florida, that is May – June – July for baby time. That gives the little guys plenty of warm days and lots of food to grow into bigger terrors for the next 10 to 15 years of their life and don’t forget, have hundreds of babies of their own. Conception to Hatch is 5-6 months.
Multiply that thought by the 50+ new hatchings that have invaded this single property and you have an idea of why we have the Iguana problem we do in SW Florida and Marco Island. Females mature sexually to lay eggs in about 2 years. Your best defense is to eliminate the females BEFORE they lay their huge cache of eggs on your lot.- As removing one iguana is far easier than removing than 50!
I am experimenting with this proven mouse trap which is based on a swinging trap door on top a 5 gallon bucket. Step on it and it swings vertical to drop them into the bucket. I am trying different baits, peanut butter, honey, shredded mangos, etc. to entice the little buggers up the ladder or carefully placed climbing branches to help them venture out on the trap door which deposits them into the bucket for removal. Look for updates in the future on the success of the program.
I can help you with your Iguana problem. To date, we have removed 88 adult Iguanas from Marco Island this year – If you see them, call me before they damage your property – I am on the Island at 239-344-7706. Or Online at dg-iguana.com
Down Goes Iguana – John