I am often asked about trapping iguanas as a means of removal. I have found that while this is an excellent “thought” it rarely provides consistent results. The critters just don’t want to willingly enter most traps and in many cases, they are poorly set up, camouflaged and baited. I will give you some of my thoughts here but please beware . . . 

It is against the Florida State LAW to trap an Iguana, transport it OFF your property and release it into some other remote area. Not only is it a major fine, it just helps to propagate an already invasive species. Please don’t do it. 

The law clearly states, you CAN trap them but then you need to kill them on your property. Furthermore, the manner of death has to be humane, which means you cannot freeze them to death or drown them.  Basically you need to club them, cut their heads off like a chicken or shoot them in the head. So if you trap, be ready to finish the job. Or like many of my clients, just call me and I will remove them from your property for you. I do have a Florida State transportation permit – which means I can move them, it also states that I am required to euthanize them immediately upon arriving at my location. The State is serious on their efforts to eradicate these invaders. 


Most live traps are the Floor Panel Design with a place to put bait on or near a small floor panel, that when stepped on, will snap close the door behind them via a latch and strong springs. These traps are cheaper in cost, but if the animal does not step on the panel, the door does not close. An Iguana will often come into the trap, take the goodies and leave without triggering it. It also will ONLY catch ONE animal at a time as the door is shut when triggered and you have to remove the lizard and reset the trap for the next one. They are good, but have some limitations.

Floor Panel Iguana Trap

A Swing Door Trap has an angled door on a hinge,  many times with a small weak spring. The Iguana will push it open like an overhead sloping saloon door . . . it easily opens and then swings back. It will ONLY open in one direction. So like the California Hotel, you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.  This trap also has the ability to trap multiple Iguanas. All that come through the door are welcome to join the party.  Of the two, I prefer the Swing Door trap. Some have swing doors at BOTH ends of the trap like this one pictured.

Iguana Live Trap

On either trap, it is important to cover the trap with branches, bags and yard litter. When possible place it “Into” the bush or hedge. They like burrows or to hide in heavy shrubs and hedges. So be sure to cover it up and make it feel safer for them to enter your “Burrow Like” trap. Trapping laws require the owner to check the traps every 24 hours – again for humane reasons.

Best Bait For Trapping

Iguanas are Herbivores – As such, bait your trap with the following:

  • Soft Green Leaves, Lettuce and Red Flowers – That is the main diet, but they wither quickly, so change bait regularly.
  • They Love Mangos, Melons and Bananas – Cut them open and get the juices flowing. These can last several days.

If I was to trap, I would recommend the swing door type of trap. Here are links to several models or Google “Iguana Live Traps”

Baby Iguana Trap






The little baby ones can walk through the holes on most of these traps. Plus they are too small to push open the door by themselves. Trapping baby Iguanas requires a different method.

So, How About Trapping Baby Iguanas?

I am experimenting with this proven mouse trap which is based on a swinging trap door on top of a 5 gallon bucket. Step on it and it swings vertical to drop them into the bucket and it is weighted to swing closed again.  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 lid which deposits them into the bucket for removal.  Look for updates in the future on the success of this program. Google “5 gallon bucket mouse trap” to see lots of versions of this trap. I am not comfortable with the success rate yet for baby iguanas, but they are inexpensive and do catch mice and rats quite well.

Five Foot Plus Iguana

Here to Help

Target at 100 feet

My best and most effective way of removing an Iguana is to humanely shoot them through their head upon sight. This year I am approaching 100 Iguanas removed using this method. See target attached . . . At 100 feet, I shot Five shots at these Five 1/4″ targets. The dime is there for size reference. My Air Gun is very accurate and very powerful. The object is to never miss and put the pellet directly through the Iguana’s brain, killing them instantly. It is the State of Florida’s preferred method, and I communicate directly with the Marco Island Police department on every outing or call. However, trapping may be a good option for you.

Typically on Marco Island, I am 5 to 15 minutes away, if you seen an Iguana, call me. However, if you buy any of the traps, let me know and I can help you set them up.  In the end, we still have to kill the captured iguanas as per state law, but this might help you get rid of them when you are not able to see them.  You can always call me to remove them if you so choose.  Like the Iguana above, some Iguanas grow to over FIVE Feet in length, and they tend to be a bit feisty so Good luck and Down Goes Iguana!

Down Goes Iguana – 239-344-7706 – hello@dg-iguana.com