It’s time for another episode of Weird Iguana Tales . . . A few tall tales for you this issue.

Our Lanai screens seem to be too good for the Iguanas to access not only the roof of your screened pool lanai area, but also the roof of your home as well.  Of all the places you do NOT want iguanas, your lanai or rooftop is very near the top of that list!

It seems that a big pooper had make it a habit to almost daily climb the screen of one of our Marco Island residents to sun itself and leave a parting gift of a large pile of scat right over the now, not so inviting pool. They had, “Had It” with their uninvited guest and called me to remove the intruder. – (Please note – Iguana Scat carries Salmonella – A horrible bacterial disease deadly to pets and very bad for under 5 year old kids and elderly adults.)

And Large he was . . . Up on the screen, exactly over the pool, basking in the afternoon sun without a care in the world. He did not mind people or the owners in the lanai one bit. What he did not realize, that I was not an ordinary person. I was his worst nightmare, as he now had a predator lurking below him. 

Awesome Iguana

But I had a problem, no where on the property could I get an angle to shoot the beast. There were no options – except one. As I had said, the owners had – “had it” so they invited me and my gun into their home which made the shot a virtual point-blank lock if I shot from inside the screen, out.  One tiny 1/4” hole from my pellet, about the size of the multiple holes he had already rendered in their screen with his huge claws, was all it took to end the daily onslaught of poop.

Huge Iguana Claw

A ladder and the handy long-poled pool net made it easy to remove the 54” bully.  While removing Iguanas usually makes most owners happy – These people were REALLY happy.

Burrows O’Plenty

On a really beautiful property at the edge of the Marco River was a seawall that was riddled with a plethora of holes, erosion and Iguana burrows. This was a classic example of “Worst-Case” scenario, where these lizards were causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The owner had called in a seawall company and knew the damage bill was going to be high. He was amazed that these invasive Iguanas could be so destructive. He had seen three iguanas on his seawall, so he gave me a call to see what I could do to help. 

He was right – He did have Iguanas, but not just three. There were FIVE.  I set up about 35 yards or 100 feet away and sighted in my air gun. They did not even know I was there.  It felt like I was at a carnival shooting booth with targets to knock down. Left to Right . . . Five head shots, five Iguanas removed. Hopefully it will be the end of more damage to his property.

Iguana On Seawall

It moved my August Iguana removal count to 25 for the month – and as of this writing, my year to date count stands at 130 Iguanas for 2023. It is this simple, If you see something, say something. 

Call me at 239-344-7706, I live on the island and I will be there in 5 to 15 minutes. It is the only way to remove them. Trapping is sporadic and sitting at someone’s house, hoping that they will appear, is just not effective. However, when they lay down to sun themselves, they are usually there for an hour or more. That is our window of opportunity – that’s when to call. 

Last Note – Technology

One of my favorite technology stories comes from a very clever Marco Island resident who lives up North during the Spring – Summer – Fall and lives here in the Winter – sound familiar? 

He has Iguanas, lots of them. They revel in the fact that they have the property and his hibiscus flowers all to themselves for months at a time. Or used to . . . 

Using Ring Doorbell technology, solar power, a wi-fi connection and an alert system on his smart phone, he has a camera placed on his dock. Its motion sensor sends him an “Iguana Alert” thousands of miles away, when they come onto his dock to sun and defecate.  Since his Marco home is only four blocks away from my house, he sends me an “Iguana Text” and I am out the door. So far, and EIGHT Iguanas later, we are getting on top of the situation. Who knew?  As for his Iguanas, Ding-Dong, I am not Avon calling!

Stay Safe – Be Courageous,

John R. Johnson