Things You'll Need
3 garlic cloves
4 fresh habanero peppers
1 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon dish soap
The green iguana greets each new day with a hearty breakfast of your favorite flowers, followed by sunbathing on the roof of your lanai. Then it's time for an invigorating dip in your pool. Your contented tormentors -- once exotic pets, set free -- wrap up their busy day by relieving themselves profusely all over everything in sight. If you've had enough abuse from these freeloaders, it's time to take action. Though not definitively found to be effective, making your own nasty-tasting iguana repellent to chase the beasts to a more appetizing yard is worth a try.
Puree 3 garlic cloves and 4 fresh habanero peppers in your blender. Whip in 1 cup lemon juice. Green iguanas dislike the tastes and smells of these plant materials, and won't eat them. When their food source goes sour, iguanas may move on.
Pour the solution into 1 gallon of warm water. Add 1 tablespoon dish soap, and stir to blend the iguana repellent thoroughly. Pour into glass jars, cap tightly, and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Fill a spray bottle with the iguana repellent when you're ready to use it. Shake it well first, and then apply it to the plants where green iguanas are regularly feeding. Coat all surfaces generously.
Reapply the iguana repellent at least once a week, as long as damage continues. You'll need to use it immediately following rainfall, too, as rain will wash it from the plants.
Resist any urges to deliberately feed these beasts or encourage their continued attraction to your property. Even though green iguanas began as exotic pets, animals in your yard should not be considered tame or trusted.
Plant ornamentals that don't taste good to iguanas, such as oleanders (Nerium oleander), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, and colorful crotons (Codiaeum variegatum var. pictum), hardy in USDA zones 11 and 12. Both these plants can be toxic to humans and pets, so use them carefully. Iguanas avoid toxic plants and plants with thick, tough leaves. They relish nearly any flowers and all fruits except citrus (Citrus spp.), hardy in USDA zones 9 through 11.
These invasive exotic animals can grow 6 feet in length and live for over 15 years. Mature iguanas may become territorial and aggressive, particularly during the spring mating season.
Iguanas are usually afraid of people, but are willing and able to defend themselves with painful bites and powerful tail clubbings if they feel threatened.
If you trap an iguana, you’ll have to keep it as a captive pet, have it euthanized humanely and legally, or let it go on your own property. It’s illegal to turn these creatures loose anywhere else.
- Animal Rights Foundation of Florida: Green Iguanas
- Green Iguana Society: Feral Iguanas in Florida
- Iguana Invasion: Exotic Pets Gone Wild in Florida
- Palm Beach Post: Iguana-Rid: Boca Raton Man Selling Concoction to Steer Pesky Reptiles Away -- Like to Your Neighbor's Yard
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Dealing With Iguanas in the South Florida Landscape
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder
Debra L Turner
A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.