People in Florida are being encouraged to “kill iguanas on their own property wherever possible” – because they are becoming a “nuisance” for homeowners.
The population of green iguanas in the Sunshine State is said to be exploding and the consistent hot weather is making the problem worse.
They can grow to as big as 5ft (1.52m) in length and weigh 17 pounds – with females laying as many as 76 eggs a year.
Authorities say they are an “invasive species” due to the damage they can cause to infrastructure by “digging burrows that erode and collapse” – affecting “seawalls, sidewalks, and landscape plants”.
It is also claimed the reptiles can transmit Salmonella to humans through contact with water or surfaces contaminated by their faeces.
Bob Lugari moved from California to Fort Lauderdale in South Florida and claimed he was rather taken when he spotted the bright green lizards on his roof.
He told the Washington Post: “I thought, how adorable, how cute, how Floridian. They looked so tropical.
“I never had iguanas in California, and I thought, this is part of the Florida experience. I should embrace this.”
But he says he soon went off them when they started munching on his plants in the garden and leaving messy brown droppings on his pool deck.
He told the paper: “They aren’t cute anymore. They’re a menace.”
On its website, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said the lizards are not native to the area – and said residents do not need permission to kill them.
It said: “This species is not protected in Florida expect by anti-cruelty law.
“Homeowners do not need a permit to kill iguanas on their own property, and the FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible.
“Iguanas can also be killed year-round and without a permit on 22 public lands.”
Source: SKY NEWS