The City of Sanibel suspends green iguana trapping services due to COVID 19 response cost

Posted at 11:14 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 23:14:51-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — If you’re from Florida you’ve probably seen an iguana in your backyard, and wanted to get rid of it, so you called an expert to trap it.

Well for those living on Sanibel that’s changed. Earlier today the City of Sanibel announced they are suspending green iguana trapping services until further notice due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.

They are advising residents that if you spot an iguana, Nile Monitor lizard, or a Spiny-Tailed iguana, please contact the Sanibel Police Department, or a nuisance wildlife trapper.

One iguana expert has another alternative, he says, let them be.

“Iguanas eat vegetables, they eat trees, leaves, vines. They don’t eat small dogs, they don’t eat small children, just leave them alone. Don't try to go up and pet them”, said Ned Bruha, President of The Wildlife Whisperer Inc.

Bruha says if you insist on getting it off your property, there is away.

“Get out a garden hose, give them a good strong squirt. Get them to move along don’t just spray them, you need a nice strong squirt, because otherwise they are going to sit there and enjoy the shower”, said Bruha.

On the other hand, Bruha predicts locals could see an increase in iguanas along the island.

“It’s very possible that they are going to see a lot more iguanas on Sanibel, because there is no one out there trapping and killing them on a daily basis” said Bruha.

Other than laying a lot of eggs, The Wildlife Whisperer says they don’t cause too much trouble.

“If there is a hole in the seawall that's one thing, a hole under a sidewalk, or going underneath the pool those are problems, but eating hibiscus flowers that's really not a huge huge problem”, said Bruha

He says that they are a little bit like us humans.

“They are fun they just lay around just like everybody else during this COVID crisis. So you can either enjoy them or chase after them with a garden house and squirt them”, said Bruha.