Iguanas invade Cape Coral, Florida neighborhood: Reptiles dig seawalls causing safety concern

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Some residents in Southwest Florida are worried about an iguana invasion in their neighborhood. They say the creatures are digging up holes behind their seawalls -- a major safety concern for some homeowners.

Now, some residents are going to great lengths to try and get them out of the neighborhood.

"We're really scared," said resident Judy Ross.

The reason for Ross' fear?

"I'm getting a little bit afraid of the large ones like this one that must five, they're measured from head to tail, he must be five feet long," Ross said.

But it's not just the size of these iguanas that has her worried. Ross is also concerned about the damage they might cause her home.

"They dig the dirt next to the seawall and therefore it erodes it. I mean, then there is nothing left behind it, there is no dirt behind it," she said.

Ross says the iguanas have become a growing problem in her southeast Cape Coral neighborhood over the last year. She says she's tried a number of tactics to scare them off for good.

"The garbage can doesn't work anymore. I now have a frond. I had a rake that I would scrape along the bottom, you feel like a fool," says Ross.

But that doesn't stop her from trying some other more unconventional methods.

The city says, because they're not considered a nuisance, they won't bother trapping them. Fortunately, seawall experts say homeowners have little to worry about.

"Unless these iguanas are the size of Godzilla, I don't think there's going to be those small lizards can dig behind the wall to cause damage to a six-inch thick structurally reinforced concrete," says David Mulicka, Honc Marine Contracting.

But they still advise any holes be filled more for general safety than anything else.

"There's no part of this I see being a safety issue or structural issue unless somebody falls in the hole," says Mulicka.

Florida Fish and Wildlife says they've only received a handful of reports of iguanas in Cape Coral. They say if you see them to report them. Officials also say you are allowed to trap and kill them, but there are certain restrictions -- one being you are not allowed to poison them.

Courtesy: NBC News Channel


Comments