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Ocean Ridge has great success with iguana control program

Trappers have removed around 500 iguanas this year, officials say
Posted at 3:51 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 18:42:23-04

OCEAN RIDGE, Fla. — Iguanas be gone.

WPTV first told you last year that the town of Ocean Ridge added iguana removal to its budget after complaints came in about the growing population.

The program was so successful, town officials said they are continuing it into next year.

Mayor Kristine de Haseth said the iguana population in Ocean Ridge has been growing out of control the last few years

"It first started on our canals and waterways, now it is everywhere in town, including the beaches," de Haseth said.

The town added iguana control to its 2020 budget and hired a company to remove iguanas.

"We use trapping a few days of a week," said Thomas Portuallo with iguana control.

Portuallo said they remove iguanas in public spaces and for homeowners who sign up for discounted service

"The front of city hall used to have an issue," Portuallo said.

So far this year, they have removed just over 500 iguanas

"I anticipate that number to land around 800 or so," Portuallo said. "Walking here along the sidewalk you see them scatter away."

Chavell McIntosh said she notices the iguanas in the green spaces on some property

"Listen, you haven’t seen any yet because you think you are looking at grass and then its an iguana," McIntosh said.

Mayor de Haseth said some homeowners don’t want the removal service. So instead, during public meetings, iguana control gives tips on how to keep the lizards away.

"We are very good, no droppings along the sea wall or here as well," de Haseth said.

De haseth said she has noticed fewer iguanas near her house, and she would like to see other towns and cities look at adding iguana control into their budgets.