What Is The Iguana Diet?
In Florida, the temperatures have started to dip below the 40s, meaning we are about to enter another “falling iguana” era.
Where should you be concerned about iguanas falling the most? It is usually in areas with trees where iguanas take shelter in branches and fall out when the temperature gets too cold.
More specifically, you will more than likely locate iguanas in an area where these reptiles find it easy to access food. But do you know what iguanas eat? What type of plants do iguanas in the wild like to feed off, and which of the plants act as repellents rather than something they are attracted to?
Keep reading to find out what plants iguanas like to eat and which plants they hate. Suppose you have found that the plants are growing in your garden attractive to iguanas. In that case, you will probably know when to call a professional company that deals with iguana control.
What Are The Iguana Types In West And South East Florida?
What types of iguana species cause issues for people living in West and South East Florida? Florida has an extensive and deep investment in the trade of exotic pets. This could be why the population of the invasive species known as the green iguanas has increased.
The green iguana isn’t native to Florida, yet our subtropical climate matches the physical needs of these reptiles. In the last few years, this species of iguana was released unwisely into certain areas of the wild, where they have gone on to reproduce in incredibly large numbers. Other species you may come across include the invasive black-spiny-tailed iguana and the Mexican spiny-tailed iguana.
All three are regarded as invasive and large species. The green iguanas often reach a length of 17-inches (from the tail to the snout), and the Mexican spiny-tailed iguanas reach up to 18-inches. The black spiny-tailed iguanas can grow as large as 5 feet in length, yet it is very unlikely in Florida that you will come across one of these at that size.
What Is The Diet Of An Iguana?
Iguanas are mainly herbivores, which means they primarily eat plants. In fact, most of these lizards are happy to only eat plant matter. But what plant matter do these lizards like, and which ones do they prefer to stay away from?
Carry on reading to learn about the iguana diet.
Plants That Iguanas Prefer Munching On
Iguanas are very fond of flowers, most fruits, and any new growth on plants that is non-toxic and tender. This makes up most of the plants native to Florida, along with aesthetic and edible plants that many home gardeners enjoy growing. Here is a list of the plants that iguanas like to eat:
- Standard orchids
- Roselle and hibiscus
- Hong Kong orchid trees
- Purple Queen
- Pink pentas
Vegetable greens such as spinach and lettuce and the greens that most of the vegetable plants produce, such as potatoes, carrots, beans, and more.
If you or your neighbor like growing the plants in the list mentioned above, you might encounter iguanas living in the trees that surround these food sources. Iguanas spend most of their lives in trees, only coming down to eat, mate, or move to a more hospitable tree. This also means that they prefer having a consistent water supply and food near the tree they live in.
Plants That Iguanas Tend To Stay Away From
There are many plants that we have seen iguanas eating, but there are also a few that they won’t touch. If you would prefer not to go through the frustration of finding your garden ripped to pieces by a wild iguana, here are a few varieties to stick with:
- Cordyline Australia
- Ixora Taiwanensis
- Silver buttonwood
- Mexican petunia
- Citrus trees
- Society Garlic
Many of the plants with tough and thick foliage
Most of the plants on this list are equally beautiful and bright compared to the plant list that iguanas like to eat, which means you can still enjoy a colorful garden by making it a bit more resistant to iguanas.
Should I Be Changing What I Am Growing In My Yard?
Now that you have discovered more about what iguanas like to eat, you may be considering what you have growing out in your yard. Should you be changing things up if you have lots of different things that appeal to iguanas?
Iguanas are known for being very resourceful creatures. Growing plants they don’t like eating could prompt them to move to another area, but it isn’t guaranteed. It is also possible that they may choose to adapt to your new layout by feasting off plants they used to hate.
At the same time, stopping growing vegetables and fruits is not an option for certain types of home gardeners. To maintain a vegetable and fruit garden, you need to find ways to keep the iguanas out.
Think about raised beds protected by cages made from chicken wire, or consider moving your edibles into a compact greenhouse. Both options will keep the iguanas out and allow you to carry on growing your crops.
Iguana Issues? Call Us Today
The iguanas we usually have problems with are the invasive species in Florida. Florida offers the ideal climate for these species to thrive, and many of us unknowingly provide these creatures with a consistent supply of food. When you start to understand their habits and what they like eating, it gives you more control to make your yard less inviting for these pesky creatures.
However, it is not easy to discourage or completely eradicate iguana habitation around or in your yard. If you are faced with a problem with iguanas, we can help you. Call us for your free estimate and to receive the best services for iguana control in West and South East Florida.