You’re tired of skimming iguanas out of the pool every other day. Your kids don’t even want to use the pool anymore because of all the iguana poop in there. What are the best methods for keeping iguanas out of the pool.
In this extensive guide, we’ll elaborate on the above steps so you have an actionable plan you can use to rid your swimming pool of iguanas. We’ll also talk about what to do when an iguana poops in your pool, so keep reading!
1. Use a Pool Cover to Stop Iguanas
If your pool cover is on, then iguanas can’t get in. It’s that simple. Whether you have an above-ground pool, an in-ground pool or portable Intex, Summer Waves or Bestway pool, a pool cover will keep you from discovering iguana poop each time you go to skim the pool.
2. Install Wire Barriers
Iguanas are diggers as well as swimmers. Having a fenced-in yard might not be enough to prevent them. Adding wire barriers around the perimeter of your home will make it harder for iguanas to get through. Some homeowners opt for electrified barriers, which is an option!
3. Avoid Feeding Iguanas
This is a big one. Make sure your kids know they should never feed an iguana. Like other wild animals, once the iguana learns where its food source is (your home), it will come back all the time for more. What’s worse, the iguana might bring some of its hungry buddies too.
4. Wrap Sheet Metal Around Trees
Besides being adept at digging and swimming, iguanas are climbers as well. They could ascend the trees in your yard and then drop down into your pool. Prevent this by encasing all trees in the yard with sheet metal. The metal is too smooth for the iguanas to latch their claws into, so they can’t climb.
5. Set up Motion-Activated Animal Sprinklers
Iguanas might like water, but they’re not such big fans of the sprinkler. To prevent your water bill from skyrocketing, install motion-activated sprinklers in your yard. They will only turn on when an iguana or another animal crosses the sprinkler’s path.
6. Avoid Growing Plants That Iguanas Like
As a Florida resident, you might grow hibiscus in your yard or maybe some bougainvillea. The problem with tropical, ornamental plants such as these is that iguanas love them. Start an indoor garden with these plants instead or forego them altogether.
Related Reading: 20 Ideal Plants to Put Around Pool in Texas
7. Cover Trash Cans
Although most people associate raccoons with animals that raid your garbage cans, they’re not the only ones. Iguanas too will slither into your trash buckets and eat. Each time you take out the trash, you continue to feed them. Since iguanas have been known to get into closed trash cans on occasion, weighing the lid with a brick or a stone is a good idea.
Or you can try a trash can lock.
8. Spray Iguanas with a Hose
When you’re out chlorinating the pool, mowing the lawn, or otherwise maintaining the home as only dads do, don’t let a spotted iguana go. Use your garden hose to spray the animal away from your property. We bet that iguana won’t come back!
9. Place Some Windchimes
The sound of windchimes on a breezy day is so peaceful. Another benefit to having windchimes on the premises is that the loud sounds will scare away iguanas. This method only works on windy days though, so you can’t use windchimes on their own to repel iguanas.
10. Hang a String of CDs
What some crafty homeowners do is make a string of unused CDs and hang them windchime-style out in the yard. The light of the sun reflecting off the CDs irritates iguanas, but they can adjust to this light source with time. That’s why you have to keep moving the CDs.
11. Play Music
If you’d rather not hang your CDs, you can also play them. That or bring a boombox or your smartphone with a speaker outside. Any source of music is going to irritate iguanas, the louder, the better. Just make sure you don’t get complaints from your neighbors!
12. Make Loud Sounds
It’s not just music that iguanas dislike, but other loud sounds as well. Maybe you play a recording of noises or you have a boisterous pool party in your yard with all the neighborhood kids. The iguanas will certainly steer clear.
13. Try Iguana Repellant
Iguana repellent can also do the trick. One of the most popular products for this purpose is Lizard Defense, which activates the critter’s flight or fight instincts. Iguanas will usually retreat. The formula that Lizard Defense uses is safe for other animals such as pets, so your dog can still run around in the yard.
14. Use Toy Iguanas Strategically
Although they’re crafty, iguanas aren’t super smart. If they see plastic toy iguanas, they will believe the toy is real. Well, at least for a little while. By lining up the toys strategically away from your property, you can possibly get rid of iguanas.
15. Make a Mulch Pile
If you’d rather the iguanas not dig holes around your yard, then make a mulch pile in some far-off corner of your property away from the pool. The iguanas will dig there. However, since iguanas might lay eggs in the mulch, you should dispose of the eggs immediately.
16. Refill Iguana Holes
Speaking of iguana holes, when you see them, don’t leave them. Not only are the holes a tripping hazard, but they’re an iguana breeding ground. Fill the hole with large rocks so the iguanas can’t get back into their home.
17. Contain Overgrown Plants
Has it been a while since you’ve tended to your backyard garden? Overgrown plants, even dead ones, are the perfect iguana hiding place, as the area under the plants is nice and shady. Remove overgrowths so iguanas can’t take shelter in your yard during hot summer days.
18. Don’t Grow Fruit Trees
If there’s one food iguanas love, it’s fruit. They’re especially attracted to papayas, grapes, strawberries, mangoes, and bananas. Keep these fruits far away from your yard. You can grow citrus trees though, as iguanas dislike citrus.
Related Reading: 30 of the Worst Trees to Have Around a Swimming Pool
19. Don’t Leave Food Outside
Are you having a big cookout this weekend or even just a poolside lunch with the family? Make sure your food isn’t unattended at any time or you’ll soon see iguanas around the yard and in the pool. When cleaning up, get all food residue, including packaging and crumbs.
20. Call the Pros
If nothing you’re doing is working to quell the number of iguanas in your pool, then you can call a pest extermination company, which can trap or otherwise remove the iguanas from your property.
Is Iguana Poop in the Pool Dangerous?
Iguana feces are pellet-shaped and can be black or brown. The size of the pellets is quite large, especially in adult iguanas. If you’ve ever had to fish iguana poo out of your swimming pool, you might wonder, is the stuff dangerous?
Most certainly! Any feces, whether from humans or animals, is not healthy for people to be around. In the case of iguanas, their poop smells horrible, and the foul stench is not something that even pool chlorine can easily mask.
What’s worse is that iguana droppings are rife with bacteria, including salmonella. If you and your kids swim in the pool with iguana poop in it, they could get ill.
What to Do If an Iguana Poops in the Pool?
You wake up before work to skim the pool and you see them: brownish pellets floating around in the pool. What should your protocol be when an iguana poops in your pool?
First, if anyone was swimming in the pool, such as the kids, you want to usher them out immediately. Encourage the kids to first wash their hands and then take a bath or shower to be on the safe side.
In the meantime, put on a pair of rubber gloves and perhaps face protection such as goggles or a face mask. Remember, iguana feces smell terrible, so you don’t want to breathe it in.
Using your pool skimmer or a net, remove the feces. A pool vacuum can cause the poop to break apart, which then allows it to spread all over the pool, so skip this tool.
Now test your water to make sure the pH is correct – adjust it if it’s not. Then shock or super chlorinate your pool to remove any potential bacteria from the feces left in the water. Make sure the chlorine levels are >4 ppm. This will ensure you get rid of all the nasties.
The final step is to chemically clean the filter medium and sanitize any equipment you used to clean up the poop.
Is It Illegal to Catch Iguanas?
Perhaps part of your iguana removal plan is to collect the iguanas and physically dispose of them. Are you legally allowed to put out a trap in your yard to catch iguanas?
You should be able to, yes, but you must follow some ground rules. For one, use traps during the day when iguanas are out and about. Remove the traps at night so you don’t accidentally catch other creatures such as raccoons or feral cats.
Your state law might also require you to look at the traps every 24 hours (if not more often), so don’t set the traps and forget about them.
Is It Illegal to Poison Iguanas?
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, although green iguanas aren’t native to Florida, they’re still covered by the state’s anti-cruelty laws. These laws proclaim that you can kill an iguana humanely if the animal is on your private property.
So how do you humanely kill an iguana? By poisoning it?
No. You also can’t attempt to freeze the animal, drown it, or decapitate it, as all options are viewed as inhumane. Instead, you have to apply blunt force trauma, such as by bashing its head in, says this article in the Sun-Sentinel.
Using other inhumane methods of disposal could result in a hefty fine of up to $10,000 or even five years of prison time.
Iguanas in your swimming pool can ruin a day of backyard fun in an instant, but you have plenty of options to rid your yard of these critters. You can even trap them and kill them humanely if you deem it necessary. Good luck!