Non-native iguanas are multiplying so rapidly in south Florida that a state wildlife agency is now encouraging people to kill them.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said people should exterminate the lizards on their properties as well as on 22 areas of public land. It did not say how civilians should try to kill them.
“Homeowners do not need a permit to kill iguanas on their own property, and the FWC encourages homeowners to kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible,” the agency said.
Iguanas are not dangerous or aggressive to humans but they can dig lengthy tunnels, damaging pavements and building foundations. They can sometimes carry salmonella bacteria.
Males can grow to at least 5ft (1.5 metres) long and weigh 9kg (20lb), and females can lay nearly 80 eggs a year.
“Some green iguanas cause damage to infrastructure by digging burrows that erode and collapse sidewalks, foundations, seawalls, berms and canal banks,” the wildlife commission said. “Green iguanas may also leave droppings on docks, moored boats, seawalls, porches, decks, pool platforms and inside swimming pools.”