Iguanas are interesting lizards. Some homeowners have them as pets and can control them in a cage, while others let them roam free in the home, perhaps several of them. Here in South Florida, they can create big issues in the wild. Do iguanas lay eggs? Yes, they do and they have a breeding season that allows for a lot of baby iguanas to hatch several times a year.
Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding iguanas.
What Is An Iguana?
In Florida, we have small lizards throughout the state. They sneak into homes and are on our sidewalks, grass, and all over. They are fun to chase after and some kids keep them as a pet. However, here in South Florida, we have an iguana problem and this is because of people letting their pet iguanas free into the wild.
These iguanas are larger lizards that can live 10-20 years in the wild, depending on the species! They can grow up to six feet in length from the tip of the tail to the nose. An adult male iguana can weigh up to nine pounds and some are even heavier than that at 18 pounds! On the other hand, the females are smaller and can grow up to seven pounds.
Habitat for Iguanas
As we know, South Florida has warm temperatures most of the year, and iguanas like the temperatures as they are cold-blooded. Many times these lizards are found in Central and South America, Mexico, Galapagos Islands, Fiji, some Caribbean Islands, and Madagascar. They live in deserts, coastlines, and subtropical and tropical forests. As mentioned earlier, they are not native to the area, but pet owners set theirs loose and this has caused a large amount to be roaming the region.
When Do They Mate?
Between the ages of 2 and 4 years old, green iguanas reach their sexual maturity and will mate during the dry season. This is so the offspring will hatch when it is the wet season, late fall through spring but any time of the year really if the conditions are good. This season of breeding allows a male to mate with several females. An interesting fact about female iguanas is that they can keep the sperm of a male in their body for several years which allows them to fertilize eggs in the future if they don’t find a partner.
A female green iguana will lay eggs when she reaches sexual maturity. She will continue to lay eggs once a year for the rest of her life. This will continue even if she doesn’t mate with a male. Unfortunately, though, the eggs won’t be fertilized and can be taken from the habitat and thrown away.
Where Do They Lay Their Eggs?
Iguanas dig a burrow and drop their eggs into nests that they have created. These nests are 45 cm to a meter in depth. The nests may be shared with other females, especially if there are not a lot of nests available.
The incubation period once the eggs are laid is 90 to 120 days. The temperatures during this time should be 85-91 degrees Fahrenheit. When the hatchlings are ready to come out, they use their caruncle, which is a special egg tooth. This tooth will pop the egg open. Then, this falls off soon after the hatching. For the first week or two, the new hatchling lives off the absorbed yolk. This provides nourishment for the young hatchling.
How Many Eggs Do They Lay?
A clutch is not a purse when we are referring to iguanas. Instead, it is a group of eggs that are produced at one time by the female green iguana. These clutches are between 21 to 77 eggs and average about 40 eggs. They are white and look like leather and are 1.5 inches in length. Iguana eggs usually hatch within 90 to 120 days but if the conditions are right, it can be quicker than that.
There are a few different types of iguanas. The green iguanas typically lay the largest number of eggs, about 21 to 77, while blue iguanas lay 1 to 21, and marine iguanas 1 to 6 eggs. If you find eggs in your yard, you can discard them. Be careful though, if you think they may have been fertilized, they could hatch in a garbage can or landfill. Thus, you can put them in the refrigerator or freezer. Leave them there for 24 hours and then you can dispose of them as they will no longer be ready to hatch.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know that iguanas lay eggs, you can read up on why moles are good for the yard. Moles will take care of insects and also aerate the lawn. They like the larvae that are found in the soil and will also eat bugs like grubs and beetles that will destroy your plants.
Next, another insect that can become a pest in your home is the earwig. It is recommended that you study if coffee grounds are preventative maintenance for earwigs. They can work as the scent drives the earwigs away from the home and garden and repel other pests as well.
Lastly, consider pest control if you don’t already have it. Read up on why pest control is worth it to protect the investment of your home. You don’t want an infestation to occur in your home. This could cost you a lot of money.
When Do I Call A Professional?
When you come across many iguanas running around your yard, you might want to call on your local pest control company. Wildlife removal and relocation is something that a homeowner should not do on their own. Chances are high that the iguana laid eggs in your yard and they have all hatched.
If you find iguanas becoming a nuisance, calling a professional pest control company to take a look is a good idea. Investing in a pest control service is also a good idea so it is one less area you have to worry about. Chances are you don’t just have issues with iguanas but other pests as well and a professional company can take care of this for you.
Iguanas are cool to look at and see in Florida, but you don’t want a ton of them running around. They dig their burrows and this can cause problems in infrastructure. Calling your local pest control team to assist you with iguana issues and other pest issues is a great idea. Reach out to AAA pest control to eliminate iguanas and other pest issues you may have in Oakland Park, FL, and the surrounding South Florida areas.