Iguanas on Roofs?

Thu, Apr 11, 2024 at 7:30AM

Michael Ronquillo, Owner, Humane Iguana Control

iguanasYes, it’s a common problem in Florida. Iguanas are some of the largest lizards found in the Americas, with their whiplike tail making up about half of that length. Like other reptiles, iguanas are cold-blooded, egg-laying animals with an excellent ability to adapt to their environment. The growing population of invasive iguanas throughout the state has raised concerns for many residents.

This infestation has not only affected roofs on homes but on businesses and schools as well. Al-though they are an unusual problem, iguanas can cause damage to roofs, leaving property owners with costly repairs. Broken roof tiles are a sanctuary for iguanas, enabling them to hide from predators. If there is rotting wood on the roof, get ready for unwanted guests that will keep homeowners up at night.

Iguana Damage to Roofs

Most have seen iguanas on the ground but in South Florida, they love to sunbathe on roofs to regulate their body temperatures. At times, you may even find more than one. Don’t be deceived, they are doing much more than sunbathing. During the day, iguanas will feed off the plants around your property and find a water source to drink from such as swimming pools. They are great climbers and can easily access the roof through trees and bushes that are close to the roof line. Once iguanas establish themselves on a roof, they will find shelter in broken roof tiles or damaged fascia boards and make this location their new home. Iguanas have very sharp nails that can cause damage inside an attic to sheetrock, insulation and electrical cables. In addition, they can access the interior of homes through plumbing stacks and end up in toilets if pipes are not covered with a wire mesh.

While on the roof, they also defecate consistently and, over time, their feces can cause damage to roof tiles. Their feces contain uric acid, which can be corrosive to certain materials, including roofs. As the feces accumulate and dry out, the uric acid can eat away at the surface of the tiles, leading to discoloration, pitting and deterioration. We recommend removing iguanas from the property to avoid potential damage.

Health Risks of Iguanas on the Roof

In addition to causing roof damage, iguanas pose significant health risks that must be considered. Iguana feces carry salmonella bacteria, making contact with it potentially hazardous. Roofers may be unaware of these risks. When it rains, the feces on the roof washes off and splatters around the property, further increasing health hazards. If iguanas live in the attic and frequently defecate, it can soften the sheetrock and lead to collapse. Moreover, iguana feces in the attic can cause mold to build up, posing another health risk. They also carry ticks and mites, which can breed rapidly and carry diseases such as Lyme disease, posing a problem for humans and pets. It’s crucial to remove any iguanas living in the attic before patching up any holes to prevent the presence of dead, rotting iguanas in the attic.

iguanas 2

A Bird? A Plane? Nope, it’s a Falling Iguana!

Falling iguanas in Florida have become a national phenomenon, particularly during the cold months when temperatures drop to around 45°F. During this time, iguanas become immobilized, increasing the likelihood of falling from trees. This can pose a comical but also dangerous situation for roofers and homeowners. Male iguanas, which can weigh up to 25 pounds and reach 6 feet in length, present a significant hazard. Their falls not only pose a risk to individuals but can also cause damage to aluminum roofs and roof tiles, leading to costly repairs.

During mating season, alpha males may engage in territorial fights, leading to falls from trees as they compete for dominance. It’s crucial for roofers and homeowners to be vigilant in dealing with an iguana infestation to avoid bodily harm and property damage.

Preventing Damages and Bodily Harm

To prevent damage to the roof and potential harm to people, there are several effective measures homeowners can take. If a home has trees hanging over the roof, it’s essential to trim them back. This not only keeps iguanas off the roof but also prevents damage from falling iguanas. Similarly, if you have lush ivy on walls, cutting it back prevents iguanas from using it as a ladder to access the roof. It’s important to note that iguanas can jump about two feet, so look for palms or tree trunks near the roof. An alternative to cutting down trees is to install clear tree wraps. This transparent and slippery material deters iguanas from climbing since they are unable to secure a grip with their sharp nails. By proactively implementing these measures, homeowners can keep iguanas away and avoid costly repairs.

Should Iguanas Be Removed?

Did you know that there are three species of iguanas in Florida? These include the common green iguana, black spiny-tailed iguana and the Mexican spiny-tailed iguana. All three species are considered invasive. If you’re considering removing them, there are legal and practical considerations to keep in mind. While iguanas are invasive, they must be removed and euthanized humanely, following the state’s laws. It’s illegal to catch an iguana and relocate it to another area, as this can spread the infestation. Green iguanas are usually calm but can become agitated and defensive when cornered. They use their tails to defend themselves, whipping at speeds of 30 mph and have sharp claws and teeth that can cause injury. For safety, it’s best to hire an iguana removal specialist. Our company has helped roofing companies, homeowners, schools and establishments rid their properties of iguanas. Having the right tools and techniques is essential for successful removal.


iguanas 3Humane Iguana Control is a family-owned iguana removal company passionate about preserving the ecosystem. Their mission is to provide professional and eco-friendly solutions to help control the iguana population in South Florida while maintaining the delicate environmental balance. With their team of experts, they are committed to offering effective and humane iguana removal methods that prioritize the well-being of these reptiles. You can view a video about iguana removal at www.floridaroof.com/iguanas. For more information, visit www.humaneiguanacontrol.com or call 305-200-9821.

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