Stopping iguanas before they hatch

I read with interest your article in the June 29 Compass regarding “Cayman’s great green iguana hunt,” written by James Whittaker. I was quite surprised at the number of iguanas here and it’s going to get even worse every spring around this time. I’m glad people are able to shoot them for us.

The population is getting out of hand. Right now, while they are still eggs, is the best time to get rid of some of them in the most humane way. If you know where the eggs are laid, you can stop their growth before they even hatch.

Here’s a “how to” list that will help anyone that might want to dig out those eggs.

  • Females lay their eggs in June and lay anywhere from 30 to 70 eggs. Not all will be fertilized, but a good percentage of them are and will hatch.
  • Eggs take two to three months to hatch, so you still have time to get rid of them.
  • Once a female has laid her eggs, she does not stay by her nest to guard them like hens do, so you are free to dig them out and dispose of them yourself before they even hatch.
  • If you are lucky enough to be able to dig them out of the ground, put them in a big pot of water and boil them for 10 to 15 minutes, then toss them in the garbage or put them in a freezer for a few hours, then toss in the garbage or in a canal if you live near a canal. They won’t hatch. They are dead and they don’t smell.

Note from YouTube from someone in Florida:

  1. Do not use iguana eggs as fertilizer in gardens with plants you plan to eat, as the eggs may carry salmonella bacteria. Also, wear gloves when handling iguana eggs.
  2. You can also choose to fill in iguana burrows when you find them on your property. You can use cement if the burrows are located in a seawall or foundation. Otherwise, gravel makes a good filler. Be sure not to fill in occupied burrows as this is inhumane.

I hope everyone reading this finds it helpful. For those of us who can’t go out and “kill” something, this is a more humane way of helping to “solve the problem,” but people have to start to do this right away. In another month or two those eggs will be hatching.

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Thanks to James and the Compass for running that article. I hope it made the people on the island aware of the problem. I knew there was a problem but not to the degree that your article showed.

Carol Caputo

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