HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man had an unwelcome guest in his home last Saturday after an invasive iguana decided to hide out in his toilet.
Gary Greenspan of Hollywood, Florida, posted videos of the reptile on his Facebook, saying he was waiting for animal control to come and get it.
“I don’t know if it was just looking for a spa day or what, but it’s huge,” Greenspan said. “I don’t know how it got there.”
While he hoped for the iguana to be relocated, it likely wasn’t. Releasing captured iguanas is prohibited, per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Greenspan’s situation isn’t unique. The invasive green iguanas, which now have made an annoying addition to Florida’s ecosystem, have been known to wriggle their way into toilets across the state.
According to a report by Axios, pests like iguanas, snakes, and rats can make their way into the plumbing by entering the stacks on people’s roofs and bypassing the toilet’s P-trap, which is the curved portion of the pipe that keeps waste and sewer smell out of your tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets.
However, when toilets aren’t being flushed frequently, like in the case of homes owned by seasonal residents who only come to Florida in the cold months, the P-trap can dry out and allow pests to enter. Typically, this is a problem seen by those who are connected to a city sewage system, not a home septic tank, according to Axios.
Typically, iguanas are harmless to people, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warned that they can transmit salmonella to humans through “water or surfaces contaminated by their feces.”
Iguanas also pose threats to property and landscaping by eating plants and leaving their droppings on your belongings. While animal control can help relocate or eliminate the animals, the FWC said you can humanely kill iguanas without a permit on private property with landowner permission.