US

In South Florida, green iguanas spread into suburban scourge

Green iguanas are so common now in South Florida that many see them as something like reptilian squirrels.

These iguanas are native to Latin America, were sold as pets and then escaped or were dumped in the wild, where their population has boomed.

Unlike Burmese pythons and other exotic invaders, these plant-eating iguanas have been considered harmless.

But their burrows undermine seawalls and levees, and they eat their way through valuable landscaping as well as native plants. Their droppings can be a real cleanup problem and a health hazard.

Now Florida officials are thinking about ways of controlling their population.