Little lizards reduce bug populations in the garden


We Floridians see them all the time. Walk along a wooden privacy fence and they scurry at your approach. Anole lizards are everywhere.

The question is, are they pests?

First, a little background. Florida is home to eight species of anole. The green anole is the only one native to our state. Other species, such as the brown anole and crested anole, are invasive. The Jamaican giant anole can reach lengths of more than 10 inches, but they are far less common than other species.

The green anole (Anolis carolinensis) is the one we’re most accustomed to seeing. They range from Georgia, to South Carolina to Florida. Much of the day, these lizards bask in the sun, changing their skin color from green to brown, depending on what they’re resting on. 

Anoles are swift animals with clawed feet that make them excellent climbers. One defensive characteristic is their detachable tail, which continues to wriggle after it breaks off and later regrows. A bright-pink “fan” under the anole’s throat displays a message to potential mates, as well as unwelcome males who might venture into its territory. 

These abundant reptiles feed on spiders, insects and other small invertebrates in your yard. Their appetite for such creatures makes them a benefit to the garden. Moths, caterpillars and other insects that damage plants are always on the anole’s menu. For that reason, gardeners should be glad to see them darting about the premises. 

These little creatures are an ally – they’re not pests at all. (They don’t even bite.) For real pests, contact the experts at Slug-A-Bug for a free evaluation. We can address your toughest pest problem, whether you’re dealing with mice, termites, ants, cockroaches, etc. Just call us at (321) 259-7844.

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