by SC Writer Alison Waldbart
Alfredo Fermin, owner of AAA Wildlife Trapping and Removal Service, has just completed a little more than three months of work to remove iguanas from Captiva Island. He was hired by the Captiva Community Panel to handle the overabundance of the destructive and sometimes dangerous creatures on the island.
The green iguana, an invasive species of lizard that is not always green in color, wreaks havoc on landscaping, and can sometimes be aggressive, with a bite or a swap of their tail. They like to eat red hibiscus, fruits and vegetables, sea grapes, leaves, and can ruin a nice lawn by burrowing up to six-feet-deep holes in the ground. They grow quickly, to more than six-feet in length, and lay eggs in their burrows.
The longest iguana captured by Fermin on Captiva was six-foot-two-inches, which nearly broke his record of six-foot-nine-inches. He also captured and removed 25 iguanas in a single day from a single island property, with a total of 146 captured as of July. The Panel last month unanimously approved a four-week extension of the iguana control program.
Fermin has been fascinated with animals and reptiles his whole life, and began learning his trade about 10 years ago from Chris Harlowe Wildlife Services and Scott’s Animal Services. He has operated his business for about six years. He lives in the Cape Coral area, but works all over Lee County and surrounding areas. He is available 24-hours-a-day and can be reached at (239) 440-7783.