To effectively deter iguanas, it’s essential to understand their behavior and preferences. Iguanas are herbivores, and their sense of smell plays a crucial role in finding their food sources. They have a highly developed olfactory system that helps them detect potential threats and identify suitable environments.

One important thing to note is that iguanas have individual preferences when it comes to smells. While certain scents are generally disliked by iguanas, there may be variations in their aversions. It’s important to observe your iguana’s reactions to different smells and adjust your repellent strategy accordingly.

It’s also worth mentioning that iguanas have a strong sense of taste, and some smells they dislike may also translate to unpleasant tastes for them. This can further discourage them from approaching an area with offensive odors.

When it comes to repelling iguanas using smells, it’s crucial to strike a balance between effectiveness and safety. While certain smells may repel iguanas, they shouldn’t pose any harm to the reptiles or the environment. Let’s explore some common smells that iguanas dislike.

Common Smells That Iguanas Dislike

So, what smells do iguanas hate? Iguanas mainly hate smells of citrus fruits, onions and garlic and mint. 

  1. Citrus Fruits: Iguanas have a strong aversion to the smell of citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. These fruits contain natural compounds that irritate iguanas’ sensitive nasal passages, causing them to stay away from areas with citrus scents. You can use citrus peels or essential oils to create a natural repellent.
  2. Onions and Garlic: The pungent smell of onions and garlic is another scent that iguanas find offensive. These ingredients contain sulfur compounds that repel iguanas and other reptiles. You can create a homemade repellent by mixing onion or garlic juice with water and spraying it around your garden or home.
  3. Mint: Iguanas dislike the strong aroma of mint. Planting mint around your garden or using mint essential oils can help keep iguanas away. The refreshing scent of mint is not only unpleasant for iguanas but also has a calming effect on humans.

These are just a few examples of smells that iguanas dislike. Other scents that can repel iguanas include vinegar, coffee grounds, and certain herbs like basil and rosemary. It’s important to note that while these smells may be effective in deterring iguanas, they may not guarantee complete elimination. Using a combination of smells and other deterrent strategies can yield better results.

Natural and Safe Repellents for Iguanas

Now that we know which smells iguanas dislike, let’s explore natural and safe repellents that you can use to keep them away. One effective method is to create a homemade repellent using the scents we discussed earlier.

To make a citrus-based repellent, collect citrus peels and blend them with water. Strain the mixture and transfer it to a spray bottle. You can then apply the citrus repellent around your garden or any areas where you want to repel iguanas.

For an onion or garlic repellent, chop an onion or several garlic cloves and soak them in water overnight. Strain the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle. Use this natural repellent to create a barrier that deters iguanas from entering your desired space.

Additionally, you can find commercially available iguana repellents that are formulated with natural ingredients. These products often combine a variety of smells that iguanas dislike, making them more effective in repelling these reptiles. When choosing a commercial repellent, ensure that it’s safe for use around pets, children, and the environment.

Related Post: How To Trap Iguanas

How to Use Repellents Effectively

To maximize the effectiveness of repellents, it’s important to use them strategically. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best results:

  1. Apply repellents around the perimeter of the area you want to protect. This creates a barrier that discourages iguanas from entering.
  2. Reapply repellents regularly, especially after rain or heavy watering, as these can dilute the scents and reduce their effectiveness.
  3. Focus on areas where iguanas are likely to enter or frequent, such as garden beds, pathways, and entrances to your home.
  4. Consider using a combination of smells to create a more potent repellent. For example, you can mix citrus juice with onion or garlic juice for a multi-scented deterrent.

Remember to monitor the effectiveness of your repellent strategy and make adjustments as needed. Different iguanas may react differently to smells, so it’s important to find the right combination that works for your specific situation.

Creating a Scent-Free Environment for Iguanas

While using smells to deter iguanas can be effective, it’s also important to create a scent-free environment that makes your space less attractive to these reptiles. Here are some tips to minimize odors that may attract iguanas:

  1. Keep your garden clean and free from fallen fruits, vegetables, and other organic debris that can emit smells that attract iguanas.
  2. Properly seal garbage cans and compost bins to prevent odors from spreading and attracting iguanas.
  3. Regularly clean and maintain areas where iguanas may seek shelter, such as sheds, crawl spaces, and under decks.
  4. Consider using motion-activated devices that emit ultrasonic sounds or spray water to startle and deter iguanas.

By minimizing odors and creating an environment that is less appealing to iguanas, you can further enhance the effectiveness of your repellent strategy.

Other Strategies to Deter Iguanas Using Smells

In addition to using specific smells, there are other strategies you can employ to deter iguanas effectively. These strategies can complement the use of repellents and help create a more comprehensive defense against iguanas. Here are a few examples:

  1. Planting Certain Types of Vegetation: Some plants are known to repel iguanas due to their strong smells. Examples include marigolds, rosemary, and lavender. Incorporating these plants into your garden can help deter iguanas naturally.
  2. Installing Physical Barriers: Iguanas are excellent climbers, so physical barriers like fences and netting can be effective in keeping them out of your garden. Ensure that the barriers are tall enough and have small enough gaps to prevent iguanas from getting through.
  3. Removing Attractive Features: Iguanas are attracted to water sources, so removing or securing any open water containers can make your space less appealing. Additionally, removing piles of debris or vegetation that can serve as hiding spots can discourage iguanas from sticking around.

Myths About Smells That Repel Iguanas

When it comes to repelling iguanas using smells, there are several myths and misconceptions. It’s important to separate fact from fiction to ensure you’re using effective methods. Here are a couple of common myths:

  1. Mothballs: Some people believe that placing mothballs around their garden can repel iguanas. However, this is not a recommended method as mothballs contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to both iguanas and the environment.
  2. Pepper: While pepper may have a strong smell, it’s not proven to be an effective deterrent for iguanas. Using pepper as a repellent may only result in wasted effort and resources.

Stick to the smells discussed earlier, such as citrus fruits, onions, garlic, and mint, as these have been proven to repel iguanas effectively.

Additional Tips for Keeping Iguanas Away

Here are a few additional tips to help keep iguanas away from your space:

  1. Trim trees and shrubs near your home to remove potential access points for iguanas.
  2. Install mesh screens on windows and vents to prevent iguanas from entering your home.
  3. Keep your yard well-maintained, as iguanas are less likely to venture into areas that are clear and free from hiding spots.
  4. If you encounter wild iguanas in your garden, try making loud noises or using water sprays to startle them and encourage them to leave.

Remember, it’s important to respect wildlife and find humane ways to deter iguanas. Avoid using harmful methods or substances that can cause harm to the reptiles or the environment.


In conclusion, understanding the smells that iguanas hate can be an effective way to keep them away from your yard or home. By using natural and safe repellents, creating a scent-free environment, and employing other deterrent strategies, you can successfully deter iguanas and protect your space.

Remember to observe your iguana’s reactions to different smells and adjust your repellent strategy accordingly. Finding the right combination of scents that works for your specific situation is key to achieving long-term success.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *