Hi All, (and I apologize in advance for the length of this post)
I’m new here, and registered today because I’m concerned for the well being of the wild brown anoles who live in our Naples, FL. lanai. I have great affection for the lizards, and can identify nearly all them who hang out nearest the house. There is a 50 foot long bank of floor to ceiling windows & sliding glass doors facing the lanai, so I have a great view of what goes on out there. The lanai itself is screened in, but has lots of areas w/ lush vegetation & trees, as well as a paved, stone surface. The lizards spend much of the day out in the open, on the stone, and, of course, they hang out in the vegetation as well. There are about 15 that I see regularly, and I can identify most of them easily. This past Monday, Truly Nolen Pest Control came to service the house. As I do every time, I told the man NOT to use anything on the lanai, due to my concern for the lizards, and usually he complies, but this time I was HORRIFIED to find him on the lanai soaking the plant life where the lizards retreat and the lower area of the sliding glass doors, where they also spend a lot of time, with pesticide spray. The doors & tracks were so wet after he finished that it looked like someone had sprayed them with a water hose. I was terribly upset. The man assured me that the spray was 100% safe and that a single lizard would have to absorb 50 gallons of the stuff for any harm to occur. (As an aside, I remember asking him a few years ago if the pesticide would harm the lizards and his reply was, “Do you want it to harm them?”, which sounded suspicious and really unnerved me - either it would or would not harm them! He just wanted to make sure he gave me the answer I wanted to hear, which is what I fear he was doing when he said it would not harm them this time…). The minute he left, I gathered a bucket, sponge & mop, and set out to try to clean up what I could. Unfortunately, many of the anoles were already out & about in the sprayed areas. Of course, my very presence caused them to retreat and I did what I could to remove the spray, but I fear it was not enough. There was still lizard activity that same afternoon (Mon.), but, the next day (Tues.), I noticed that there were dramatically fewer lizards around. I saw only 3 all day, which is something that I’ve never experienced. Since Tue., I’ve still not seen more than the same 3 out there (and Fri I saw only 1) and 1 of the 3 is a new resident…
In addition to spraying my lanai when specifically instructed not to, the exterminator left the door open and let in a new lizard. This new resident is the biggest female I’ve ever seen and immediately started acting like a bully. The reigning “Queen of the Lanai” is called Rusty (she has a red head, like the lizard another poster was inquiring about, but I digress…). Rusty has ruled the lanai for well over a year and is ALWAYS out there. On Monday afternoon, a couple of hours after the spraying, this bully started gunning for Rusty, who bolted into a grass plant w/ the aggressor in hot pursuit. After that incident, Rusty was not seen.
Concurrent with the above incidents came a cooling in the weather. Tuesday reached a high only in the mid 70s (whereas the weather had previously been in the 80’s & 90s). Yesterday was a bit warmer than that, and today the high was 83. Also, the evenings are much cooler.
Yes, all of this is leading somewhere – a plea for knowledgeable opinions as to why I have seen only 3 lizards on my lanai since Monday. Could it be the spraying? Are they all terrified of the new bellicose bully in town and afraid to come out into the open, where the bully is now often seen? Or, might the 1st onset of cooler weather have caused a mass retreat? I just hope they’re all alive and well, but I’m really worried. Any info would be much appreciated. Please help if you can, and thanks for reading this long-winded post.