The homeowner, who lives in Apopka, shared a video of a Nile monitor lizard climbing up the window screen a couple of times. The reptile eventually lost its grip and fell down, and the video cuts to the lizard walking away from the home.
Lizards sneaking around and into homes isn't new to Florida. Plenty of residents had to call trappers to remove pesky iguanas and other creatures from their homes and toilets, but Nile monitors are different. These big lizards have strong jaws and sharp teeth and claws, and they aren't afraid to attack if they feel threatened, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Officials say Nile monitors are invasive creatures introduced to Florida ecosystems after pet owners dumped them into the wild. They're native to the Nile River delta in sub-Sahara Africa, being the largest lizard species on the continent. Nile monitors were added to the state's prohibited species list in 2021 due to their "impacts to native wildlife," the agency says.
FWC warns the public not to capture Nile monitors. Instead, report their sightings and include a picture and location with the tip. You can send the information on the free IveGot1 mobile app, call 888-483-4681, or report online at IveGot1.org.