Can Iguanas Climb Walls? {How To Stop It}

Iguanas climbing up the side of houses is common in suburban tropical neighborhoods. Can iguanas climb walls?

How do they do it? Why does an iguana like to climb? How can you discourage it?

In this article, we will explain, examine and discover everything there is to know about iguanas climbing walls.

Can Iguanas Climb Walls?

Absolutely! Iguanas arboreal creatures that are adapted to climb to evade predators and forage for food. They can climb:

  • Tree
  • Walls
  • Fences
  • Posts
  • Gates
  • Stairs 
  • Brick
  • Stucco
  • Smooth surfaces

Although it is recommended to use glass, solid wood or other smooth surface for your walls and fences, iguanas can still find ways to quickly scale up almost anything.

Can An Iguana Climb a Fence?

Yes. A chain linked fence is going to be easiest for an iguana to climb. They can use their powerful long claws to pull themselves up and over any fence that has any form of grips.

I’ve even seen iguanas climbing glass surfaces or wood walls with the least amount of grip. They can use webbed toes for added grip and traction as well.

Can Iguanas Climb Glass?

Yes. With the following skills and innate physical features, iguanas can scale smooth surfaces like glass.

  • Sharp claws
  • Webbed toes
  • Prehensile tail

Most of the time, glass is too smooth and if the height of it is long enough, they will not be able to climb up.

Glass is:

  • Slippery
  • Poor for air circulation
  • Easily overheats
  • Creates foul odors
  • Caused injuries

You might wish to stop your iguanas from climbing, but the factors above make glass a poor option for the walls of your iguanas’ enclosure.

Haver you ever seen your iguana rubbing against the glass? It could be about this topic instead which is explained here.

Why Iguanas Climb

Iguanas climb because they are terrestrial, but also arboreal. They can live up in trees where foliage, fruits and safety from predators makes it a comfortable place for them to live.

Iguanas can survive falls from 40 feet or 12 meters off trees or walls. Iguanas climb to:

  • Find food such as leaves, flowers, fruit
  • Seek shelter
  • Evade predators
  • Stay dry
  • Run away from humans or water sources

Some iguanas climb when the surface on the ground is too cold. Sooner or later, during a cold snap, they may freeze up in tree branches or on top of buildings and fall off. This is common in places like Florida.

YouTube video

Do Iguanas Enjoy Climbing?

Yes. Iguanas can climb tree branches and even hang upside down. They would enjoy an enclosure where there are ways and options for them to climb.

They can use their claws and prehensile tail to grip onto vertical surfaces. Climbing gives iguanas added safety as arboreal creatures who can easily evade ground predators this way.

Using their claws for climbing works better than digging or burrowing. Since heat rises in an enclosure, an iguana will prefer a higher level to perch and relax.

Can Iguanas Stick To A Wall?

No. Sticking to walls like a spider or even a gecko will prove difficult for larger iguanas. Some smaller iguanas may have more traction and ability to support their weight.

All iguanas have webbed feet and increased traction with their claws and tails. If the surface has any grip from brick to even stucco, an iguana may be able to latch on with their claws and look like they are sticking to the wall.

Scaling a smoother surface will prove difficult but not impossible if they gain enough momentum. They will not stick to glass or other smooth walls without any grip.

How To Stop An Iguana Climbing Walls

Limiting the grip for an iguana who loves climbing will discourage them from climbing up walls or other surfaces you do not wish for them to do.

You can also add repellent odors on these surfaces around your property to keep iguanas from climbing over them.

Try any of the following scents along with vertical surfaces that lack any grip.

Smells Iguanas Hate

  • Garlic
  • Lime juice
  • Pepper powder or spray
  • Dish soap
  • Neem oil

You can also make the effort and expense to place glass panels over any walls or fences. Metal sheets is another options that is slightly cheaper.

Which Walls Can Iguanas Not Climb?

Iguanas may find a way to use their forward momentum to scale up smooth walls that are lower in height.

They are fearless because they can survive falls up to 12 meters or 40 feet. The dominant factor is that there should not be any grip for their powerful sharp claws to hold onto.

You can try installing or adding the following smooth textures to walls or fences to discourage iguanas to climb.

  • Glass plates
  • Metal sheets
  • Bamboo
  • PVC

Can Iguana Be Kept In An Aquarium?

An aquarium with glass walls discourages an iguana from climbing. It can trap foul odors with decreased air circulation. There must be enough ventilation if you wish to house an iguana in an aquarium.

We advise against this, but you can try a temporary home for juvenile iguanas in this habitat for now. Try an aquarium tank that is a minimum of 18-20 gallons if you wish to place an iguana that is 18 inches or less in length.

1 inch of fish per gallon of water in a tank is the rule of thumb for fish keeping, but this applies when trying to fit a young iguana as well.

Any tank smaller than 18 gallons will not suffice. Glass gets hot and may cause stress for an iguana who prefers the option to scale, climb and feel the open air.

Can Iguanas Climb Stairs?

Yes. Iguanas may climb up the stairs and see what you’re doing there for hours at a time every night. They will use their claws, tail and webbed feet to easily climb up stairs. Sometime they bite the steps.

Biting iguanas are important to understand which we explain here.

Their tail will give them balance and they will even survive a stumble down a full staircase without much problem.

If an iguana can climb up a wall, tree or even a post, they can easily climb up the stairs and join you in your office, den or bedroom.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way. 


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.