Geckos, those rubbery-like lizards that cling on your walls and ceilings, are actually not pests, but simply uninvited guests. They help you get rid of the real pests in your home – the insects and spiders that either bite, damage your home, or bring you diseases.
Geckos are small to average-sized lizards that can grow up to 8 inches long, depending on the species. The color of their skin also varies. Some species are even capable of changing their skin color like a chameleon does, to adapt with their surroundings.
The most distinct capabilities of these lizards is their ability to make chirping sounds to communicate and socialize with their fellow geckos. Geckos can amazingly cling to almost any surface without the use of liquids or surface tension because each of their toes has thousands of tips that make them adhere to almost any surface. Recent studies revealed that the force that adheres geckos is called the “van der Waals Interaction”.
A gecko’s diet primarily consists of small insects, spiders, and sometimes, fruits. Being reptiles, they cannot regulate their body temperature and therefor thrive in warm and humid places.
The Gecko Problem
If you live in a place that has a tropical climate or when the season starts to get warmer, you may notice the walls of your home with a few geckos crawling around, hunting for food. Geckos are mostly nocturnal creatures so you will see them very active at night.
It is not much of a problem to have a few geckos in your home. In fact, some people even keep these lizards as pets. With them in your home, you will be keeping the insects in your home under control. The most common gecko found in homes is the house gecko lizard, about 3 to 6 inches long, that has usually a dark skin color.
The problem is when these geckos multiply in number and start making your home their own too. Though geckos don’t bite or damage your home, they may cause some problems like:
- Freak you or children out
- Leave droppings everywhere
- Lay eggs in your furniture, cabinets, or drawers
- Litter your walls and ceilings like they were stickers or drawings
Getting Rid of the Source
The main reason why geckos choose your home to hang around is because it contains an abundant supply of their food – like moths, mosquitoes, and spiders. If you eliminate the source of their food, then they will most likely move to another place where they can find their food.
Well, getting rid of them is quite difficult if you decide to stomp on them or use chemicals, not to mention the task of cleaning up your home after killing all of them. If you want a humane way to get rid of them, going straight to the source is your best bet.
To eliminate their food source, you have to make sure that they won’t get in at all. Here are the things you should do:
- Install screens in your windows, doors, and vents.
- Seal up cracks and crevices around your home with a sealant.
- Clean up dark and hard to reach areas to destroy their hives or breeding places.
- Check your garage and clean it up as well.
- Use insecticides to make sure you kill most of the insects in your home.
After doing these tasks, it may take some time for the geckos to disappear in your home. They may still be feeding on some of the remaining insects until they have eaten everything. When their food starts to get scarce, they will gradually seek out new places where they can find their food.
If you still don’t notice any decline in the number of geckos inside your home, then there still might be a source of their food. Recheck your home and see if there are insects around your home.
Another good way to get rid of geckos is to use mothballs. Mothballs are basically insect repellents that emit a strong odor. In spite of it being used on insects, geckos apparently hate the smell. In fact, some people even use mothballs to repel snakes.
Since mothballs are very cheap and readily available, buy lots of them and scatter them around the inside and the outside of your house. Pay close attention to corners, cracks, and crevices, as well as dark, moist and warm spots inside.
Outside your home, throw a couple of mothballs in your garden, by the walls of your home, and in your garage. If a brave gecko tries to enter through those spots, they will be easily deterred.
Your whole house may smell like a huge cabinet because of the scent of mothballs, but you are better off than dealing with geckos in your home. Mothballs do not really harm geckos, so you don’t have to worry about cleanup or hurting living creatures.
Meow them Away
Another good way to get rid of geckos in your home is to get a new cat. If are not allergic to pets, a cat in particular, and you don’t mind the extra responsibility of owning one, then get a nice active cat.
A cat may not be able to catch the geckos in your home but it will surely scare the geckos out. Cats are naturally curious animals and chase and pounce on anything that catches their attention. In other words, their curiosity aroused by anything that moves.
If you are to get a cat, get a young cat, not more than 2 years of age. It must be an active one too. If you get an old cat, it may be too lazy to scare off your uninvited guests.
You probably won’t get rid of all of the geckos in your house with a cat, but you surely will lose a lot of them. After all, you really don’t want to get rid of all the geckos in your home, probably just to keep their numbers in check.
If you really don’t want geckos because they freak you out, you can keep your house cool enough for them to leave. Turn down the temperature if you can. Geckos, after all, are reptiles, incapable of adjusting to temperature. Keeping your house cool at night will keep the geckos from seeking your home as their own.
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