Animals

How to Get Rid of Geckos

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.

The Gecko

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.

Scent Tactics

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.

Be Cool

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.

Click here for more information about how to get rid of geckos

About the author

Nicole Harding

13 Comments

  • Geckos are not classified as a pest, but can become one.
    They can eat through softer plastic containers like tupperware and chinese takeout containers.
    They love to make airconditioner units their homes and can cost you thousands as they chew through the wiring!
    Even in some cases have caused house fires by destroying the electrtical wiring especailly in older homes.
    Geckos will eat anything soft!
    If you put a bunch of undedrripe bananas on the bench to ripen, they will go for this, anything is food to geckos, they carry samonella too and this is dangerous, they do leave droppings around the home, especially in your clean linen.
    Geckos will even chew at the seals around a fridge door!
    All this I know from being at mine and my sisters homes. In suberbia in Brisbane Queensland Australia…
    They are driving us crazy, every one every where has been like oh don’t kill the darlings, but there are thousands and thousnads of them and they are cost us thousands and thousands…
    We are wrapping all our food in foil and then placing them in conatiners and then wrapping in foil again, just so we dont find a few gecko droppings in our lunch!
    We have tried everything we can think of to deter these, the house is fully screened, the gaps have been sealed, and exandable foam sprays used and then we still have them, for a long time it was just catch and release, but things are crazy, we are having geckos fall on us while we are sleeping in our beds…
    I don’t mind letting the kids try catch and release either, even though often they accidently kill the geckos..
    We have had pest control come around and we have bought many products over the years and nothing is working.
    Soaking tea bags in citronella and hanging these everywhere and spraying the patios with detol antiseptic hasn’t stoped these pests. All these has done is forever given our home a strange scent!
    Please Help us!!
    We have some neighbours with the same problems, even though they actually had to get cars fixed numerous times as the geckos are chewing through the wires and costing the community big time.
    The geckos have been identified as asian household geckos years ago the gecko in Australia was a rare thing.

  • I too live in Brisbane Australia and I encourage Geckoes in my house, enjoying watching the antics as they chase after dinner on my walls and windows. I do not use insecticides or deterents and being in an old Queenslander, am unable to seal all the gaps, nor do I want to, for I do like my visitors.
    I have never heard of Geckoes chewing through wires or fridge door seals or through plastic containers and the only time I suffer with any sort of problem such as you describe Alesha, is when I have a mouse or rats come visiting. I would suggest you get that possibility checked out as these issues won’t be caused by house geckoes.

    As for the suggestion in this article that to get a cat would help keep numbers in check… This is a blatantly stupid suggestion. Even moreso to suggest that the cat be a young one. What happens when the cat you get to clear out the geckoes gets ‘too old for the job’? Get another young one? Where do you draw the line, how many cats do you have to get over a long period, and how do you get rid of the cats if they outlive their usefulness every couple of years ? Get a dog ? When does this end ?
    Did the author here stop to consider the work involved in keeping a cat? Vet fees, food costs, damaged furniture, fleas, worms, hair shedding, attention required, kitty litter? Surely and without doubt, unless you want a cat for the cats sake, the geckoes would be a far better and less time consuming alternative.

  • Don’t encourage cats to go for geckos – they carry worms and cats will become ill if they eat them. Dettol spray (20% in water) works well but damages paint.

  • We live on the Gold Coast ,Australia,and ten years ago we never saw them in our neighborhood.Now they are a pest.
    We are bothered more outside at night, so we tried the Dettol mixed with 50% water as recommended on another site,and if it doesn`t kill them ,they sure retreat bavk to the gardens.The other site said this mixture would kill them.
    This mixture is also recommended for spraying cane toads ,and is excellent.The residue and smell of the Dettol mix also acts as a deterrent.
    Inside if any manage to get in ,we find the best way is just to whack them really hard .They die easily as they are soft.

  • I believe that gecko’s have accute hearing and have an understading of the english laungauge because every time I see them and say look those little Bas*#**##’s and grab the surface spray they bolt!!!! Will continue on with our reserch and forward on our finding at a later date!!!

  • Gecko are not pest and nor pet, they are my army. I train and control thousands of Geckos to clear out illegal immigrants pestering my backyard. I suffer from Alienaphobia and my doctor (Kim Jong Ill II) recommended these commandos to help with my insecurity.

    Don’t agree…send me your address so I can send you my lab and training ground. Visitation is free but reservation is required.

  • My little westie shows her hunting skills on the Gecko population. Only problem is…….she eats them!
    We live in southern Florida and the Gecko’s are abundant. I do not like killing them! We scoop them up…..white computer paper seems to put them in freeze mode long enough to dump them out.

    I hate to admit I usually flush the baby ones. We have a atruim that’s all enclosed. The little guys get in and if they stay to long…..they can’t get out.

  • We live in Durban SA, and the white gecko is a pest here because it makes such a mess. I have never seen it catch any insects other than moths, most flies and mosquitoes are too fast for it.
    Fumigation helps for a few weeks, then they are back again…
    We will try the Dettol tip, perhaps it can reduce their numbers a bit.

  • We have the same problem with geckos in southern Florida. I stomp them when possible. I was going to try leaving some anti-freeze in a cup outside by the door where they usually are. Maybe if they drink some they will die. Anti-freeze has a sweet taste and is lethal if injested. I was also told that if you squirt then with 50/50 bleach and water mix it will kill them. In the military, I spent 2 years in Vietnam, 6 months in Africa and 6 months in Lebonon……I’ve about had it with Bugs, reptiles, etc.!

  • I heard that 50/50 bleach and water spray does the job. I was thinking of leaving some open antifreeze around. I’m in southern Florida and they hang around the house, trying to get in.

  • Sorry to disagree with the hippies but Asian geckos DO cause major problems with electrical devices. We live in NQ and they have cost us upwards of $600 in repair costs. A lot of electrical contractors up here “gecko proof” the electronics (at an extra cost) because they’re aware of the damage they do. Since discovering how harmful they are I have set out to eradicate them and have found Tomcat sticky pads from Bunnings do the trick nicely. DO NOT release them as they WILL return. Kill them. Also, I have tried feeding them to native birds, including kookaburras, and they won’t touch them. Our native skinks and shinglebacks have also disappeared since the arrival of the geckos. These things have the capacity to be as big a problem as the cane toads.

  • I live in Brisbane and the geckos have multiplied within the last 5 year. They are such pests. The poo everywhere, make a hell of a racket at night and they have chewed through a few of our outdoor lights. Not to mention they freak me out! One went in my room last night and I couldn’t find it and I couldn’t sleep knowing it was in there.
    We have tried to kill one once but it tail fell of and was moving around the floor, so we will never attempt that again!!!!! It was horrible!!

    I have heard that if you spray them with freezing cold water it stops them in their tracks for a bit and you are able to sweep them up and get them out. Also I have heard that frogs eat geckos so if you make your garden frog friendly it should stop some of the population.

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