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How to Get Rid of Lizards

August 26th, 2008

green-lizard.jpgAlthough most people think of lizards as beneficial to the environment because they eat insects and other undesirable critters, others seem to have a significant fear of these little reptiles and will search for ways to get rid of them. While doing the research for this article, I ran across a desperate plea for help from a woman posting as “Janet” on a message board dealing with organic gardening topics. She had been scared away from entering her house through her carport door by the presence of two albino lizards that had started to wander around that particular area at night.

Eventually she discovered two smaller lizards in her bedroom, and after “screaming and gasping for air” she managed to grab a can of wasp spray from the kitchen and began spraying it at the lizards from several feet away. After using up about 2/3 of the can, the lizards finally died and it took another 15 minutes before she mustered the courage to remove them. She never mentioned what was done with the copious amount of pesticide that was sprayed all over her bedroom, which for me would have seemed scarier than the lizards!

In any event, for those who are afflicted with herpetophobia (fear of reptiles) or simply find lizards annoying, here are some methods that can be used to get rid of them:

1. Catch and release. One of the easiest and safest ways to deal with lizards is to capture them in a glass or other suitable container and release them far enough away from your house that they will be unlikely to return. Because of their speed and agility, they can be difficult to capture; however, once you have them cornered, you can simply block off the corner with your container, after which the lizard will usually run inside of it. Another clever trick that I read about recently is spraying the lizard with cold water before trying to chase it down. Because lizards are cold-blooded animals, meaning that they cannot regulate their internal body temperature, cooling them down will cause them to become relatively sluggish, making your task much easier.

2. Eliminate their favorite food sources. This means getting rid of all the insects and other critters that provide food for the lizards. If you can manage to do this effectively, it is likely that the lizards will move on to another location where food is more abundant. Insects can be controlled either through chemical insecticides like cypermethrin or by organic methods such as diatomaceous earth (ground shells of diatoms), beneficial nematodes, or ground mint and limestone powders. Meanwhile, if you have any stray standing water sources, including leaky pipes or faucets, fixing these may help because lizards are attracted to moisture.

3. Use natural predators. It turns out that most common house cats like to hunt down lizards, so this is always a possible solution if you happen to like cats. Snakes also work, but the same types of people who are afraid of lizards are often afraid of snakes as well, so this may not be ideal for everyone. Other animals that eat lizards include hawks, raptors, owls, raccoons, skunks, and larger species of other lizards.

4. Set glue traps. Some manufacturers sell glue traps that are baited with roach pheromones, which attract lizards because they like to eat roaches. The lizards then get stuck on the glue and cannot escape. Although some people consider this method inhumane, the lizards can be released afterward by applying vegetable oil to affected areas in order to loosen the glue.

5. Deploy repellents. If you do not want to kill the lizards but still want to keep them out of your home or other designated areas, there are a few types of repellents that you can try. One is a product from India called laxman (or lakshman) rekha, a kind of chalk stick that can be used to draw lines across doorways, floors, or other places where you want to block the path of lizards. This product is also commonly used to repel cockroaches and ants. Other repellents that have been suggested include empty egg shells and peacock feathers, the sight of which are supposed to be especially repulsive to lizards. Although I have not tested the efficacy of these methods myself, many people seem to believe in them.

There are also a variety of other not-so-nice methods that can be used if you want to attack the lizards directly, including spraying with hot water (will kill instantly if above 140 degrees Fahrenheit), spraying with Tabasco sauce (will drive them away quickly), or simply bludgeoning them to death with a flyswatter or other suitable weapon. Regardless of the method used, you will ultimately need to decide whether getting rid of the lizards is worth the trade-off of increasing your local bug population, which could eventually cause problems for you or your garden.


14 Responses to “How to Get Rid of Lizards”

  1. comment number 1 by: Moony

    Egg shells do not work.

  2. comment number 2 by: Akshay

    Neither do the peacock feathers

  3. comment number 3 by: Najwa

    i sprayed vinegar it worked

  4. comment number 4 by: Hesham

    any effective way to get them out without need to catch them or spray them, it’s so hard to catch/spray them..they are fast

  5. comment number 5 by: Ash

    Keep a golf club or vaccum handy, either hit it with the club or then suck it into the vaccum and they’ll die.

  6. comment number 6 by: Brittany

    I have lizards everywhere outside, how do i know if one got into my house?

  7. comment number 7 by: debb

    Brittany, look for poop! May be watery with a solid yellowish crystalized pee. almost like some bird poop. This is true, I am not kidding. Debb

  8. comment number 8 by: sharon

    I am trying to keep lizards out of my butterfly garden, how can accomplish this?

  9. comment number 9 by: Shabbir

    Keep good flyproofing of home. It will protect you from insects and lizards, both. extensive use of pest will work. It will remove insects and liz both.

  10. comment number 10 by: Tracy

    Wow, some of you people are NUTS. How cruel to do anything but let them live. Seriously, you have major problems if you like to hit them, torture them in glue traps etc. Lizards do not harm people and generally are afraid of humans (and for good reason after reading some of the psychos on this page). Seriously, get some prof. help instead of torturing these innocent little creatures. How would you feel if you where a lizard just trying to live?

  11. comment number 11 by: Lawence

    1. Lizards do not eat enough bugs to say they really HELP. Toads eat thousands of mosquitos daily along with other bugs but you don’t want TOADS all over your patio area.
    2. Lizards leave their manure everywhere, it can even fall into the beds if in the house, also onto food if left uncovered outdoors, mere screens that protect the food from flies will not protect the food from the lizard manure that falls from above (most frequent occurrence).
    3. Sticky rat traps, a cardboard with highly sticky surface can be masking taped to the areas where these lizards move about. They will become trapped in the glue and can be disposed of in the trach. These simple glue traps sell for around 60 cents to $1.00.

    In the Republic of Panama the Gartija is trapped in this manner in various communication sites. The little wall lizard can enter places you can never imagine, to include electrical systems and electronic systems, even conduits which lead to equipments, causing shorts and damage to the equipment (has happened already to a printed circuit board used to control entrance gates).

  12. comment number 12 by: Anonymous

    The lunatic needs therapy for her fear disorder. I have a fear of lunatics that kill things for the sake of their own ignorance.

  13. comment number 13 by: Lizard scared

    I killed two Geckos with wasp spray. Feces is unsanitary - therefore I did not feel it was an option to let them roam freely (eating bugs and producing waste where I eat sleep and drink.They defecate wherever they chose which it not worth the return of eating a few insects. I can control the bugs with pest treatment. Geckos may also produce babies in the home.

  14. comment number 14 by: herpetophobia

    if lizards can one day mutate into cute fluffy animals then i would gladly welcome them into my home but while they look like that then no thank you. Most people might think its weird to be scared of lizards but Herpetophobia is real. and its just like any kind of phobia. so to all the haters, please learn to have an open and accepting mind. Nobody’s perfect.

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