How to Catch a Lizard in the House Using a Box
Although lizards can be interesting, beautiful, and beneficial (because they eat many common pests such as roaches, crickets, and ants), few people want them running around loose in their home. But lizards don’t typically wait for an invitation; sometimes they take matters into their own hands.
If you find one of these independent thinkers in your home, you may be wondering how to successfully convince them to leave. Unfortunately, it will take a lot more effort on your part than it took to get them to join you in the first place. Since most lizards are beneficial, and most are harmless to humans, it's best to gently catch them, and then release them into the great outdoors, where they can still control pests around the outside of your home.
These Lizards are Poisonous!Click thumbnail to view full-size
On a cautionary note: although most lizards are harmless to humans, some will deliver a nasty bite. So if in doubt, do not catch them with your bare hands.
The Gila Monster and the Mexican beaded lizard are poisonous. (See pictures to the right.) Do not attempt to catch these lizards. It's best to leave these lizards to the experts. Contact a professional pest control service to help in the removal of these lizards.
Gather the Following Items (This is your Arsenal!):
- A plastic container, or a small cardboard box, such as a shoe box (if the lizard is to large for a shoe box, consider calling pest control)
- A broom, dowel rod, or yardstick
- A manila folder, or a flat piece of light weight cardboard
- A spray bottle of ice cold water
First things first. After determining that the lizard is not poisonous, gather your arsenal. Then, locate the lizard. Carefully and slowly approach the lizard so as not to frighten it into running away. If it is out of reach, you can use the broom or stick to herd the lizard to a place on the wall where you can easily reach them. Do not touch the lizard with the broom or stick; this could harm the lizard. Next spray the lizard with the water. The ice-cold water will slow them down, making them easier to catch.
Slowly place a side of the box against the wall close to the lizard, the opening facing the lizard. Then, using the broom handle or stick, slowly attempt to herd the lizard into the box. A frightened lizard will seek cover, such as in the box.
Once the lizard has gone into the box, carefully place the flat piece of cardboard or manila folder against the opening, blocking the lizard’s exit.
Then take the lizard outside and release it into your yard where it can take care of your pests there. You can just set the uncovered box outside in a shaded area, leaving it there until the lizard crawls out on its own.
If you cannot get the lizard to run into the box that you are holding against the wall, you will have to try a different tactic.
After herding the lizard into a convenient place, and spraying it with cold water, trap the lizard by quickly, yet carefully, placing the box over the lizard. Lizards are warm blooded. The cold water will cause the lizard to be slow and allow you to catch it.
Once the lizard is trapped, carefully begin sliding the manila folder between the box and the wall. Proceed slowly, giving the lizard time to transfer its footing from the wall to the manila folder, or you will hurt its feet. Keep sliding until the entire opening of the box is covered, trapping the lizard inside.
Slide your hand under the manila folder, holding it in place as you remove the box from the wall. Take the box outside and release the lizard. Again, just set the uncovered box outside in a protected area, allowing the lizard to crawl out on its own.
Although there are lizard snares, or lizard nooses, it’s best not to use these. These traps are prone to injure the lizard when it struggles against the noose that is looped around its neck or belly.
After going through the trouble of catching the lizard, you might want to go around your home and seal any entry points so the lizard, or his friends, doesn’t invite himself in again. This may entail sealing cracks and holes with caulk, and replacing worn or torn window screens.
After capturing the lizard, please don’t be tempted to keep it as a pet. It is likely to die if you do so because you will not be able to recreate the temperatures, humidity and feeding patterns to which it has become accustomed. Reptiles that are meant to be kept as pets can be purchased at a pet store.
Good luck, and happy hunting!
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© 2011 Cindy Murdoch