How to Catch a Lizard in the House Using a Box

Updated on September 20, 2017
homesteadbound profile image

Cindy has always been fascinated by life in the sea and has had several saltwater aquariums, one a natural reef.

The beautiful male Anole Lizard does bite!
The beautiful male Anole Lizard does bite! | Source

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
Gila Monsters can bite quickly and hold on tenaciously.Mexican Beaded lizard is a close cousin of the Gila Monster.
Gila Monsters can bite quickly and hold on tenaciously.
Gila Monsters can bite quickly and hold on tenaciously. | Source
Mexican Beaded lizard is a close cousin of the Gila Monster.
Mexican Beaded lizard is a close cousin of the Gila Monster. | Source

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

Garden Lizard
Garden Lizard | Source

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.

Leopard Gecko
Leopard Gecko | Source

Tactic #1

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.

Leaf-tailed Gecko
Leaf-tailed Gecko | Source

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.

Tactic #2

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.

How Not to Catch a Lizard. This could cause harm to the lizard; and, some lizards lose their tails to distract would be predators.
How Not to Catch a Lizard. This could cause harm to the lizard; and, some lizards lose their tails to distract would be predators. | Source

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!

Have you ever had to remove a lizard from your home?

See results

How did you remove the lizard?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2011 Cindy Murdoch


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 months ago

      Some lizards are very poisonous so we should get some lizards and let the scientist figured out why and we should know that if we get the lizard out of their home then we have to stop cutting trees for the Tigers to so they can climb on trees for the lizards.Thankyou.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have this lizard in my home! I don't know where it is. How can I lure it out?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I found one little rascal outside my house yesterday and I used a broom to keep it at bay. Unfortunately my brother in law had killed it when I went inside for a box :(

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      If the lizard is in the house, try the method that I have outlined here. It might be good to get a friend to help you. Lizards in the backyard are good because they will eat lots of bugs. You might try to find someone who knows something about lizards in your area to let you know if it is poisonous or not. Most lizards are not poisonous however.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i need help cattchin this one liz and i don't now if it will bite me or be pousian. and threr all over my backyard i need help

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Moon Daisy - I too enjoy lizards. I do think it would be interesting to have one in my home. Glad you stopped by!

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      8 years ago from London

      Oh I love lizards, and the thought of having one in my house is a lovely one! Sadly we don't get many in London though. The only lizard I've heard of here is the slow worm, which is a kind of legless lizard. My neighbour often sees one in her garden.

      I'm enjoying reading hubs about lizards, thanks!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Cloverleaf-Yeah, I really liked the first picture. It did a good job of showing the teeth so that people would know that when a lizard bites, it just might hurt!

      Qsera-Always glad to help. Thanks for stopping by.

    • qsera profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks a lot for sharing these tips! You have made my day! I hate lizards and now I know what has to be done whenever I see a lizard in my home.

    • Cloverleaf profile image


      8 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Ooooh cool pictures, homesteadbound! The first one made me jump a bit!

      Fortunately we don't have to worry about catching lizards in Calgary, but if I ever need instructions then I will know exactly where to come :-)


    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      viryabo, thanks for stopping by. It is good to know the tricks before being faced with the situation. Glad I could help. Hopefully, you don't have to use them any time soon however.

    • viryabo profile image


      8 years ago

      Phew! I really needed this.

      Lizards are pests i'm really not worried about when i sight them outside, but when they get indoors, it's almost impossible to catch them.

      Now i know the tricks.

      Thanks for sharing this Homesteadbound.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)