I recently woke up to my eleven year old son screaming in the middle of the night from the bathroom. Upon entering, I found him in the bathtub, trapped because there was a giant gecko on the door of the bathroom. Apparently, he had gotten up in the night to use the bathroom and while washing his hands saw this lizard crawling under the door. He’s scared to death of those lizards, and couldn’t pass the lizard to exit the room.
I live in Jamaica, and geckos are the bane of my existence. With Jamaica being a tropical island, lizards thrive and geckos usually take up residence inside our homes where it is warmer at nights. There are geckos in almost every home here, and most women- myself included, are afraid of them. There are many people who say that lizards are harmless creatures who perform a service by eating the small insects which live inside our homes, but for those of us who fear these creatures, seeing a lizard in the house can be very traumatic.
These creatures can actually be more trouble than they’re worth. For one, they leave their droppings all over the walls; wherever they go, their telltale black and white feces can be seen. Additionally, they can be very noisy. Their chirps are very, very loud, and can wake me up from the deepest sleep. It’s very disturbing to wake up and see one in the ceiling, or come in at night to find that a gecko is running along the wall to get away from me. I used to be scared to go into my kitchen at night because there’s a huge one that lived there.
For those of us who are terrified of these reptiles, here are a few tips on how to keep them outside where they belong.
Get a cat.
Cats are lizards’ natural enemies, and a lizard will not often venture inside the house when there is a cat present. I have a cat, but also very high ceilings. Geckos have the ability to walk upside down on the ceiling, and so will be safe from a cat up there. Having a cat in the house though will definitely reduce the number of geckos who decide to share your home.
Use pine scented cleaners.
This can be in the form of the original scented Pine Sol, or any other cleaner with a strong pine scent. I usually clean my surfaces with pine sol and at least until the scent wears off the lizards won’t come close. You can also mix the pine cleaner with equal part water and place in a spray bottle. Then spritz wherever the lizards hang out. This may not be safe for all surfaces, so use with caution.
Keep the inside of your house cool. Lizards are cold blooded creatures and need to remain in warm areas. They will not remain in air conditioned rooms, so you can keep the air conditioning on to keep them out.
Place screens on the windows
This is very practical in the tropics as we are plagued with mosquitoes and other pests. Screens on windows will usually keep the lizards out. Geckos can squeeze under doors and other small spaces so ensure that the spaces are absolutely close, and don’t leave doors and windows open at night.
Lizards won’t venture where they see eggshells, as these are associated with predators. Place eggshells around the house and the lizards will stay away.
Get rid of cockroaches and other insects.
Lizards will remain in the house if there are insects such as cockroaches, spiders, flies, mosquitoes and other small insects available for them to feed on. Using an insecticide to kill these pests will also rid your home of the lizards.
Try using glue traps
Placing a glue trap where lizards frequent will trap the little reptiles, after which you can just throw the trap away. It’s better to place bait such as a cricket or grasshopper on the glue. Obviously the lizard will be killed as a result, so those of you who prefer to save the lizard should not use this method. This method is very effective, but the sight of a lizard on the trap is not something I can tolerate, and in the past I’ve had to get someone else to remove the trap.
Spray the area with pepper sauce mixed with water. Geckos have very soft skin, and they cannot tolerate the pepper; they will stay away from the areas that are sprayed with the pepper, so you can spray the areas where they are often seen and where they crawl.
For many people, lizards especially geckos are seen as cute and friendly, but for others they are a nuisance. I don’t find it pleasant to share my home with a family of lizards who insist in living inside rather than outside where they would be out of the way. Some of these methods have worked for me in the past and I hope they work for you too.
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.
Sharon P on August 21, 2020:
Geckos can carry salmonella so not so cute and they are big poopers....no thank you....I cannot stand them and I live in a tropical climate also
Lizards are not the devil on August 04, 2020:
I can't believe what I'm reading. Why on earth do you want to get rid of these invaluable animals? Did you know that they eat hundreds of insects (i.e. mosquitoes) each night? They are very helpful animals and you want them out of your home. Come on, make yourself a favor and let them live besides you. They will never bite you, nor poison or any other insane things people wrongly believe.
Heavi on July 01, 2020:
Has anyone tried the pepper mixed with water in a spray bottle??
Azhan on September 24, 2018:
Only reason glue traps won't work for me is.....how will I pick it up to their away....and how will I look at it to pick it up anyway...there's a woodslave(that's what hat we call them here in antigua) that just ran to the corner of my room and now anything that touchesme sends me into a panic....I'm now just standing in the centre of my room contemplating whether to sleep in the living room cuz this blog won't help now.
Russell on October 21, 2017:
I did an experiment at few years ago. I closed my air vents, preventing geckos from entering the apartment. After a week or so I noticed an increase in moths within the house. Soon we had weevils or flour bugs in our biscuits, rice and cereals. Fine webs for cocoons were everywhere. I removed the vent covers and in less than a week we noticed a difference.
A on February 20, 2017:
Am a Ja also so a fraid of lizard I even want to sell my house I need help
Collie from currently Asia on May 23, 2015:
Sheene, great ideas. The eggshells i knew about but the rest no. A quick story......i moved to Pakistan two years ago with my work (I am also Jamaican by the way) and after moving into my house, started seeing lizards...lots of lizards. Yes, i have a serious lizard phobia..nuh like seeing them!! Anyway, one of my Pakistani told me about the eggshells which I have been using and it seems to work but they appear to lose their deterrence after a few months. I will have to try other suggestions in combination. Thanks
Sloane Jackson on May 05, 2014:
I was looking for details on a very rare large gecko that science has not seen for a while. Please confirm something for me. How big was the lizard in the picture? How big do they get where you live? Which part of Jamaica is this? I would appreciate your help with this.
You could also just send me an email at email@example.com thank you.
Sheene Kirlew (author) from Jamaica on February 01, 2014:
Pamela, I agree; the glue trap is inhumane as it is nearly impossible to remove the lizards from the trap. I've accidentally caught one in the past and unfortunately the gecko could not be saved. Thanks for reading and commenting!
dwayne b on January 23, 2014:
I am a man, but I developed a phobia for these lizards when I was a child. Still do. I share your fear.
Pamela Dapples from Just Arizona Now on January 08, 2014:
Very good ideas you've let us in on. I don't like the glue idea, but the rest seem humane enough if you don't have the ability to catch and place the lizard outside. I used to be afraid of lizards, but that was decades ago. I don't want them in the house though -- leaving fecal matter and bacteria.
starpilwax from 20900 NE 30th Ave Suite 800, Aventura, Florida 33180, Country-USA on April 18, 2013:
giant gecko looking strange