Discover 5 Smells Lizards Absolutely Hate and Keep Them Out of Your House

Written by Sam Hindman
Published: October 16, 2023
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For some people, having lizards invading your home isn’t even a possibility. That’s because these creatures don’t gather in many areas. But, if you do live in an area heavily populated by lizards, you know that one can turn into one hundred in the blink of an eye. Seeing them outdoors is one thing, as you might enjoy the sight of them on occasion, but having them invade your home is a separate issue entirely. That’s why, in this article, we’ll be breaking down one of the safest and most humane ways to get these critters out of your home as soon as possible- by using smells that lizards hate!

5 Smells Lizards Absolutely Hate
Lizards are among the pests that are repelled by these scents.

What’s The Problem With Having Lizards In Your Home?

Although it’s true that many people find lizards cute, there are those who have strong phobias of these reptiles.

©Bohringer Friedrich / Creative Commons

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Unlike some other creatures, like rats, for instance, lizards aren’t going to cause very much (if any) physical damage to your living space. That being said, there are a number of reasons why you might not want these guests regardless of whether or not they’re causing any outright damage.

First off, some people just don’t enjoy reptiles. The fear of reptiles, which is known as Herpetophobia, is actually incredibly common. Look at it this way: Lizards are small, they run around quickly and can have an unsettling appearance to some.

Besides, lizards in the wild aren’t the most sanitary creatures in the world. Lizards might be harmless, but the possible illnesses they can carry and spread are far from it. Their skin and excrement are not things that you want to get into your food supply, and kitchens tend to be some of their favorite parts of the home due to its temperature and access to meals.

The Reasons You Have Lizards In Your Home

lizard on lightbulb

Lizards are attracted to warmth and warm environments, which could be why they settle into your home.


You might be asking yourself, “How did I get into this situation in the first place?” This is a fair question. Once you to find out the smells that lizards hate and get rid of them, you don’t want them to return in the future. There are actually several reasons why lizards enjoy being inside your home, with these being the most likely:

  • Your Home Is Cozy: Lizards are ectothermic, and thus need to regulate their body temperate themselves. Your home is certainly warm compared to the outdoors, which is why these infestations are more common in the winter months.
  • They Want To Settle Down: When it’s time for them to breed, lizards will seek out areas that are safe and secluded. Your home provides a perfect space to lay their eggs without being targeted by predators like birds.
  • One Infestation Led To Another: Lizards are hungry creatures. Part of this diet is insects, like ants and even cockroaches. If you already have a bug infestation, this can signal to the lizards that they’re also more than welcome to come on in!
  • Pure Coincidence: Lizards are, at the end of the day, curious creatures. Sometimes their exploration can lead them to unintended destinations, like your home. Lizards might wander in without any kind of specific purpose in mind.

Smells That Lizards Hate

Mournful Gecko walks on a home wall

There are plenty of scents that lizards will heel turn away from as soon as they’re spotted!

©chameleonseye/iStock via Getty Images

As you can tell, it doesn’t really matter how the lizards got in. What truly matters is that there are universal ways to deal with the problem after it has presented itself. Without further ado, it’s time to get into the smells that lizards hate so that you can begin applying these scents around your home.

Try Using Natural Removal Methods First

There are several commercialized lizard repellents on the market. That said, none of those will be listed below. This is because, while they aren’t directly dangerous, there are some risks associated with chemically-based products. Instead, we’ll be listing natural repellents that come from everyday items that are non-harmful to humans. Who knows, maybe you’ll even have a few of these lying around the house!

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint, Essential Oil, Label, Alternative Lifestyle, Alternative Therapy

Peppermint essential oil can be used to repel pests such as lizards.


One of the best things about smells that lizards hate is that the majority of them are simultaneously smells that humans love! One of these examples is peppermint oil. Not only peppermint, but anything else that has a strong minty scent, will be quick to send lizards running. On top of lizards, there are plenty of other pesky creatures who hate the smell of mint. Just be sure that when you’re distributing the oil, it’s been diluted with water first. Pure oil can harm your surfaces or even yourself in strong concentrations. You can distribute the diluted solution all over your home, but if you know where the lizards are most strongly populated, try to target that area.

2. Citronella

Mosquito repellent. Citronella essential oil and fresh leaves on wooden background. Tag with citronella text

Citronella has been used to repel mosquitoes and other pests for years.


Citronella (or lemongrass, in a pinch) is a scent that is most well-known for keeping away insects. More specifically, it’s known as a repellent for mosquitos and is commonly found in candles made for outdoor use. But, mosquitos aren’t the only critters that dislike citronella- you can add lizards to the list.

The reason why this is so effective is because of the terpenes within the plant. The sensitive olfactory system of a lizard just can’t handle the scent it emits. The use of this particular smell that lizards hate is that it’s a double-whammy of sorts. It doesn’t just keep out lizards, but also the insects that it might have been attracted to in the first place.

3. Spicy Scents

Spray with chili pepper and powder on beige background

Oil from chili peppers can be sprayed to repel pests.


This one is quite general because many household items can work all the same for their purposes. Lizards not only hate the way that spicy things smell but they can get hurt if their skin comes into contact with them. That said, never go out of your way to harm these little creatures. Simply use a brisk amount of the following materials in areas where you don’t want the critters roaming around:

  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne paper
  • Hot sauce

4. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds can be scattered where lizards aren’t wanted.

© Lee Photography

Do you love the smell of a fresh pot of coffee in the morning? Well, one thing is for sure: Lizards do not! Since coffee grounds have such a pronounced aroma, it can be heavily displeasing to the senses of a lizard. The best part is that you don’t even need to use up any of your precious beans. Instead, just use the leftover grounds from a pot of coffee that you’ve already brewed! Since it still has the same scent, it will work all the same when scattered around known entry points into your home.

5. Eucalyptus


Many pests – including lizards – are repelled by the scent of eucalyptus.

© Denisenko

The use of eucalyptus to repel unwanted pests has been common throughout the world for a very long time. That said, no one knows quite why these critters hate the refreshing scent so much. Regardless of the reason, it holds true that lizards will avoid the smell of eucalyptus at all costs. If you have some essential oils around, or you’re looking to test out a new signature scent for your home, this can be a two-for-one solution.

What To Do If You’re Still Having Lizard Issues

Carolina Anole (american anole, green anole)

Some battles are hard to win alone. If your lizard infestation becomes serious, don’t be afraid to contact a professional.

©Victoria1988/iStock via Getty Images

Utilizing smells that lizards hate is an incredibly effective way to get rid of these creatures in your home. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re effective all of the time. Sometimes, the key to successfully ridding yourself of an infestation is to tackle it from every possible angle. In order to do so, consider some of the aforementioned reasons why the lizards find your home appealing, and try to tweak it so that they’re less inclined to stop in. Experiment to the best of your ability, and try scent combinations if possible. In the end, it’s not worth the trouble if it begins taking a sincere toll on your mental and emotional health. In severe cases where your lizard problem persists, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to get the situation handled.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Cora Unk Photo/

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About the Author

Sam Hindman is a writer at A-Z animals covering a range of topics, including pet care, plant care, pest control and travel destinations. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Multimedia Studies at Point Park University, set to graduate in the spring of 2024. A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when she isn't writing, she's spending time with her beloved cat Archie.

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