Everyone’s encountered it before: some kind of unwelcome critter invading your space, whether it’s rodents, a colony of insects, or, in some cases, a bunch of reptiles or amphibians. Maybe you’ve got a few house geckos or even a green iguana or two who have recently taken up residence in your home, garage, or garden. And perhaps, you want to get rid of these reptiles humanely. But how can you get rid of lizards?
Not to worry, though! You’ve actually got plenty of methods at your disposal to send the lizards on their way, and you definitely don’t have to go nuclear or harm them. Let’s take a look at the most effective ways to send those reptiles packing–as gently as possible, of course.
How to Humanely Get Rid of Lizards
There are many methods to get rid of lizards in your home, garden, or other structures on your property like garages and sheds. Some of the most effective deterrents include:
- Homemade and commercial repellents, most of which use a certain ingredient or odor that lizards naturally dislike
- Cutting down on their food sources by eliminating clutter and treating insect infestations
- Closing off any entry points like cracks in walls or doors
- Keeping your lawn and garden well-maintained and trimmed regularly
- Contacting a pest control company for severe infestations
There are lots of reasons why you’d want to get rid of lizards in your house or yard. For starters, they can be destructive to gardens, and they’re not the most pleasant surprise to find in your home. If left unchecked, many species’ populations can explode, meaning you can quickly go from one or two of the scaly invaders to an entire colony of them. Lizards can also invite other pests that commonly eat them, like snakes, frogs, and rodents.
Fortunately, in most cases, you’ll be able to tackle the issue on your own by simply making some changes around your home and yard. However, you have to be proactive, as again, lizards move and breed very quickly! They’re also a lot more clever and sneaky than the typical insect pest, meaning it can take multiple different measures to fully eradicate them.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at these methods and how you can implement them (and combine them if needed) to get rid of those pesky lizards.
Method 1: Lizard Repellents
One of the most effective means of getting rid of lizards and keeping them out is to use a repellent that they naturally dislike either the odor or taste of. There are many household products that work well for this purpose, such as:
- Coffee grounds
- Tobacco leaves
- Hot sauce
- Cayenne pepper
- Moth balls (Napthalene)
Additionally, many commercial spray products naturally deter lizards without outright harming them. These include brands like Natural Armor and Lizard Defense. Be sure to carefully check the labels and intended uses on any commercial sprays you use; not all of them are non-toxic to lizards, and some are actually unnecessarily harmful and painful to them.
When it comes to household lizard deterrents, a common method of applying them is to mix them with water in a spray bottle. This works especially well with hot sauce, garlic, and cayenne pepper in general. Other products like garlic cloves and moth balls should be placed near entryways and corners where the lizards tend to congregate.
Method 2: Limiting the Lizards’ Food/Shelter
Lizards are attracted to places where they can easily access their favorite foods like insects, vegetables, and fruits. Because of this, you should work to limit their food sources as much as possible around your home and garden.
Inside the home, be sure to sweep and vacuum food scraps and crumbs often, and take out the trash regularly. Treat any insect infestations both indoors and outdoors. Additionally, look into putting up a physical barrier around your garden and/or using deterrents (like those mentioned in the previous section) to keep lizards away from any fruit trees/vines/bushes and vegetable plots.
Above all, you want to focus on getting rid of any potential sources of food for the lizards. While many geckos and anoles prefer small insects, larger lizards like iguanas tend to take to eating plant matter. By keeping your spaces clean and free of any food scraps and limiting the lizards’ access to any tasty plants in your garden, you’ll find the crafty reptiles won’t stick around for long.
Method 3: Lawn/Home Maintenance
Another useful method of getting rid of lizards is to cut down on their hiding spots both in and around your home. Sealing off entry points like cracks in walls or doors and keeping your lawn mowed and well-maintained are the two best ways to accomplish this.
Most lizards feel safest when they have plenty of plant growth or clutter to hide in! If your home has a lot of clutter or your lawn is overgrown, you’ll find a lot of pests like lizards, insects, rodents, and more lurking amongst the chaos.
Take inventory of any potential lizard entry points around your home. You’d be surprised at how flexible many geckos and lizards really are! Even the tiniest cracks in walls or underneath doors can provide them with a quick and easy entrance and exit. Cut down on any useless clutter piling up, as this will also provide the lizards with hiding spots.
When it comes to your yard and garden, you’ll want to keep things trimmed and lawn decorations to a minimum. Mow your lawn often and keep it short! Trim any overgrown hedges, weeds, trees, and plant growth in general to further eliminate the lizards’ hideouts.
Know When to Call a Professional
Depending on the lizard infestation, the species and size of the lizards, and how far the issue has progressed, you may need to consult with a local pest control company to get rid of the lizards for good.
Some lizards, like green iguanas, are invasive, very large, and sometimes aggressive and even dangerous when provoked. Many species also have sharp teeth or claws you’ll need to look out for. Alternatively, some lizards can simply be too numerous to relocate on your own.
If you come across any lizards in the process of your eradication efforts, determine whether or not you’re able to relocate them personally, perhaps to a nearby park or forested area. If the lizards are small and non-aggressive, simply scoop them up into a container and cart them off to a safer spot away from your home. But remember to wear thick gloves while handling them. In the meantime, the other methods listed above will encourage the remaining lizards to move along to a new home.
However, if you’re dealing with a particularly large and aggressive species or the lizards’ numbers are simply too great for you to handle, it might be time to hand your dilemma off to the professionals. In this case, consider contacting local pest control companies, animal control, or other wildlife authorities for advice on how to proceed.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/savana poto
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