How To Get Rid Of Lizards And Keep Them Away (House, Porch & Patio)


Although lizards are nonaggressive reptiles, many people fear them or simply hate them. This is especially true when they invade your home, porch, or garden. How you handle a lizard problem will depend on whether you have a single lizard or two or whether you have a lizard infestation.

Lizards don’t generally want to invade your house, garage, or patio. But, cities and suburbs have grown and invaded much of their natural habitats. As a result, they have learned to live around people.

How To Get Rid Of Lizards And Keep Them Away

The saying goes; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true of lizards. Lizards are usually shy and reserved. They can become very comfortable with people and some varieties of lizards can actually be tamed very easily.

Although you don’t want lizards in your home or on your porch, lizards perform an important service. A single lizard can eat as many as a dozen bugs and insects a day. They also eat spiders and cockroaches. Killing the local lizard population can cause a noticeably larger insect and spider population.

So, it’s important to take steps that discourage, prevent and keep lizards away from specific areas instead of killing or harming them.

How to keep lizards away

1. Remove The Lizard From Your Home

Occasional lizards can be removed from your home, while consistent, more frequent, and larger numbers of lizards should be dealt with on a more wide-scale basis. There are a number of ways that you can remove a lizard from your house.

You can get someone, such a neighbor child to remove it for you. You can also push it along with a rolled up newspaper. You can catch it in a box and relocate it. Or you can don a pair of gloves and pick it up and move it out of the house.

2. Check For Additional Lizards

Lizards don’t usually seek attention so if you see one lizard, you may have more lizards in the area. They usually hide in the corners of the house or under shelves, junk, or paper piles.

There are several signs of a lizard population in your house.

  • A scooting noise when you turn on the light when entering a room
  • The sensation of movement in your peripheral vision
  • Droppings that are black with a white tip
Many people hate indoor lizards
Photo Credit: Bart Everson Flickr

3. Take Control Of Your Bug Population

Lizards generally come into a house or make their home on a porch because they are following an easy food source. Spiders, flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches and other nasty bugs are all tasty meals to a lizard.

Some areas foster higher populations of insects such as wooded area, rivers, lakes, or old houses. That’s because there are lots of sources of food for bugs and many hiding places.

Take care to make your house uninviting to insects. Take care of the bugs and the lizards won’t be nearly as tempted to continue to enter your home. They will follow the food source and if the best food source is outside, they will stay outside.

Lizards seek food and water in homes
Photo Credit: kansasphoto Flickr

4. Eliminate The Water Source

In addition to following a food source, many lizards will also follow a water source. They are usually desert animals and can survive long periods of time without water. But, that doesn’t mean that they prefer to go long periods without water.

Lizards have evolved to seek water for survival and they will stay close to a water source if they find it.

Inside your house, that can be standing water in the base of a potted plant, a pet’s dish, or condensation on a water cooler. Lizards will find an easy hiding place near the water so that they can drink whenever they need to.

Its survival for them.

Eliminating the water source helps to encourage them to leave.

Lizards are attracted to standing water

5. Keep Your House Clean, Especially In the Corners

Houses with clutter, mess, or dirt are very likely to attract bugs and then lizards into them. Eliminate the hiding spots and the food attraction by keeping your house clean. Get rid of piles of magazines and newspapers. Clean the home office by going paperless and getting rid of the paper. Paper creates a great place for lizards to hide.

Trash, clutter, and other messes attract bugs, spiders, and cockroaches. Clean it up, throw it away, and eliminate all the places for these pests to hide. That will drastically help with your lizard problem.

This is one of the most important steps in keeping lizards out of your house.

6. Empty Kitchen Trash Cans And Keep Kitchen Sink Clean

Even clean families often have some dishes in the sink, but dirty dishes attract both lizards and bugs. The kitchen trash contains food scraps, lovers and other food for lizards. Although lizards love bugs, they can eat human food.

Most lizards are omnivores. That means that they can eat both meat and plants. That makes human food an acceptable meal to many lizards. (Not necessarily a healthy one if you have a lizard pet though.)

Take out your kitchen trash daily. Rinse your dishes and keep the kitchen sink clean. This will keep your sink dry as well as clean (eliminate food and water sources).

Geckos eat other lizards
Photo Credit: Bart Everson Flickr

7. Sweep And Mop After Meals

Crumbs gather the most easily in the corners of the room and under the kitchen table. Take of it by sweeping the kitchen and dining room after every meal. If you have children or pets and there are spills of food, then mop after every meal.

Mopping will eliminate the smell residue left on floors and keep from attracting pests into the kitchen area.

Since the kitchen is usually the room in the house that people desire to keep lizards out of, this will make a big difference.

8. Use Screen Door And Keep The Door Shut

Lizards often enter a house through an open door. Keep the lizards out by shutting the door. In areas where that isn’t practical because cooling the house requires opening the doors, install a screen.

A screen door with a spring will close automatically when people leave. This allows a breeze to waft through the house while also keeping lizards and other unwanted pests outside.

only 2 lizards are harmful to people
Photo Credit: Dawn Ashley Flickr

9. Repair Holes, Gaps, and Cracks Around The House

Lizards can scale through small and narrow cracks in the wall. Even small gaps between a window sill and the wall is small enough for lizards to crawl through.

Keep lizards from easily entering by sealing all cracks in the walls and foundation of the house. Fix holes in the wall and under the eves of the house. If you have a stucco or wood exterior, lizards can climb the walls more easily. You will need to be aware of cracks higher in the walls and under the roof eaves of the house.

10. Replace Or Fix Screens On All Windows

Lizards often enter a house through open windows. Even many types of metal or older windows have gaps that allow lizards in. Check all your windows and make sure that they all have screens covering the windows.

Repair all screens that are loose have gaps, holes, or rips in the screen.

If the metal casing of the screen doesn’t fit the window or is bent, replace the entire screen. This will help to keep lizards out.

Add screens to other areas where an opening exists, but can’t be covered or filled. This can include places where utility pipes enter the house or swamp coolers that have vents on them.

Most lizards are small and fit through screen holes
Photo Credit: Christopher Henry Flickr

11. Turn Off The Lights At Nights

Lizards are the most active at night. During the day, they prefer to sun and warm themselves. Often lizards are attracted to lights. This may be because bugs congregate around a light at night.

Lizards are often attracted to the porch or deck because of a light. Lizards make their way into a house because it’s lit up.

You can keep lizards from hanging out around your porch and deck, or other doorways into your home by turning off the porch light at night when you head to bed. This will encourage them to move around for food. It stops the flies and mosquitoes from buzzing around the light and eliminates the easy feast.

Turn off the lights in you house that you aren’t occupying.

12. Cool Down The Temperature

Lizards are cold-blooded. They run the fastest and are the ablest to hide or hunt when they are warm. That’s one of the reasons lizards sun themselves. They need and like to stay warm.

Cooling your house down a few degrees can make your home more uninviting.

It will make the lizards more lethargic and if your house is cool enough compared to outside, it will make them much more likely to seek the warmth of your backyard instead of your house.  

Lizards don't like cold
Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell Flickr

13. Sweep Your Porch, Windows, And Outside Areas

Just like you need to clean up your kitchen and other parts of your house, you can also keep lizards from congregating around the outside of your home. Lizards that live in your yard, around your trees, and garden do a lot of good. But if they also live close or against the outside of your house, it’s more likely that one or more of them will get into your home.

Sweep your deck area regularly. Sweep around light fixtures where bugs usually collect and often die. This is a big attraction for lizards.

Sweep your brown around window sills, door frames, and against junctions in your house. Forners where one wall meets another, or where your porch attaches to the house. Those little cracks and crevices are areas that often catch bugs and provide a great hiding place for the small reptiles.

14. Identify Problem Areas

If you have a recurring lizard population or areas where you continue to see them, take note. There might be cracks in that area of your house or something that is attracting the reptiles to that spot.

Take a look around and try to figure out and eliminate the reason lizards are coming. Eliminate the way they enter also.

You can add some lizard repellents to push lizards out of the area. This article covers several homemade repellents that are available in a lower section.

Lizards like warm areas

15. Check The Perimeter For Lizard Havens And Move Them

There might be specific spots around the outside of the house that attracts lizards. If these areas attract higher populations of lizards, then it is more likely that lizards will make their way into the house.

Walk around the house. Check for piles of things that lean against the house such woodpiles, trash, or rock piles. Porches or decks are another area to check out.

Bushes are another area that tend to attract lizards because it gives them a hiding spot and they can leave to bask in the sun.

Plus, bushes, woodpiles, and other areas with hiding spots tend to attract bugs. Bugs are the most common reason that lizards move into an area.

  1. Replace Carpet With Tile

This option is more expensive and is something you will probably only consider if you are already replacing your flooring in the house. Consider tile instead of carpet. This is especially pertinent in areas that are warmer.

It keeps your floors, and house, cooler which can discourage lizards. It also eliminates the camouflage and hiding spots for small lizards. A clean tile floor is the most difficult place for a lizard to hide.  

Keep lizards away from your house

16. Get A Cat

Cats are natural hunters. Many cat owners sweat that their feline friend keeps lizards out of the house. However, be aware that some lizards are poisonous to dogs and cats.

Often having another animal in the house that is a predator to lizards helps to keep them away.

17. Get A Gecko

This sounds counter-intuitive, because you want lizards out of your house, but getting a gecko to run free can eliminate the rest of the population of other lizards and insects from your home. Geckos will eat and chase away other types of lizards, although if you really hate all lizards, a gecko is a larger variety to deal with.

lizards can fit in small cracks

How To Remove A Lizard

Once a lizard has made it into your house, you will want to remove it. Killing the lizard isn’t usually recommended. First, many states protect several species of lizards. Even if you are confident you won’t get caught, consider the great benefits these lizards bring for them to be protected.

Lizards kill many insects and are not aggressive. There are only two types of lizards that are dangerous to humans. The Gila lizard and Mexican bearded lizard are only found in the Southern United States down to Brazil.

If you suspect one of these lizards has occupied your home, then you will want to use extra precautions in getting rid of it. Otherwise, there are several ways you can get rid of your reptile roommate.

 

  • Spray it with cold water. Lizards will not be able to move quickly or dart away if they are sprayed with cold water because they are cold-blooded. The colder the water, the more effective it is. While the lizard is immobilized, remove it out of the house.  
  • Remove it with a bowl and cardboard. Cover the lizard with a bowl. Take a piece of paper or cardboard and slide it under the bowl. This traps the lizard in the bowl. Take the lizard outside and release it by uncovering the bowl.
  • Get a neighborhood kid to come and get it out. Find a neighbor child who loves lizards to come to help you out. You will make a new friend and give the kid something to talk about. Plus they can learn a little more about local lizards!
  • Be careful grabbing its tail. Most lizard tails can detach as a defense mechanism. It allows them to get away from predators. When you catch a lizard, it’s best to grab its body between the front and back legs. That will keep it from escaping and keep your fingers away from its mouth.
  • Use a rolled up newspaper to encourage it away. Push the lizard along using a rolled up newspaper.
Lizards like to hide
Photo Credit: Mark Fischer Flickr

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Lizards

If you have spotted lizards in your house and want to place some homemade repellents to keep them away, there are several effective options you can use. Most repellents rely either on a lizard’s sense of smell, or its sense of fear of specific predators.

  • Onions keep lizards wa because they have a strong odor and will often repel other insects. Hang onions near the area where you have a lizard problem and monitor it for effectiveness.
  • Garlic also produces a strong odor for lizards. They tend to stay away from garlic, especially if they have a choice or place to go.
  • Pepper Spray can be used to fight reptiles. You can boil cayenne or hot peppers in water. Use jalapenos and add onions or garlic to the water to make it effective. There isn’t a specific combination that works magic, many combinations work well to keep lizards away. Just make sure the water boils for 20 minutes with a large number of peppers, onions, and garlic in the water. Strain it and spray in problem areas. It can also be applied on the deck or porch.
  • Tabasco Sauce is effective against lizards because it has a strong pepper scent and taste. However, it can be problematic and messy to smear tabasco sauce around your house. It’s probably best used outside.
  • Egg Shells deter lizards because they think that other animals occupy the space. Chickens and other large birds will usually eat lizards so they tend to stay away from egg shells. However, egg shells can stink after a while and start to attract other pests, so, be thoughtful about where you use them.
  • Peacock Feathers are frightening to lizards because peacocks eat lizards in abundance. The feathers are nature’s way of scaring away other animals and it works with lizards. It might be because the feather looks like an eye. Peacock feathers are not smelly or ugly so they are a good option.
  • Use Lemongrass or lemongrass essential oil. You can also use lemongrass tea bags. The strong scent usually deters lizards. Plus, the smell is usually more pleasant to people than egg shells, garlic or onions.
  • Coffee Grounds and Tobacco are often used together or separately. Coffee has a strong distasteful scent to lizards that blocks their sense of smell or natural food. Tobacco is poisonous to most lizards and will kill them if they digest it. You can combine coffee and tobacco together to create a potent repellent. Leave in an area where lizard frequent.
  • Moth Balls are often used as a lizard repellent, but they are only slightly effective. They should be used in closed drawers and closets. Mothballs are not safe for pets or people. The amount that is needed in an open room is toxic and unsafe. Be very cautious about trying mothballs or leaving them on the ground or around the house or yard.
  • Fly Paper Or Sticky Traps can be used to catch lizards. But, they can also be problematic around the house. Fly traps are sticky and can create a mess in the house. Although they are often suggested as a way to catch lizards. But, they also leave residue if laid flat where a lizard will cross. Sticky traps will catch lizards, but they will die a slow and painful death. They should be used as a very last resort.

Keep lizards away from the patio

Are Lizards Poisonous?

Most lizards are not dangerous to people. There are only two dangerously poisonous lizards in North America: The Gila Lizard and the Mexican Bearded Lizard. Both lizards can be found down into South America, particularly Brazile.

Europe doesn’t have any dangerous poisonous lizards that are native to it.

Africa and Australia may contain some very localized lizards that have small amounts of poison.

While other lizards may have venom, they are not dangerous to people. It’s only been recently that Australian researchers have identified venom in other types of lizards. Bearded lizards, Komodo dragons, and even the gecko lizard produce small amounts of venom that is used to kill their prey.

However, they are unable to produce enough venom to hurt humans. In a worst-case scenario, their bits causes small amounts of swelling in the area.

Plus, lizards are generally mild-mannered and won’t attack unless they feel threatened. Even then, they usually use other methods to get away before biting.

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