Yards pose greater difficulty in keeping lizards away than houses, because of how large they are, there are few physical barriers to keep lizards away, and they offer so much lizard fun (and places to hide). But, with a little diligence, you can keep lizards away.
1. Get Rid of Standing Water
Probably the biggest step you can take is to get rid of all standing water around your yard. This can be something like a kiddy pool, a bucket, or a pond. Standing water can include a drain area that collects water and doesn’t drain well or a puddle that hangs around after monsoon season.
Install a french drain, dump the water, or get rid of the birdie bath. Water attracts bugs and insects, which in turn attract lizards. Plus, as a desert animal, lizards are naturally attracted to water.
This makes water an especially strong lizard magnet. Preventing standing water can take some time depending on what kind of standing water you have, and a bit of work, but it will help to make your yard more unattractive to lizards.
2. Clean Up Hiding Spaces
Lizards have many predators and are cold-blooded. That means they like to stay hidden when possible. Under leaves, rocks, and branches provide protection for lizards. Even under the leaves of strawberry plants, which grow leaves close to the ground, provide protection.
Cut back bushes and eliminate low-cover areas. If you grow strawberries or other short ground cover-type plants, consider moving them up and into containers. This will eliminate the areas that lizards can hide.
Other areas that lizards like to hide include woodpiles, debris piles, and trash piles. Don’t forget to rake your leaves up. I once found a lizard living in my window well. Regularly inspect your property for areas that can hide or protect a lizard and clean it up. If you have a compost pile, move it to the furthest corner away from your house.
3. Eliminate Succulents From Your Landscaping
Getting rid of cacti and other succulents may not be something you want to do. They are a beautiful water-conscious way to landscape your yard.
But, succulents are attractive to lizards because they offer shelter and water. They often also attract small insects to their protective shadows and areas.
If you have a large lizard issue, then eliminating succulents from your landscaping can help to keep lizards from coming into your yard. At the very least, keep succulents away from the area immediately surrounding your house and porch.
4. Grow Peppermint Around Your Yard
Peppermint produces a strong scent that lizards find repulsive. Grow peppermint around your yard to make it unattractive to lizards. Peppermint can act like a weed and quickly take over so I recommend that you take measures to keep it from spreading. Plant it in pots or areas with in-ground barriers. Even when I plant peppermint in the dirt, I keep it in a buried pot to stifle it’s abundant growth.
5. Keep Your Cat Around
Cats are natural predators of lizards. They will catch and eat lizards frequently. You can control your lizard population by letting your cat outside (or getting an outside cat). But, be aware. Lizards aren’t the only animal hunted by cats. Cats are also the #1 predator of small birds.
Letting your cat guard your house can help to reduce lizards in the area as well as mice and rats.
6. Grow Euctaliptus Plants
Lizards don’t like eucalyptus plants because of their scent. Eucalyptus is usually considered a positive smell to people, but its strength of it, particularly to lizards is enough to keep them away. Plant eucalyptus plants around your yard and house to create a no-lizard zone.
7. Raise Peacocks
Peacocks are a natural predator of lizards. If you enjoy animals, raising peacocks can be a fun hobby to pursue that will also help to keep lizards away. Peacocks love to eat lizards.
You might also have some luck with chickens. My chickens have been known to catch and eat lizards as well. Some chicken breeds are more assertive in catching small pests like mice and lizards, while others tend to lounge around.
But, peacocks are pretty consistent in targeting lizards as the next meal. Lizards hate peacocks and instinctively know they are a grave danger to them. As a result, live peacocks will both eat existing lizards and effectively keep neighboring lizards out of the area.
8. Grow Pencil Trees
Pencil trees, a highly stinky tree keeps lizards away. Additionally, their sap is poisonous (to lizards and pets) so lizards tend to stay away. Pencil trees thrive in warm conditions so they usually do well in natural lizard habitats. Use pencil trees to create a line that will consistently work to keep lizards away.
9. Use Pesticides to Control Bugs
You can also use commercial pesticides to control the bug populations in your lawn and around the outside of your yard. Pesticides don’t target lizards, instead eliminating their food source: bugs.
The purpose of the pesticide is to drastically reduce, or eliminate, bug populations in your lawn, under your bushes, and around your house. This reduced “food supply” encourages lizards to move on in search of better food.
10. Grow Garden Plants that Repel Lizards
In your garden, grow plants that repel lizards. Some of these include lemongrass, onions, and garlic. Strategically place them around your garden to keep the lizards out. Lizards are sensitive to the smells and tend to stay away.
11. Herb of Grace Repels Lizards
Around your yard, Herb of Grace effectively keeps lizards at bay. It’s used as an ornamental plant so it will belong in your landscaping while doing it’s job to keep lizards away.
12. Natural Sprays Around the Yard
You can also keep lizards temporarily away by spraying around your yard or a specific area. Create a DYI lizard repellent by boiling water, hot peppers, garlic, and onions. Spray the smelly water around your yard.
The difficulty of this solution is that it’s only temporary so you have to keep doing it. It can also take up a bit of time to effectively cover your yard area. And, it’s more time-consuming than the other options. But, if you rent or have a small space then spraying a custom pepper spray can help keep lizards away.
13. Coffee Grounds
If you are a coffee drinker, or know someone who is, save your old coffee grounds. Sprinkle them around the area to keep lizards away. Coffee grounds smell strong and repel lizards. Use them around your porch, garden, or around the house. If you have enough coffee grounds, you could sprinkle them around your yard and reapply them as soon as you complete the job. This will help to keep the scent fresh and strong.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Pinesol Keep Lizards Away? Pinesol can keep lizards away because of its strong scent. Reapply as soon as the scent dies down to maintain Pinesol’s effectiveness.
Do Mothballs Keep Lizards Away? In small areas, such as cupboards or dresser drawers, mothballs can keep lizards away. But, they are less effective outside and can cause harm or death to pets and small children who consume them.
When do Lizards Come Out? In most areas, lizards come out in the early spring, around March time. Lizards’ clutches will usually hatch around early summer in June or July. You may see an increase in lizard activity around these months.
How do I Keep Lizards Out of My House? Keeping lizards out of your house requires different steps than keeping them out of your yard. Be sure to check out what steps you should take for a lizard-free residence.
How do I keep lizards away from my backyard? Keep lizards out of your backyard by making it an unpleasant place for them to reside. Eliminate the plants and places that attract lizards. Drain all standing water. And, implement plants that repel lizards into your landscaping. Although lizards don’t usually pose a threat to children, you may need to keep them out of certain areas within your backyard. You can do this by focusing on repelling them stronger through smelly plants such as eucalyptus.
How do I keep lizards away from my garage? Eliminate lizards from your garage by keeping cleaner than most garages are kept. Spray the area with a pesticide to keep bugs away. Clean out all cobwebs, pest droppings, and areas where bugs and spiders congregate. Garages are usually dark and offer many hiding places. Eliminate those areas or frequently clean and air them out. Lizards are usually attracted to garages because of the dust and bugs that reside in a garage. If you eliminate those attractions, lizards won’t generally go inside a garage.