Geckos are small lizards that are found in warm climates all over the world. There are over 1800 species of geckos, with different sizes, colors, and characteristics. Some species of geckos are able to vocalize, while others are mute. They have excellent eyesight and specially adapted toe pads that allow them to cling to almost any surface.
It is common for geckos to take up residence inside and around homes, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. Their ability to stick to walls and ceilings allows them to crawl indoors through small cracks and openings. While geckos coming into the home may cause some concerns for homeowners, these small lizards are generally harmless and even beneficial.
In this article, we will explore why geckos may enter homes, how they get inside, what attracts them indoors, and whether they pose any risks. We’ll also provide tips on removing unwanted house geckos humanely and preventing future gecko invasions. Read on to learn all about the reasons behind geckos coming into houses and what can be done when they move in uninvited.
Why Do Geckos Come Into Houses?
There are a few key reasons why geckos end up coming into homes:
Searching for food and water
Geckos are opportunistic feeders and they will go wherever food is abundant. Houses provide a stable source of small insects that geckos like to eat such as spiders, flies, moths, roaches, and ants. Geckos may also be attracted to pet food left out, crumbs, or condensation from appliances for a drink of water.
Seeking shelter and safety
Geckos use buildings as shelter from predators and harsh environmental conditions. Cracks, crevices, and gaps in the structure of a house provide ideal hiding spots. Being indoors also protects geckos from temperature extremes, storms, and sun exposure.
Finding mates and laying eggs
The nooks and crannies in homes can serve as nesting sites for geckos to lay their eggs. Indoors may offer more stable humidity and temperatures for gecko eggs to hatch successfully compared to natural outdoor nests.
Attracted to lights and warmth
Geckos are drawn to the artificial light emitted from lamps, appliances, and fixtures in and around homes. These light sources attract insects at night that geckos prey upon. Geckos also enjoy basking in the ambient heat that builds up inside homes.
How Do Geckos Get Inside Houses?
Geckos are incredible climbers and can exploit even the smallest defects in a building’s exterior to gain entry. Here are the main ways geckos find their way indoors:
Through cracks and gaps
The most common entry point for geckos is through cracks, crevices, holes, or separation gaps in walls, roofs, doors, windows, and foundations. Openings as small as 1/16th of an inch are enough for a gecko to squeeze through. They take advantage of damage, wear and tear, and poor construction.
Under doors or window sills
Geckos are flat enough to slide themselves underneath doors, especially at night when gaps open up due to changing temperatures. They can also crawl under loose fitting windows and sills. Screens do not pose much of an obstacle for their sticky feet.
Via pipes, vents, and ducts
Geckos can access the inner walls and ceilings of homes through openings for plumbing, exhaust vents, chimneys, and AC ducts. Loose covers and screens provide them an path indoors through these channels.
Hitching a ride on objects
Geckos are experts at clinging onto surfaces. They may inadvertently get brought inside by holding onto furniture, boxes, plants or other objects moved indoors. Vehicles parked near gecko habitats are prime hiding spots for potential rides.
What Attracts Geckos to Houses?
Once inside a home, geckos are drawn to certain areas based on optimal conditions and resources for survival. Here are the main house features that can attract geckos:
An abundance of other bugs, especially flies, ants, roaches, spiders, moths and mosquitoes will entice geckos. They will hunt wherever prey is plentiful. An insect problem inside is a magnet for geckos.
Places with adequate humidity
Geckos prefer humid microclimates such as bathrooms and basements. These areas provide the right moisture levels to keep their skin hydrated and aid in shedding.
Warm, dark spaces
Geckos thermoregulate by moving between sun and shade. They like warm, dark areas inside homes like attics, garages and behind appliances. Dark spaces also provide good daytime hiding spots.
Surfaces they can climb
Geckos gravitate to locations with plenty of exposed walls, beams, pipes, shelves, curtains and textured surfaces they can scale using their specialized toe pads. Smooth vertical surfaces are more challenging.
Places to hide and nest
An abundance of nooks, crannies, closets, cracks and crevices provide geckos with plenty of options for concealment and laying eggs. They prefer tight, enclosed spaces.
|Location||Why Geckos Are Attracted|
|Attics||Warm, humid, insect infested, plenty of hiding spots|
|Garages||Bugs around lights, warm from car engines, lots of clutter to hide in|
|Bathrooms||Humidity, insects near drains and vents, tile walls for climbing|
|Kitchens||Crumbs and spills provide food, appliances offer warmth|
|Closets||Dark enclosed spaces, rarely disturbed|
Are House Geckos Harmful?
Geckos get an unfair reputation as pests. In reality, they do not damage homes or pose any real hazards. Here are some key facts about the risks and benefits of geckos:
Geckos are harmless to humans
Geckos are timid, non-venomous lizards that avoid confrontation. While surprising to encounter inside, they will not bite or attack people. Their small size also limits any potential damage if accidentally stepped on.
They do not spread diseases
There are no known diseases associated with geckos that can infect humans. Basic hygiene and washing hands after contact avoids any health concerns. Geckos groom themselves frequently like cats.
Gecko droppings are not an issue
The tiny amount of waste geckos produce is harmless. Their poop tends to dry quickly into solid pellets that are easy to sweep up and sanitize. Gecko droppings do not cause any smells or stains.
They help control insect pests
Geckos are highly beneficial for their ability to eat large quantities of annoying flies, mosquitoes, roaches and spiders. This free pest control service can reduce the need for chemical treatments.
No property damage
Geckos do not chew on furniture, wires or damage structures. Their small size and weight prevents any real wear and tear. At most, they may leave greasy smears on walls and windows from their skin.
How to Get Rid of Geckos Inside the House
While not necessarily problematic, homeowners may want to evict unwanted geckos from the premises. Here are some humane tips for removing house geckos:
Seal up entry points
Inspect around windows, doors, pipes, vents and cracks. Seal up openings with caulk, expandable foam, weather stripping, screening or other materials to block access from outside.
Use gecko repellents
Peppermint oil, garlic, onion, and vinegar can be sprayed in entry areas. Mothballs may also deter geckos with their strong scent. Avoid harmful chemicals.
Set sticky traps
Non-toxic glue boards and sticky pads can snare geckos. Place along known gecko paths in garages, attics and basements. Release unharmed geckos outdoors away from the home.
Eliminate infestations of other insects inside the house. Also fix any water leaks, reduces humidity, and Seal up food sources like open pet food bags and crumbs. Turn off unnecessary lights at night.
Use gentle exclusion
Guide stray geckos toward exits using brooms and other gentle urging techniques without harming them. Provide ramps and buckets to allow trapped geckos to easily escape.
Consider professional removal
For severe gecko infiltrations, pest control experts can exclude large numbers from the home humanely. Look for “catch and release” services instead of extermination.
Preventing Gecko Infestations
While occasional stray gecko visitors are inevitable in certain climates, large-scale infestations inside a home can be prevented:
Install door sweeps and screens
Add door sweeps and draft stoppers at floor thresholds and screen over vents, windows and pipes to block access. Ensure screens fit tightly and have no tears.
Caulk and seal openings
Inspect the exterior of the home and seal up any cracks wider than 1/16th inch with flexible caulk and expandable foam. Prioritize areas near lights and known entrances.
Improving insulation, especially in the attic, helps regulate interior temperatures and condensation that can attract geckos looking for suitable microclimates.
Keep vegetation like ivy and dense shrubs trimmed back from the home’s exterior. Eliminate hiding spots near the structure’s perimeter. Install gravel borders as barriers.
Use pest control when needed
Treat more severe insect infestations that could be drawing geckos inside. Consult a professional for the most effective and environmentally safe solutions.
While having geckos sneak into a home can be alarming, these beneficial lizards are generally harmless and hygienic companions. Their insect-eating tendencies can even be advantageous for natural pest control. Sealing cracks, modifying conditions, and using gentle removal tactics can discourage unwanted gecko visitations. With proper preventative measures, homeowners can achieve tolerable coexistence levels with local gecko populations.