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Discouraging Geckos
House overrun by geckos
Charlie D
ID#: 15961
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1:07:00 PM on 01-01-2006
I have a friend whose house is overrun with geckos to the point that they want to find a humane way to remove or discourage the geckos.  The population inside the house is getting bigger and bigger and although they love these creatures they are starting to see it as a health concern because of the deposits the geckos are leaving around the house.

I am hoping to find a humane way for them to chase the geckos out and stop them from coming back in - they are okay outside the house - not a concern there.

I have had two thoughts on this:  1.  They are probably drawn to the house in the first place because of the moths drawn to the windows by the lights inside the house at night - to put curtains in the windows that stop the light drawing the moths in the first place might help by eliminating one of the main food sources.  2.  Maybe there is some sort of organic spray that could be applied around the house that they find repulsive but that does not harm them - like with the bugs that eat the vegetable gardens in a different thread here...

Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!
ID#: 15962
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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1:55:51 PM on 01-01-2006
Do they have fly screens?

Perhaps they could just pack them up and bring them down to my place. I've got quite a few but I would be happy with more. I pretty sure they are the reason I've had so few spiders this summer.
And spiders are where I have a major moral crisis. But I have no moral crisis with the geckos eating them.
Charlie D
ID#: 15963
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1:59:53 PM on 01-01-2006
Yes, they have flyscreens on most of the windows...

At the moment they are contemplating spraying for insects to get rid of the food source.  I think best to let the cycle run itself - geckos eliminate insects... but anyway, now I'm wondering if the spray that kills insects will also kill geckos?

If geckos were in any way simple to catch I would happily spend time relocating them.
ID#: 15978
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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4:35:12 PM on 01-01-2006
can't imagine it (insect spray) is too good for the geckos.

I'm afraid I have no idea what the solution is.

They are indeed hard to catch. My cat has so far managed one, but apparently it wasn't very palatable because it come straight back up....
Luckily the geckos stay up pretty high
Dark Horse

ID#: 15987
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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9:28:23 PM on 01-01-2006
I certainly wouldn't use spray to get rid of the insects - and if only some of the windows are screened, I think it would be a good idea to do them all and to make sure that they were a pretty firm fit.  But how to get them out - that's another thing.  I was going to suggest ringing National Parks and Wildlife, but they probably wouldn't be very helpful as they are not native.  I then thought of ringing a herpatologist from the Yellow Pages - but there wasn't one!!  In the Index under "Reptiles", they directed you to Pet Shops - and I wouldn't ask them about anything!  Maybe Australia Zoo might have some ideas?  Maybe have a few friends come over with butterfly nets but that would take a looooong time and you wouldn't get them all anyway.  Failing that, ask your vet, but don't think vets would be able to help much in that department.  Good luck, in whatever avenue you follow.
ID#: 15993
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11:53:52 PM on 01-01-2006
I have been wondering the same thing re dealing with prospect of being overrun with geckoes. I am particularly upset because I like spiders and they have near all disappeared - and we had fewer cockroaches when we had spiders as well.  I definitely would suggest NOT to spray pesticides - neurotoxic to people as well as insects. This would be cruel to the geckoes and rest of the household eco-system but leave the cockroaches with less competition and predators.  If you find a natural repellant let me know. Otherwise I may be contacting this group in future myself to see if someone wants to adopt a few geckoes. Thanks.
ID#: 15996
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8:12:12 AM on 02-01-2006
I think that the obvious thing is to reduce the food supply by screening.
They are probably asian geckos but I think that we also have native ones.
I've heard Ric Nattrass mention them in his 'Wildlife Talkback' programme on ABC Radio Brisbane (612 AM). It's usually on at 3pm on Mondays except when there's a big cricket match. You could contact him via his website -

ID#: 16006
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10:50:30 AM on 02-01-2006
We have not had our house sprayed for nearly 7 years due to the great job the geckos do at cleaning up insects.

How many geckoes is "overrun"? Our population seems to have stabilised and at most we get 4-5 inside at the peak season for their activity (that would be now). Screening all windows definitely helps keep them out of the house. But they are generally happier where there are most insects and the most light (to attract insects).

Yes, they do leave a few droppings around, but cleaning that up occasionally is a small price to pay for the benefit of not having to use toxic chemicals.

Also, we still have spiders, so the geckoes don't eat them all, if at all. Perhaps the spiders have moved on if there has been competition for food? I have never seen a gecko eat one.

I imagine some strategically placed lights (on eaves/outside walls) would attract a fair amount of them away from inside.

We rarely see them in Winter.

I would say if you have alot of them, that can only mean you have alot of insects. Spraying will poison the food chain, killing geckoes as well as killing/making sick birds that happen to come during the day time to feast on poisoned insects that are half dead and easy to catch.

Me thinks the problem will correct itself as the weather cools.
ID#: 16008
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:03:51 AM on 02-01-2006
I remember a story from my school teacher about his visit to Malaysia. He was eating at a large table and a gecko feel in the big soup bowl and it was pulled out and everyone kept eating with out blinking.

I took a photo of a QLD gecko eating a cockroach, it seemed to big for it to eat.

I also found this link to a gecko eating a spider.

ID#: 16011
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11:11:33 AM on 02-01-2006
Wow! now I have seen it! great pic ZZ. Thanks!

In Bali they are everywhere also. No-one really pays much notice to them there either... just a part of the environment. I noticed they were much bigger over there though than here. Different variety? Or is it just that they grow bigger with a longer active season???
ID#: 16342
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8:16:37 PM on 09-01-2006
Hi. Just heard 1 natural/nontoxic  suggestion for deterring house geckoes-- someone I know heard it on the radio. Leave old tea bag dipped in citronella where you don't want the geckoes going. Have yet to check this out and try it myself. Will report back.
Catherine Lockley
ID#: 16345
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9:54:12 PM on 09-01-2006
Thanks for that pic link ZZ, now, how do I get an army of geckos to live in the Blue Mountains....
ID#: 16364
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1:04:26 AM on 10-01-2006
I suppose it wouldn't be helpful to suggest adopting a pet Magpie or Kookaburra. Have never seen gecko's as thick as you seem to have and always thought ours were a native variety.
ID#: 17460
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8:36:50 PM on 26-01-2006

We have quite a few geckos at our place as we have a Qlder with no screens and lots of cracks for access. We probably have about 8 inside at the moment and the same number out on the verandah. We don't notice their droppings too much and have not suffered any ill health affects so far.
Ours eat the mozzies and the cockroaches so we really like them. I have not had to spray for pests in the last five years. They don't seem to eat our daddy-long legs though which is good as they also keep down unwanted pests.

As for keeping them out, I agree with the screen idea. Also, fill up all cracks. Ours enter via the joins behind our cornices. Cats are also excellent predators. Our cat seems to treat them as a delicacy and will crunch them up whole - on the unfortunate occassion I have been too late to step in and prevent it.
ID#: 17462
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8:50:23 PM on 26-01-2006
Awwwwww i love geckos!!  We've always been surrounded by them, we've always lived in bush & the house i live in now has a HUGE nature reserve behind it.  When one gets lost i just pic him up & take him out.
Michele Mobbs
ID#: 69150
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1:26:55 PM on 01-01-2007
Hello all. I am new to this site, i was doing a google search for 'natural predators of the house gecko' but there doesnt seem to be any!! i did learn that they can live for 5 years. Also, there are hundreds of species. the house gecko varies from very pale fawn to dark brown colour.
My house is exposed beam 8m x 8m - so about the size of a 2br unit, but all one room. I live in Far North Qld. A while ago, i counted 14 geckos, which is too many, woopsie wise!!
I made a big effort to catch most of them and throw them outside. by the next night, they or others were back. so those who say they 'relocate' them, i think it is only temporary.
I agree, they do eat moths and cockroaches, but the 'woopsie wipe' patrol every morning is getting to be a hassle!
i have screens and full curtains, but dont forget, most curtains sit away from the window, so the light still gets out. Also, a few months ago, i installed garden lights and one is on the edge of the veranda, heaps of moths out there, but not too many geckos.
Re sprays - i did a full spring clean a while ago, and was really annoyed at the mess made the next morning, so that night i tried to kill a couple with fly spray. well, you have to nearly drown them in the stuff! so, spraying a bit for moths wont kill the gecko. A local 'remedy' is to spray them with dettol or the like - they absorb moisture through their skin and is supposed to kill them, but like the insect spray, i dont like the slow death idea.
I had an idea similar to the tea bag suggestion - i wonder if spraying with a tea tree oil mix may deter them? worth a try, and smells a whole lot better than dettol in the house.
i will try that tonight and let you alll know.
Dark Horse

ID#: 69154
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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1:43:29 PM on 01-01-2007
Why not just buy yourself a Dustbuster or other hand held vacuum cleaner and pick up the droppings like that?  Wouldn't take long.  Any of the sprays - fly, dettol or tea-tree sounds just too ghastly to contemplate - sorry.
ID#: 69272
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6:48:19 PM on 01-01-2007
Geckos are gorgeous creatures.. I nearly cried reading your post Michele Mobbs.  Charlie D, where are your friends located?  I would love to have some geckos in my house to help with insect control.  I find it really odd that we don't have geckos actually, we are in the middle of nowhere in the bush.  OT.. we have very few frogs either, makes me wonder what has been sprayed here in the past.
ID#: 69273
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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6:53:14 PM on 01-01-2007
I felt the same way. Spraying a Gecko with insect killer?? How disgusting
Julie May
ID#: 69286
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8:16:14 PM on 01-01-2007
Hi MM, and welcome.
I think I've approx 2 dozen gechos in my house. They are welcomed guests, as they eliminate the cockroaches. I haven't used sprays or chemicals for nearly 9 years. These efficient little creatures carry out the job very well terminating the cockies and most of the spiders, and they've saved me plenty of expense , and so for me to wipe up their small droppings is a small price to pay.
However, if you feel you'd like to catch and relocate them, then the best thing is to fill up a clean spray bottle of clean cool water, spray the little critters causing them to lose their grip and land on the floor. They become slow and sluggish so easy to catch. Put them in a container and perhaps relocate or rehome to someone who’d appreciate them.

Oh, and please don't use anything harsh on them, even tea tree oil can sting their delicate skin and eyes. Just do the water trick, much more kinder.
ID#: 69290
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8:24:00 PM on 01-01-2007
  <------- would appreciate them.
ID#: 69300
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8:41:46 PM on 01-01-2007
You know, Michele.. the geckos don't know it's your house. I hardly think killing them just for being there is appropriate.
ID#: 69378
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12:02:45 AM on 02-01-2007
i love them <3 <3
mary nankervis
ID#: 69601
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10:12:36 AM on 03-01-2007
Could somebody please tell me what gecko droppings look like.We have geckos in the house and love them. However we are finding areas of tiny ant carcasses on the carpets and beds.They are probably all over the place but these areas make them more visible.They are sticky and usually dark brown. They don't seem to have white spots of uric acid on them.Are they gecko droppings or if not any idea what they could be?
Cate & Furkids
ID#: 69603
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10:48:58 AM on 03-01-2007
Oooh, I sure wouldn't use any insecticides or sprays. Our home is fully screened but this hasn't deterred those darling little chubby-footed reptiles from adopting us.  We think they're gorgeous and they haven't caused us any medical problems whatsoever.  What's a little droplet of poo-poo between friends? It's easily cleaned up.  
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