While almost everyone has to deal with pesky household bugs, many warmer regions have the added trouble of dealing with lizards. In general, lizards are about as harmless as an average spider or house fly, but they’re still not something you want to find in your home. As Pest Control FAQ points out, lizards can carry germs and dirt into your home, as well as leave waste behind, damage things, etc.
Those with pets or children should also be particularly wary about lizards in their homes. They will likely try to bite when they feel threatened, and though they’re unlikely to spread diseases, this still isn’t something you want your child or pet to deal with. Plus, lots of common lizards are poisonous or carry harmful bacteria, and can cause serious health issues if your dog eats one (via Daily Puppy).
That being said, lizards aren’t all that bad. In fact, they can be incredibly beneficial to your garden, since they primarily feed on bugs that are detrimental to your garden, including beetles, spiders, and ants, per Pest Control FAQ. If you want to get rid of lizards in your house, there’s no need to resort to fatal pest control methods. In fact, there are a host of ways to humanely remove lizards, as well as keep them out in the first place.
1. Get rid of other bugs
The easiest way to deal with lizards is to prevent them from coming inside in the first place. A major reason lizards may be attracted to your house is because they’re following insects, which is one of their main sources of food. Get rid of the insects yourself and the lizards will have one less reason to enter your home (per Pest Control FAQ).
First, you need to know what bugs in your home to look out for. According to Florida Yards, most of the lizards commonly found in homes eat flies and crickets, which can also be often found indoors. There are numerous ways to get rid of flies, including DIY methods with soap and vinegar, bowls of apple cider vinegar, or the classic plastic bottle and funnel method (via Ehrlich). You can get rid of crickets with cricket traps, diatomaceous earth, or shallow bowls filled with molasses, recommends Home Depot.
2. Seal your doors and windows
Another way to keep lizards out of your home in the first place is by making sure they don’t have an accessible entry point. If you have improperly sealed windows or doors, that can be enough of a gap for them to get inside. Other insects can also get in, too, which can further attract the lizards.
To begin, Terminix says to check out all of your windows and doors, looking for any cracks or gaps in the seals or around the frame. Most small cracks and gaps can be fixed with caulk. Clean the window to remove any debris or dirt that can hinder the sealant, and let it dry. Then, simply fill the cracks and gaps with your caulk. This would also be a good time to paint your trim and sills to cover up the color differences. Remove any excess and clean it up, and you should be a step closer to having a lizard-free home.
3. Trap and release them
Despite your best efforts, it’s still possible that the occasional lizard can find its way into your home. Just like with spiders or other household pests, you can simply trap and humanely release them. If you see one scampering around, just grab a heavy cup, mug, or bowl to trap it until you can safely let it go outside.
The tricky aspect of trapping lizards, though, is that they will often run and hide when they see you coming, so you may have to lure them out. Different lizards require different setups and bait. You should also bear in mind that some lizards are more aggressive than others, and may try to bite when you release them. For this reason, AZ Animals recommends wearing thick gloves when trapping and releasing the critter.
The easiest way to trap more difficult lizards is to simply use a stick, broom, or mop to sweep them into a container. For harder-to-catch lizards, grab a box and cover it with plastic wrap, cutting a slit in the middle. Put lizard bait in the box, such as insects, vegetables, or fruit. The lizard will fall into the cut slit with its bait, where you can easily take it outside and release it.
4. Garlic and onion repellent
Another humane way to drive lizards out of your home is by repelling them. According to MyGate, two effective ingredients that keep lizards away are garlic and onion. The pungent scent is off-putting to the small creatures, and they’ll be dissuaded from hiding in your home.
Lizards like to hide, so place pieces of onion or garlic cloves in dark corners or other places that you’ve seen them scurry away to. Make sure to swap out the pieces every few days so they don’t rot and make your home smell. You can also keep the smell at bay by placing the pieces in a bottle with a little bit of water.
One more common deterrent is peacock feathers, per Home Quicks. One of lizards’ biggest predators is birds, and both the sight and smell of peacock feathers are rumored to scare them off, though this may be a difficult repellent to get your hands on.
5. Homemade pepper spray
Another ingredient that’s effective at keeping lizards out of your home is anything spicy. As Pest Pointers notes, lizards not only dislike spice, but it can really irritate their skin. By placing spicy things like hot sauce or chili powders around your home, you can deter lizards from holing up indoors.
According to Smith’s Pest Management, the solution is as simple as mixing some hot sauce or powder with water in a spray bottle and applying it wherever you’ve spotted lizards hiding out. Other scents you can dilute in a spray include lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender. You can use a scented oil in a diffuser or mix it with water and spray it around your home, or simply burn candles, which will make your home both aromatic and lizard free. If you want to amp it up, mix the scented oil with water and vinegar for a potent spray.