How do I keep lizards from entering my home?
June 2, 2004 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Aaaaack! Translucent pink lizards attack! How can I defend my house? [more inside]

Over the last two weeks, I've had several translucent pink lizards, around 5 inches long or so nose to tail, come into my house. Aside from scaring the bejeezus out of me when I see them running across my bathroom, I'm afraid that one is going to die in an inconvenient place or, horror of horrors, have babies (lay eggs, whatever) in my house. I've tried to catch them to put them outside, but they're too fast. So I would really appreciate any hints on how to a) keep them out of my house in the first place, and b) get them out if they get in. If I have to kill them, I will, but I don't want to squish them.
posted by LittleMissCranky to Home & Garden (22 answers total)
What geographical area do you live in? (not that I have any clue what to tell you, but it might help someone else identify said buggers)
posted by Apoch at 7:40 PM on June 2, 2004

I live in Houston, in a pretty wooded area.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:46 PM on June 2, 2004

And your house was constructed when and out of what materials? What sort of floors do you have? How long have you been there? Ever happened before?
posted by scarabic at 7:49 PM on June 2, 2004

Umm... lay off the acid?

Sorry to be snarky. I think your first step is figuring out what exactly they are and where they are coming into your house. A local university biology department may be of help, or a university extension service.

Can you figure out why they are in your house in the first place? Is there a food source bringing them in? Is there a temperature difference that makes your house an attractive environment?

Best of luck!
posted by Coffeemate at 7:50 PM on June 2, 2004

And is this the place you're trying to sell? Better make sure there's no link between your user ID and your address... Just sayin'
posted by scarabic at 7:51 PM on June 2, 2004

House is three years old, been here the whole time. It's brick. The floors are wood, and that's about all I know about them. I've never had lizards before.

Okay, I should say that it's not an infestation or anything, just the intermittent lizard. It's irksome for me, but it's not like a plague of Egypt.

I think that they're coming in because it's a lot cooler in the house than it is outside.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:57 PM on June 2, 2004

I don't know all their normal habitats, but my uneducated guess would be some sort of gecko? They're pretty harmless. They eat other bugs. And they're actually kinda cute (IMO). I saw my first geckos in Hawaii a few months ago. It might take me some getting used to them but I'd probably get over it. My friend who lives there in Hawaii said the only real inconvenient thing about geckos is that "sometimes the little baby ones who haven't quite yet got the hang of the whole walking-on-the-ceiling thing may drop on you." But otherwise they generally prefer not to be noticed by humans much.

But, again, I'm just guessing.
posted by dnash at 7:59 PM on June 2, 2004

I see those types of pinkish lizards climbing on the outside of my apartment in Austin every once in a while. Sometimes they make the mistake of sneaking under my door into my place. Most of the time the cats kill or disable it immediately. One time they just got its tail before the lizard decided to get the hell out of my place.

I'd loan you my cats to take care of business but they don't travel well.
posted by birdherder at 8:15 PM on June 2, 2004

Yeah, we get those little geckos in Dallas this time of year too. They really are harmless and do take care of other pests (ants, spiders, roaches). Frankly, my advice is to leave them be. Other than the occasional pitter pat or headbanging against a wall at night, they're no trouble at all, unless you're deathly afraid of them. They should be gone in a few weeks (in my experience).

Just think of it this built your house in their natural habitat. May as well share ;)
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:30 PM on June 2, 2004

We get them in the Philippines all the time; those pink lizards are as common as house flies and mosquitoes in tropical environments. (Actually, well, house flies and mosquitoes are less common because of them.) Keep them around, and they'll repay your hospitality with a decreased insect population. Just make sure they and their droppings stay off your food and beds. Ick.

Oh, and when you try to catch them, they jettison their tails.
posted by brownpau at 9:17 PM on June 2, 2004

brownpau - we had them in the house I lived in, and I really never thought twice about it (other than stalking them with a digicam because my friends thought i was crazy when i started talking about 'house lizards')
posted by nathan_teske at 9:25 PM on June 2, 2004

Seriously, if they are geckos, leave them be, they are a blessing. They'll eat all the spiders, roaches and mosquitos in your house. Plus, they're "good luck".
posted by Hackworth at 9:42 PM on June 2, 2004

Hackworth - Oy! You had to ask!
posted by falconred at 10:38 PM on June 2, 2004

Better geckos than "palmetto bugscockroaches" if you're trying to sell the house, IMHO.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:38 PM on June 2, 2004

If you want to be humane, drop something like a plastic mixing bowl or cardboard box over them, then slip something flat underneath, lift them up, and carry them outdoors. Tossing a towel onto them first might make them easier to trap in this way. You could also find humane box traps and leave something tasty inside. I'm not sure what lizards like to eat though...

If you want to keep it hands-off, just get a cat.
posted by scarabic at 11:28 PM on June 2, 2004

i'm in houston also, they are geckos. Just, you know, learn to love them :) maybe name them all something cute. they won't get worse than they are now and they won't lay eggs and take over your house or anything. hehe. juts brush them outside if you like.
posted by rhyax at 12:52 AM on June 3, 2004

Geckos were a fad solution to roaches in NYC about ten years ago. They're nocturnal and hide under your couch during the day, and teh only downside is that they chirp at night, and I'd imagine they need to eliminate after feasting on bugs...
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:08 AM on June 3, 2004

Wow. I would LOVE having pink lizards in the house. If I didn't have cats, who would eat them. Just sayin'.
posted by Shane at 7:44 AM on June 3, 2004

They're probably Mediterranean geckos (Hemidactylus turcicus), a non-native species. We've had big problems with them in a house(not regularly occupied) up the coast from Corpus Christi. They do eat bugs, which means they also crap. A lot. They can leave shit streaks all across walls, furniture, curtains, tables, carpets. And it stains. They can be very difficult to keep out of your house.
posted by lobakgo at 8:13 AM on June 3, 2004

There not as cute as they sound, Shane. Seriously.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:37 AM on June 3, 2004

They're not as cute as they sound, Shane. Seriously.

They can leave shit streaks all across walls, furniture, curtains, tables, carpets. And it stains.

Yeah, I can imagine that. I kept pet lizards as a kid, before I realized they just weren't happy in aquarium sized cages, and I remember cleaning those shit-stains off their rocks and such. It would be even less fun on walls, I suppose.
posted by Shane at 9:27 AM on June 3, 2004

1. Two dozen on a skewer, a few drops of olive oil, some lemon juice, broil over open flame. Delicious.
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by luriete at 2:36 PM on June 3, 2004

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