When I started living on my own and moved to my own place, there were times at night when I would hear a chirping sound three times in quick succession again and again. I was convinced it was some insect and after some research I came to know that it was the house lizard or the common house gecko making that noise.
I have always considered lizards as pests and so I was a bit worried wondering whether they were poisonous or harmful and could contaminate my food. So I did my research to find out whether house lizards are poisonous to humans.
As it turns out, house lizards are non poisonous and cannot directly cause any harm to humans. However, they can be carriers of harmful pathogens which can contaminate your food if the lizard comes in contact with your food. So though not poisonous, they are still considered a pest.
The house lizard also known as the common house gecko are natives of South and South-East Asia. However, with ships carrying people and goods around the world during the 18th and 19th century, they are now found in almost all parts of the world.
Risks Associated with the Common House Lizards
Although they look unpleasant and can creep out most people, in reality, they are more terrified in the presence of humans and scamper away to safety. They are non-venomous and most of them don’t even bite. Only the larger lizards can bite in self-defense and even the bite is very mild.
However, they can be carriers of disease-causing pathogens and so cannot be considered completely safe. If they happen to come in contact with food, there are chances of contamination and food poisoning indirectly by the pathogens carried by the lizard.
The house lizards are usually attracted to milk and milk products and hence you must ensure that these food items are properly covered and stored safely. In fact not only the milk items but all other food items should be properly covered and safely stored, especially if you have kids in the house.
Ways to Drive Away the House Lizards
Any pest is not desirable in the house and so it is understood if you want to drive these lizards away. Initially, when I used to see them, I used to try to drive them away. I thought the lizards were poisonous and hence wanted to get rid of them.
However later I realised that it is in fact good to have these lizards around in your home. I mean not an army of lizards, but a few lizards would do no harm.
And why is that, you might wonder?
Well, lizards eat small insects and flies. House lizards are known to eat spiders, houseflies and sometimes even roaches if they catch hold of them. They can hence keep the insect population in check. So it is not too bad an idea to have a few lizards roaming about in the house.
But if you are pretty confident that you live in a very sanitized house with almost no small insects or even if you just want to get rid of the lizards just because you find them disgusting and terrifying, there are some ways to do so.
Spray cold water on the lizards
Lizards are pretty fast moving creatures. You might try to catch them or drive them towards the windows to let them out but by the time you approach them, they scurry away under some furniture or somewhere out of your reach.
One approach that works to slow them down is to spray them with very cold water, preferably ice cold water. The cold water tends to slow down the movement of the lizard as its nervous system goes in a state of mild shock. You can then grab a piece of paper or a discarded piece of cloth and release the lizard outside your home.
Tap them away towards an exit
Sometimes if you spot a lizard near a window or the door, you have to quick and try to tap the lizard out of the house. In case you have a mosquito net at the window like I have, slowly open it a bit and tap the lizard towards the opening. The lizard will try to scurry away towards safety and seeing an opening, will move towards it till it is outside and safe.
The only thing you have to be quick and tap towards the direction of the exit for the lizard.
Use a lizard trap
Nowadays you get these lizard traps wherein you fix a bait and the lizard gets trapped in it after being lured towards it by the bait. The trap can be kept in the passageways where the lizards have the probability of moving at night time. Once you catch the lizards, you can release them outside.
Keep your house free from little insects and bugs
Lizards are attracted to small insects and wall spiders in your home. If you do not maintain hygiene and there are a lot of these little pests in your house, there are more chances of lizards lurking in your house with the aim of feasting on these little creatures.
Clean your house regularly and clear any cobwebs that might form on the walls or near sources of light to keep the insects and spiders away.
Some other ways of driving away lizards
Some people vouch for some unorthodox methods for getting rid of the lizards, like placing eggshells and garlic cloves near the corners where you suspect the lizards might be hiding. I have tried that but it didn’t seem to work for me. I still found lizards in my house and even near the places where I kept the egg shells.
Anyways today if I see a lizard I just tap it away from my sight. Although they are insect eaters and can keep the bug population in check, they still creep me out.
What should you do if a house lizard falls in drinking water or milk?
Without a doubt, you need to throw away the water or milk. Though a lizard is non-poisonous, it can carry disease-causing pathogens and hence is a risk. As long as it is away from your food, the lizards pose no grave threat.
Are lizards a symbol of good luck?
Surprisingly in some cultures, lizards are considered a symbol of good luck and a good omen. As they are nocturnal creatures, they are considered good for vision and for predicting unseen and unknown circumstances.
Is the tail of a lizard poisonous?
The tail of a lizard just like its main body is not poisonous.
Are all lizards non-poisonous?
Well, no. There are some lizards in the wild that are venomous with the Gila monster being the most venomous lizard in the world.