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Reptiles/Lizards in the house


Tonight when I opened the front door to take out the garbage, some lizards got into the house. I didn't see them, but based on my wife's description and research on my own, I believe them to be a skink of some sort (she described it as an overall dark color) and 2 or 3 smaller, spotted ones, possibly geckos (we've had those in the house before). How do I trap them before our two cats catch them so I can remove them from the premises without harm to either lizards or cats? We live in north Dallas County (but are originally from Wichita Falls!).

What you probably have there is Mediterranean Geckos. It's unlikely that one of them was a skink, but if it was it would have been much larger than a gecko. You will simply have to watch for them on the walls in the house and catch them as you can. I would recommend keeping the cats out of any room you know the lizards to be. Mediterranean Geckos are nocturnal, and tend to congregate near light sources to catch bugs. You may try turning off other lights in the room and leaving one light on, perhaps a standing lamp, shining a focused beam onto a wall, especially near a corner. There is a chance the geckos may come up the wall to this location in anticipation of insects. If you have a big window or patio door this would be even better, as bugs would actually be attracted to the light shining through the glass, and so attract the geckos.

You may also look behind furniture, against the walls and in corners. The problem is that these geckos are arboreal so they could be on the floor, or they could be on the walls or ceiling.

If you do find one, again, keep the cats out of the room completely. Catching them would have to be carefully done, as they are extremely fragile and their tails are easily broken. Despite it being able to grow back, the gecko may loose fat stores and is at risk for infection from the wound.

If you have a gecko on the wall, or floor, it is best to not attempt to catch it with your bare hand. You are simply likely to hurt it that way. Instead, if it is on the floor, place a container or paper bag directly in front of it and then touch it on the tail with a pencil or other utensil. The gecko will likely run straight into the container for safety. Use care to not injure it when you close the container.

If the gecko is on the wall, you may place the container behind the gecko and bring your hand in from slightly above and from the front, and encourage it to turn about and jump down into the container for safety.

If you have a small aquarium fish net, this may also come in handy, though again, I urge to place the receptacle in front of or behind the animal, rather than attempt to place it over the animal, which has a much greater potential the lizard will run and be injured by the object coming down on them.

Let me know how it turns out.

Thanks for caring!  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research & easily find the answer yourself. My standards are that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me any question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer each of those questions to provide that background, will result in your question being rejected. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,, educational content contributor to, and a Dept of State Health Services accredited animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house, including minor surgery and necropsy. I am most experienced in Chelonia with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes FIRST with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer, despite how it might make you feel.


I am a non-academic herpetologist with 25+ years reptile experience, and I am an accredited Texas Dept of State Health Services Animal Control Instructor for Reptiles (CE). I am a reptile rescuer, reptile wildlife rehabilitator, and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, wikivet, and article/journal content contributor to Lafebervet. I have medical and scientific resources available, and I perform in house reptile veterinary care for my rescues. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct quite a few in the past. The average vet is not well versed with reptile physiology and medical treatments.

Animals that I am currently caring for, or have significant rehabilitation and husbandry experience with: Horned Lizards (5 species); Eastern and Western Box Turtles; Painted, RES, YBS, Soft-Shell, and Cooter aquatic turtles; Russian Tortoises; Fire Bellied Toads; Fire Bellied Newts; Ornate Horned Frogs; Green Iguanas; Desert Iguanas; Spiny Lizards; Long Nosed Leopard Lizards; Anoles; Racerunners; Collared Lizards; Bullsnakes; Eastern Ratsnakes; Great Plains Ratsnakes; Kingsnakes; Gartersnakes; Cornsnakes; Boas; Pythons; Bearded Dragons; Water Dragons; Massasauga Rattlesnakes; Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes; Leopard, Mediterranean, Golden, Indo-Pacific, African White-Spotted Geckos; Savannah Monitors; Jeweled Curly-Tailed Lizards; Long-Tailed Grass Lizards; Fox Squirrels; Deer Mice; Hispid Cotton Rats; Merriam's Pocket Mice; Eastern Cotton-Tails; Blue Bar racing pigeon; Budgies; Asian Forest Scorpions.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

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I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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