How to Get Rid of Lizards

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Do you remember the days when T-Rex was king of the dinosaurs and thought to be giant, scaly reptiles? This imagery may no longer be realistic, but you’d still probably scream like one was chasing you if a lizard ran across your living room floor.

Here’s how to get rid of them so you can make sure your property never turns into Jurassic House.

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Getting to Know Lizards

The term lizard applies differently in scientific and layman terminology. Scientifically, a lizard has scaly skin, external ears, and most (but not all) have four legs. Sizes range from less than a foot long to the giant Komodo dragon. Not all reptiles are considered lizards, despite some having a strong resemblance.

what does a lizard look like?

Layman’s terms are somewhat different, with the word lizard being applied to any creature that has a long body, four legs, and scaly skin. Thus, slowworms and other legless species are considered lizards in scientific terms, but not by the average person.

Did You Know:
There has been some debate about renaming dinosaurs. The name means “terrible lizard”, but we now know that most dinosaurs were actually related to birds and even the T-Rex had developed feathers in some places.

Are Lizards Dangerous?

Unless you are counting amphibians as lizards, only one species is actually dangerous to humans: the Komodo dragon. These giant lizards have been known to attack and even kill humans. Crocodiles and alligators are actually reptiles and not scientifically considered to be lizard species.

Keep in mind, however, that lizard droppings may contain diseases the pooper has come across. As they eat mosquitoes and similar blood-feeding species, this could include a variety of nasty illnesses. Always be hygienic when clearing up any discovered lizard poop.

Lizard Benefits

As unpopular as lizards are, you might want to think twice about removing them from an outdoor habitat. These critters are insectivores and love munching on a wide variety of garden pests including ants, spiders, flies, potato bugs, crickets, springtails, and grasshoppers .

They’re not harmful to you or your pets, and can save a lot of extermination headaches when you have a garden.

Many species, such as the gecko and chameleon, make great pets although it’s never a good idea to capture one and try to turn it into a pet. These species are often regulated, and a lizard from the wild may carry diseases in their droppings that could be harmful.

Why You Shouldn’t Kill a Lizard

As tempting as the thought may be, many species of lizard are protected and killing them may be illegal in your area.

Even if you identify the offending critter, using a lizard killing spray such as Raid Max or other lethal means can harm other critters, sometimes even your two or four legged family members.

How to Get Rid of Lizards

Getting rid of invading lizards isn’t as difficult as it first might seem. For example, a squirt of cold water can slow them down, and they’re known to literally walk into traps with only minor encouragement. Best of all, getting rid of a lizard can also mean getting rid of many other pests, so it really can be a win-win situation.

In the House

getting rid of lizards in the house

The easiest way to evict lizards from your home is to remove their sources of food and water. This means ensuring your house is clean and free of garbage or food debris.

Check for any leaky taps or other potential water sources. You will also need to find any potential entry points (such as cracks in the window, tears in your screens, or gaps between pipes and the outside walls) and seal them.

Most importantly, you’ll need to get rid of any insect infestations. This is the main source of food, and without food, a lizard won’t want to stick around.

A bug zapper can provide tasty bait to catch lizards in live traps, but make sure the design is solid and not a cage, as they can slip through very small spaces especially species as small as a skink or salamander. This Catcha model or something similar would work well.

Creating minimal hiding spaces can be a great way to make lizards feel less comfortable. Since they love to climb walls, this includes reducing the number of pictures hanging on the wall and making sure all furniture is at least six inches from the wall.

A more enjoyable remedy involves a pet such as cats, ferrets, or even skunks. These cuddly critters are known to hunt smaller lizards for fun or food. Of these, cats are the most successful, although they will often bring you their trophies. Skunks and ferrets love to snack on insects, making them a great pest control option in general.

See Also: Can Mice Climb Walls?

On the Porch

lizard on the porch

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You can not only keep lizards away, but also improve the efficiency of your home by keeping shrubs pruned away from the front door and any HVAC equipment. Having clearance means a lizard may not take the chance crossing that empty space to get to the door, and insects are less likely to congregate near the porch if there are no plants to hide in.

Avoid placing succulents on the porch, as lizards have been known to chew on these when no other water source is readily available. You can also sprinkle a little cayenne pepper around the edges of the porch. A large number of critters from insects to raccoons will find this to be a terrible irritant if they step in it, deterring lizards and their prey from coming too close.

In the Yard

get lizards out of the yard

Water, night light, and cover are the three cornerstones of attracting an all-you-can-eat buffet for lizards. Stick to sodium vapor or yellow lights at night, if any, to avoid attracting moths and other insects.

Remove any standing water to eliminate insect breeding grounds. Also, keep your lawn and shrubs trimmed to reduce cover. Again, avoid the use of succulents to minimize your yard’s ratings on LizardHotels.com.

In the Garden

Getting lizards out of your garden is a lot tougher than simply removing them from the lawn. This is because your vegetables and flowers attract their main source of food – insects. At the same time, you don’t want to destroy your own garden just to get rid of critters that aid it.

The easiest way to get rid of a lizard population is to let the cat at them. These lovable critters love hunting lizards and can eliminate an infestation quickly. You can also use a cayenne pepper mixture around the perimeter of your garden, but make sure you respray every few days.

In the Garage or Shed

The same techniques can be used for the garage as in the home, but can be more difficult to pest-proof this room (or building, if detached). Thankfully, these spaces can be treated with chemicals in the event they’re not commonly accessed by your family as a living space.

Raid can be one of your best options here, and will also kill a variety of other pests. Lining the edges of the garage with a repellent spray such as Lizard Defense can help keep them out once you’ve eliminated any unwanted residents. After all, the only time you should ever have to deal with a gecko hanging out in your garage is if you switch your car insurance.

How to Catch a Lizard

Catching a lizard isn’t as tough as it may first seem. When indoors, a simple cardboard box is often enough. Corner the lizard and use a broom or other object to nudge it towards the open box. They will almost always run in, thinking it’s shelter. You can then tip the box upside down, slide another piece of cardboard under it, and escort your little visitor somewhere else.

You can also use a plastic no-kill trap for small lizards. These rodent traps (like this one) have one-way doors and very small openings, so your intruder won’t get back out. Place some freshly killed bugs in there or use insect pheromones. The lizard will get trapped in the same way as a mouse or similar rodent and you can transport the catch to a safe release location.

How to Keep Lizards Away

Unfortunately, the market isn’t as open to lizard control as it is to rodents or insects. You’re not likely to find a natural lizard repellent spray at the local hardware store, but there are some everyday household items that can deter a hungry lizard. The following are just a few examples.

Repellents

Garlic

The best repellents will always be the most natural ones. Garlic, for example, is one of our favorites, and it works on lizards as well as a wide range of other pests (and is good for you, too!). You can place individual cloves in places lizards seem to hang out (be careful around household critters, as garlic is poisonous to cats and some other pets).

You can also make an effective spray using garlic, onion juice, and water that can repel a wide range of pests.

Related: Garlic – It Fights More Than Vampires

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is another popular repellent spray. Simply mix hot sauce or crushed red pepper to water and spray it in places the lizards like to go. While harmless, the residue will irritate the feet on a wide range of pests, encouraging them not to come back.

Both sprays are excellent for home and garden applications. Just make sure to respray every couple days when using outdoors, as dew and rain can wash them away.

Commercial Repellents

Of course commercial repellents are also available. Even the best lizard repellents can be hit or miss but this one seems to be the most consistent at keeping lizards and geckos away.

Using Decoys

The effectiveness of using a decoy against any pest is still debatable, but well worth trying out. Unlike larger critters, you can skip having ceramic predators littered around the property in favor of more suggestive evidence. There are quite a few potential remedies, although some are more popular than others.

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Egg shells are one popular example. Scatter some broken egg shells around potential entry points and the lizard will think a predator is nearby. Remember, lizards tend to be egg layers, so seeing egg debris can be scary to them.

The same thing can be said for decorating with peacock feathers. Peacocks are a natural enemy of lizards and seeing potential traces of one will send a lizard running the other way.

43 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Lizards”

  1. oh my god lizards are 2 scare us ihate the i even had a pet dig so iam searching for a natural lizard killing spray or a ny other naturals which do not harm my pet

    Reply
    • There are a number of natural or pet friendly products out there to repel or eliminate lizards, many of which can be found on Amazon. Since the term is often applied to a wide range of critters that aren’t scientifically lizards (such as newts or crocodiles), some products may work better than others for the specific lizards you’re trying to deal with. I will probably add an entire article to discuss these various products in the near future, so stay tuned.

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      • Neither one of the Cheyenne or the Garlic solutions has worked. So now I’m off to the big box store, unfortunately, to buy some chemicals to protect my Monarch butterfly garden.

  2. Help! A lizard invaded my home. He’s been hiding in the dishwasher got out this evening and I stepped on his tail on my way down the stairs. he fled to a nearby closet! I’m so annoyed! He’s a big guy too!

    Reply
    • You may be able to trap him, especially if he’s still hiding out in the closet. The nice thing about a cornered lizard is that you can bait a trap and place it in the only possible route of escape. Eventually, their hunger will force them into the trap and you can safely relocate them.

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  3. I live in Honolulu, Hawaii. We have lizards everywhere. They leave droppings behind our refrigerator, the oven, in drawers. We have a bi-monthly treatment that works on eliminating small cockroaches (the source of lizards’ food), but we still have the problem. I will try the spray you referenced on Amazon–and also will work on sealing up the screens, etc. Will try the garlic too, I’m desperate!

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  4. I had a 6 inch lizard come in from inside the wall in Florida. I put lizard sticky traps inside the bathroom cabinet and taped the cabinet door. I didn’t have any problem after that. After the hurricane we lost power for a week. I went into my apt in the dark and in came some small frogs. I found small frogs in my pajamas. They were coming under my front door. I had the apt manager put a door scraper with brushes close to the floor.

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  5. Lizards. Are. Not. Cute. Here in Hawaii we have MANY different kinds of lizards, the worst being the green day gecko, or madagascar gecko, or whatever you wanna call it. It’s gross. Lizards are gross. Born and raised in Hawaii you’d think I’d be used to them. Nope. We keep getting new species. Other than smashing them I find that a can of “Outdoor Fresh” scented Raid is the closest to the best thing to KILLING them. But you have to saturate them. Brakleen spray works too but it’ll ruin the paint on your house. It may sound inhumane but trust me…lizards are filthy disease-carrying creatures. Oh, and did I mention that they BITE?!

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    • Good for you! Read my comment below, unless the moderator deleted it… I am looking for an effective spray to kill lizards. I don’t need lectures, history, or stupid ways to move them along!

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    • I just had my first lizard and I believe I had a mini stroke. I put a dome over it and my carpenter took it out for me. When will I ever get over lizards and June bugs HELP ANYONE

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  6. Nothing has worked. Not garlic, egg shells, cayenne pepper and I even purchased a spray from the hardware store that was quite expensive. Nothing is working. There is about four or five living on my patio and I just want them gone.

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  7. I have these Blue and green lizard that hangs on the side of my house in my front porch how do I get rid of them it’s starting to get annoying when I walk out my front door all I see is blue and green lizards I want to take my gun and start shooting them getting on my nerves

    Reply
  8. I AM TIRED OF SITES & SUGGESTIONS TO MOVE LIZARDS. I am searching for effective sprays to KILL lizards. I don’t care about lectures on their benefits, I don’t care that they can be pets, I don’t care that they eat other bugs (which I can kill by spraying), and I don’t care about their history. Stop telling me about prevention, avoidance, and coaxing them to cages, etc.
    I asked the question directly, and those who don’t like it, don’t need to respond!! Just as everything else we read online.
    I’m not going to change my life. I’m not going to throw cold water at them so they can come back later. I’m not going to spread coffee and egg shells all over the place (that’s insane and dirty), and I’m not going to run around after them.
    You don’t know my issues, and I don’t need to give the history.
    Basic & Bottom Line Question, Does anyone know of a spray that kills lizards, in or outdoor?
    If you have a good answer, please provide.
    If you don’t, don’t bother typing.

    Reply
  9. Missbug, I’m with you. As I sit at my desk, looking at one peeking out from under the siding of a front porch post, I want them dead! I hate them so much. I wish I knew of a spray that kills. I tried Tabasco and chili pepper spray but you got to have a fast and good aim to hit them directly. Also, in time the mixture clogs the spray bottle head. In front of a section of my detached garage where I saw them congregated, also inside the garage, I put out a brand, TomCat, Glue Boards, any thing getting on the glue boards cannot get off including (e.g. birds, sorry about that one). I don’t care that for lizards it’s “a tortuous way to die,” some say. For the ones caught, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of lizards on my property. I don’t like cats either, so…I too wish for a solution, in the meantime, Glue Boards.

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  10. @Missbug, u couldn’t have said it any better! I live in the tropics, so lizards are abound. I absolutely abhor them!!! For me, bleach will kill them, but it takes a while (about 5-8mins) and u have to douse them in the bleach which can damage your floors/walls. Other than this, I know of no other way to KILL them and continue to search for ways to do so. These filthy creatures have overtaken my gym, the amount of droppings 1 lizard leaves behind is appalling, so I can’t imagine an infestation. But please, would someone PLEASE tell us how we can effectively KILL THEM! Thank u

    Reply
    • Diazinon kills them but you have to get it directly on them. Its extremely poisonous and extremely stinky but I feel the same way you do about them. I want them dead. I have an infestation by my front porch I’m working on exterminating them all. I don’t care what anyone says, lizards are disgusting and nasty.

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  11. Don’t love the lizards. My husband thinks I act ridiculous about when lizards hang around. I had one fall on me when I opened the door, I screamed , and then he was in the house. I would love to find a way to keep them away from around the door outside. So I don’t go out that door now. Very frustrating!

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  12. I have a butterfly garden that has been over run with chameleons….they love Monarch and Gulf Frittilary eggs and larva. I would much rather have butterflies than chameleons….will the pepper spray be my best treatment? Will it also discourage my butterflies?

    Reply
    • I haven’t found any definite answers on the effects of pepper spray on butterflies. There has been some evidence it might he harmful (but not fatal) to caterpillars, however. I would suggest restricting the pepper spray to the ground and lowest portions of any plants to see if that helps. This way, the butterflies and their caterpillars won’t come into any direct contact with the spray and the chameleons will have to cross the spray barrier to get at the eggs.

      Please let us know how it goes, as I’ve seen a lot of people asking about the effects of pepper spray around butterflies and no real answers or input from people who’ve actually tried using it.

      Reply
  13. Chicken/Hen and Cairn Terriers will eat lizards (and mice), mine did anyway.

    Has anyone tried putting brewed coffee grounds? My co worker put it around his plants to keep lizards and insects away. He lived near a creek.

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  14. The best way to get rid of lizards don’t have anything no succulents no garden no paper no wood Keep everything clean so you can see the ground and they won’t have any place to hide And they will leave

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  15. This site has been like therapy – just to know that I’m not a crazy human for wanting no relationship with these filthy creatures. I have been criticized and ridiculed for my fear of lizards, in spite of the fact that that they are as nasty and disease carrying as cockroaches. Still, people continue to keep them as pets and work to convince the world that there is something wrong with your dislike/fear of these nasty things. I’ve also heard that they “eat bugs”; but I don’t think they eat enough to be worth my aggravation at them. Even in Liviticus they are declared “unclean”, so why? @sickoflizards and @missbug.. I’m with you, have even moved to avoid them, but they don’t care…so their time to go.

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  16. In my bathroom one evening, sitting on the “throne,” I saw what looked like a big glob of silly putty, flesh-colored around the door knob of my bathroom closet a few feet away. My eyes focused on it and it was the biggest gecko I’ve ever seen. I screamed….it took off never to be seen again. This is a true tale. I had no idea though, he was hanging around to tell me how much I could save on car insurance.

    Came here looking for a way to deter the brown lizards. They are crapping all over my patio. Thought I’d tell my story. Will try hot sauce diluted with water in a spray bottle.

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  17. Also, from what I have read, these brown lizards, Cuban brown anoles, are an invasive species that have come to Louisiana and Texas via Florida. This is the second year I have noticed them. Invasive is a good word to describe them. I have always loved our native lime-green anoles. I think they are pretty and they are very well behaved. But these brown anoles have taken over and have forced our green anoles to hang out in higher areas off the ground. I have never in my 65 years had an issue with green anoles crapping all over my patio like I do with these brown ones.

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  18. We live in the Midwest. I grew up here and never saw lizards until a few years ago. And not just a few. I don’t know if it’s just our location but our back yard has become infested with these things. I’m trying a spice mix of chili powder, hot spicy baby back rib rub, and black pepper to put around the doors. But they still hang around the back yard. Not sure what to do.

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  19. Wow I just learned so much!! Just found out we have an INFESTATION of the dirty, nasty creatures. They are INSIDE the lanai (I’m crying). Moved in to a new home, previous owner was rarely home. The damn lizards set up shop in the mulch and in between this low paver wall. I’m gonna have to hire some one to do the work to clean out the mulch and pavers .I’m scared to have one fall on me or worse be sittin’ on my toilet. I swear I would have heart failure!

    Reply
    • I have the same thing going on in my lanai! Infestation of lizards and geckos! I don’t go relax on my lounge chairs next to the pool because the creatures are always on them! When I go to deadhead my plants they jump off and run under my deck box! I have tried all of the natural deterrents and nothing works! I feel like I live in paradise but sadly only the lizards are enjoying my lanai! It is ridiculous!!!

      Reply
  20. I am so glad to read that I am not crazy or the only one who hates lizards and does not want them in my house. My husband retired and we moved from Oregon, USA to the Philippines. I had been there on vacations several times so knew about all the critters and bugs. We had a house. Tried to make as American style as possible. All enclosed and windows with screens etc. well come to find out that houses are not sealed as well in the Philippines as in the states because they don’t have the cold winters. I had to seal all my windows with duct tape. Lizards could crawl under the edges of the screens and even under the edges of a closed locked window or door. Thus was my first step. I am not a mean person, but if your a lizard and invade my space you are dead. At first so hard to catch to kill them as they move so fast. But now I have a can of Max Kill Bug spray in the ready in many rooms. I simply get the can and spray them. The cold spray stops them from moving so fast and causing them to fall down to be whacked off ceiling and floors. If one does happen to get away the bug spray will kill them in a few hours. They are dirty filthy creatures and do not need in my house.
    I found this website because when I go to a resort here they never have lizards in the rooms, pools or grounds. What ever they use works. Not found it yet though.

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  21. It is okay if they are only in garage. those are in my BED ROOM….not only those light brown lizards but different types of some with dark spots some with crocodile look. ewww…it is not i’m afraid. But they are gross even more than worms! I had pushed one with my broom then he did it. It removed its tail and ran away leaving behind its STILL MOVING tail. Ewwwwwww….I am going crazing in this state and I can’t focus on my studies when I see them at night!

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    • I was getting ready to put on a cami. As I had it near my face I see a gecko INSIDE my cami!!!! I threw it and screamed…. so it got away somewhere in my BEDROOM!!!! So not cool!!!!!

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  22. I’ve just seen one in my sunroom and it’s got to go!! I need to try some of these ideas because I don’t do any type of critter!!

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  23. I also hate lizards and it’s a constant fight! I’ve tried Kosher salt along the front door and garage door, but all it takes is some rain and you have to do it all over again. It does help, but doesn’t last long enough. I had a lizard up on the inside of my window and ended up cracking the window trying to get the little ugly nasty thing down to kill him. It cost me $80 to replace the window and I didn’t even catch him until later. Now I’m really on the war path with all lizards…..it’s war around here! I’ll try some of these ideas and if I come up with something new, I’ll post again. Good luck to all in trying to curtail the population of these nasty critters!!

    Reply
  24. I live in S Florida and am very used to the little lizards that come in the house. I try to catch the baby ones & put them outside and like to flip them over to rub their throats to temporarily hypnotize them but lately we’ve been infested with these very large green things that leave HUGE poops on my pool patio. They’re everywhere! I don’t know where they came from but it’s very annoying. They look like iguanas. Does anyone know how I can persuade them to leave while not harming my little salamanders? They eat my bugs & my dog loves to bite their tails off so I’d like to keep those just not those green dragons

    Reply

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