August 3, 2011
Many years a go I knew a Native American woman who lived out in the woods in a cute little cottage with a pond out back. She also had several great gardens and grew flowers, vegetables and various herbs.
One thing I remember most about her was that she had a pet lizard that ran freely through the house keeping her home insect free. It ate spiders, beetles and anything else that crept or flew around unwanted. A water bowl and tray of veggies and fruit was also laid out so her scaly friend had a well balanced diet. On occasion we’d see him peak around the furniture or skitter by but mostly he kept to himself.
Some of you might find this practice a bit odd but in some countries and Hawaii it’s quite common to keep a reptile in your home for pest control. In Thailand, hotels will release them in rooms to rid the units of unwanted creepy crawly guests.
If you have a cat or dog this might not be a good idea unless your furry pet is used to the lizard and you know they get along well. A frisky puppy or kitten could cause damage and even kill your gecko.
House lizards have suction cup feet and can climb walls and ceilings to reach spiders and even flying insects like flies or mosquitoes. They are mostly quiet but can make a chirping sound, usually when calling a mate so unless you have two or more you may never hear him.
Geckos are quite small and most people never see their tiny droppings. When you sweep or vacuum you will clean up any remains without knowing it.
There are larger lizards that will also eat mice so if you have a rodent problem you might consider one of these, only make sure they are omnivores. Some lizards are mostly vegetarians.
Be careful using cleaning products such as ammonia or bleach because they can kill your friend.
Lizards help get rid of bugs in our garden, but when we spray insecticides it poisons our friendly reptiles that help get rid of pests. Don’t release a pet store lizard into your yard unless it is one that is native to your area or it will die. Most of the ones we get at the store are from a tropical area and can’t survive in American yards unless you live in Hawaii, Florida or somewhere with that kind of climate.
You can make a toad abode for your garden by putting a flowerpot on its side partially buried in the dirt. The tray can be used for water. Every time you water you can refill their water dish.