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How to Attract Geckos to your Garden for Natural Pest Control

Updated on May 11, 2013

The Gecko Lizard - Natural Pest Contol Predator for your Garden

While many people have geckos as pets, I prefer to have them in my garden areas.

I live in Arizona and they are plentiful out here. They hang around homes because most use irrigation and the water attracts and abundance of bugs. There is also vegetation that is thick and homeowners use a lot of ground cover as grass does not survive during certain times of the year.

I have many geckos in my front yard landscape. I have numerous ground cover flowers such as Lantana and also bushes that grow in front of my windows to deflect the heat during the hot Western-exposure times of the day.

None of these plants grow without water and my irrigation also ensures there are many bugs around. While the geckos eat mostly crickets, they do keep all of the other bugs under control.

Whether you have geckos or even lizards in your area, be sure to build habitats that attract them and that will keep them there. Lizards tend to stay in one place for many years so if they have something to eat, they will be your neighbors and help keep bugs to a minimum.

This website will tell you how beneficial a gecko is to your garden and how to attract them. It also has numerous photos of the Arizona Gecko I have taken in my garden and landscape areas.

Photo taken by author, tvyps

Say "CHEESE" or maybe just say "BUG!"

Gecko in the garden
Gecko in the garden
Gecko Eye
Gecko Eye

How do Geckos Protect my Garden?

How do I get them there?

Geckos are considered very beneficial and provide natural pest control in your garden areas.

They eat virtually any type of bug but tend to eat roaches, mosquitoes, crickets and ants. These bugs are usually a big problem in Arizona but if you have geckos, they keep the pests to a minimum.

I am not sure how many bugs a gecko eats per day but you can see by my introduction photo, they eat a lot. When you see fat geckos like that, you know you would have a pest control issue without them.

They love to live in any environment that gives them protection and areas that attract many bugs, especially a garden.

There is no such thing as a gecko call but if you make the environment opportune and if they live in your area, you will see them. If you have a lot of cats, don't expect them to hang around. Although my cat is old, he will still catch one every once in a while. You may not have geckos, but any lizard is beneficial and will keep the unwanted bug pests to a minimum. They are not harmful to your plants, flowers or vegetables.

To get geckos into your garden, plant ground cover and be sure to irrigate. Geckos love places to hide. They are in my front bushes and are very squeamish; they will not hang out when you get near them so I had to use the telephoto lens.

Geckos love old rotting logs or large stones and even block walls. They are all over my back block wall at different times during the day. They tend to sleep when it is cold as do most reptiles. When the sun comes out, they will come out and do push-ups. I will explain why they do push-ups below.

If you have water bowls or other water sitting around, they will use them to drink and also, if mosquitoes breed in the water, they will eat them.

Wikimedia Commons

Things that will help you Attract Geckos

Myrtle 48 Plants - Periwinkle/Vinca - Hardy Groundcover - 2 1/4" Pot
Myrtle 48 Plants - Periwinkle/Vinca - Hardy Groundcover - 2 1/4" Pot

Thick ground cover is a key to attracting geckos.

This is an excellent ground cover but will not work in all areas. You can find others for your area by clicking on this link and then searching at Amazon.

 
Rain Bird GRDNERKIT Drip Irrigation Gardener's Drip Kit
Rain Bird GRDNERKIT Drip Irrigation Gardener's Drip Kit

Good irrigation attracts bugs, which attracts geckos.

Make sure you do not overwater, however; geckos do not like heavily watered areas.

 
Geckos: The Animal Answer Guide (The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist)
Geckos: The Animal Answer Guide (The Animal Answer Guides: Q&A for the Curious Naturalist)

If all else fails, this book should give you some ideas on gecko behavior.

You may learn something that I don't know so if you do, please post it in the Guestbook below.

 

What Geckos do not Like - Things to avoid if you want to attract Geckos

  • Predators such as birds, cats, rats and mice.
  • Gardens with no hiding places
  • Lack of protection from cold or overly wet environments

Gecko in the garden
Gecko in the garden
Drill Sergeant
Drill Sergeant

Why do Geckos do Push-ups?

Geckos do push-ups. While they are muscular, they aren't doing it to get toned, to get buff or to crawl around with a six pack. They certainly aren't doing them because they upset their Drill Sergeant.

There are two main reasons that geckos do push-ups:

The first reason is that you see them doing push-ups when they move into the sun. Since they are cold-blooded, they will do these little push-ups to warm up their body temperature after being in the shade or a cooler area. Just like movement makes us warmer, it does the same for geckos.

The second reason geckos do push-ups is territorial. Male geckos will do push-ups to poise themselves and to let the other male geckos know that they are superior. It can either be offensive or defensive, depending how you look at it.

Wikimedia Commons

Arizona Gecko doing Push-ups to "Don't Bring Me Down"

Gecko in the garden
Gecko in the garden

Would you like to have Geckos in your Garden?

Lizard Pest Control; What are your Thoughts?

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Someone is Hungry - Give him a bug and then please leave some comments

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    • profile image

      me 22 months ago

      My cat also loves hunting and eating them. I really wish they would stay though as I have an indoor herb and veggie garden and love the symbiosis created.

      Not getting rid of my kitty though, sorry geckos.

    • profile image

      green95 3 years ago

      i would love to have some geckos but i would have to get rid of all my cats:(

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Snakesmum: My cat loves to eat them, that's for sure.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Would love to have a garden full of lizards and geckos, but unfortunately, there are too many cats around here.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 4 years ago from Kent, UK

      We don't have any geckos here in England but we do in our holiday home in France. The cat is no match for them, I have to say.