Do you own a pet gecko? You’re in luck because these amazing reptiles serve as natural pest terminators. What pests do these lizards eat? Here are five of them.
I heard a friend got injured with scratches and bites when he hurriedly wore his trousers with a gecko in it. An Indian visitor once panicked seeing a gecko in his room. This concern justifies why I usually trap or drive geckos away from home.
But learning the gecko’s feeding behavior changed my attitude. Geckos should be treated with respect because these commonly disdained reptiles that find the ceiling of our homes their ideal habitat serve as natural pest terminators.
For hobbyists who love to take care of exotic pets such as geckos, the feeding behavior of these amazing reptiles is an add-on. Their opportunistic predatory behavior helps balance the micro-ecosystem in the house.
Which household pests do geckos eat? Geckos love to eat a range of pests that live in places similar to theirs — the dark, dank and hidden corners and crevices of the house. Household pests live in places where geckos like to tread.
Specifically, the following household pests compose a gecko’s diet:
1. Mouse and rats
How can geckos get rid of mouse and rats? Obviously, geckos could not win a fight with the large rats but they do feed on rat litter or the young ones.
I learned about this when a Japanese friend approached me and asked if we have geckos in our house. He was looking for some to populate the place he rented.
He explains that geckos are efficient predators that can control the ubiquitous mouse and rats. Geckos frequent dark places where rats usually give birth to their young, thus geckos prey on the young called “pinkies” when the mother rat is not around to defend them.
Click the link below to get access to a Youtube video where a gecko snaps on an unwitting pinky.
2. Geckos feed on cockroaches
Geckos frequent places where the cockroaches like to hide. These are places that are cool, damp and dark. I saw a gecko feeding on a cockroach but I was not quick enough to take a picture of that rare event. I never had the opportunity to see such predation again.
Crawling things like centipedes attract the gecko’s attention. A few years ago, I saw a gecko snap on a centipede along the wooden beam of our house. That was a quick, well-placed attack that left the poor, wriggling creäture trying to escape, helplessly jerking its body in vain.
Below, a video taken in Thailand shows a gecko clamping its strong jaws at a large centipede.
At dusk during summer, termite colonies produce “swarmers” or winged adults of termites that fly towards light in homes to form their own colonies. Geckos are there to help you get rid of the nuisance.
Together with the smaller house lizards, mosquitoes are favorite meals of the geckos. They just extend their tongue quickly and retract the mosquitoes stuck on it.
Lay that spray pesticide aside and enjoy the benefits of a natural pest exterminator.
Things to Watch Out For When Having a Gecko
While geckos serve as natural pest terminators, you should watch out for those nasty droppings collected at the back of your cabinets or appliances that are seldom moved. While dining, watch out if there are geckos hanging in your ceiling, too.
2. Unlikely home for geckos
I’ve had a bad day when my printer malfunctioned and got damaged when a gecko found the main board of my dot printer its home. It got electrocuted when I switched on the machine. I have to buy another printer because of the mishap.
So if you have a pet gecko, be more cautious with your appliances. Check unlikely but potential places that serve as their hideout.
The next time you see a gecko, think about its role as a natural pest terminator. Dodge, but don’t kill this helpful animal. They serve as natural pest terminators while fulfilling their ecological role.
Avoid the use of persistent and bioaccumulative pesticides in controlling pests by welcoming geckos in your home.
Do you know of any other helpful creature in the house? I know another one. It’s the house spider. See what it does by reading the article below:
©2014 May 20 Patrick Regoniel