How To Get Rid of Lizards in Your House and Around the Yard Without Killing Them

Written by Thomas Matthews

You don’t want to kill the lizards in your house and around your yard, but you would like to get them out and away! How can you do so?

How to get rid of lizards? To get rid of lizards in your house and around the yard without killing them, you have to catch them, preferably when they are stunned by cold. When it is cold, lizards will move slower. The best way to keep the lizard population away is by repelling the insects they like to eat away from your yard.

If you want to know how to get rid of lizards around your house and keep them out of your home, you’ve come to the right place! Read on and learn what attracts lizards and how to repel them so you can keep your property free of unwanted lizards. Let’s begin!

Why Are Lizards Around My House?

Why Are Lizards Around My House

There are several species of lizards that are found regularly in and around our homes. These small lizards live in different regions and look different, but they come to houses and yards searching for the same basic needs – food, water, security, and shelter. 

What Attracts Lizards?

If we want to keep lizards out, we must make our environment as uninviting as possible. Lizards are coming into our home because we offer something they want. Get rid of that temptation, and lizard pests will move on to a more comfortable area. 

Lizards Are Attracted to Light

Many insects are drawn to light – and lizards eat insects. If you turn your porch light off at night, you will attract fewer moths and other insects. That will shut down the bug buffet, which attracts lizards to your porch and, from there, into your home.

Lizards Are Attracted To Heat

Like all reptiles, lizards are cold-blooded and regulate their body temperature by moving between warmer and cooler spaces. On a chilly day, your home – or heating and dryer vents outside your home – become big, comfortable basking rocks.  

Lizards Are Attracted to Water

Whether you live in a desert or a humid forest, the local lizards need water to survive. Standing water in a potted plant’s base or a pet’s dish; condensation on a water cooler; droplets dripping from a hose tap – these will all attract a lizard’s attention.  

Related: How to Get Rid of Mediterranean House Geckos | Simple Solutions for Quick Removal

Why Are There Baby Lizards in My House?

Why Are There Baby Lizards in My House

Baby lizards spend much of their time hiding to avoid predators – which includes their parents, as adult lizards will eat lizard babies! So they will seek refuge anywhere they can, including indoors.

Baby anoles, geckos, and skinks are truly tiny – not much bigger than an inch long, if that! And they can easily get into your house through any opening ¼ inch or larger, such as an open window, cracked door, or any small hole.  And because lizards are excellent climbers, they can find entry points that you might have missed. If you want to stop lizards from getting in the house, you must seal those entry points. 

Check the corners of your doors and windows. Look around water pipes, electrical service entrances, and ventilation screens. If necessary, add threshold sweeps and tight-fitting door seals. Seal any access points you find with insulating foam, caulking, flashing, or steel wool.

Related: How to Get Rid of Argentine Black and White Tegus | Humane and Effective Solutions

Are Lizards Dangerous?

Only a few house lizards are large enough to break the skin with a bite. They may puff out their chests and make threat displays, but most lizard bites are harmless. You are much more dangerous to a house lizard than the little lizard is to you. 

While their bites are nothing to be concerned with, their droppings can be another issue. Lizards can carry salmonella and other bacteria, which may be transmitted in feces and urine. If you find lizard droppings in your home, clean the area thoroughly with a disinfectant. 

Related: How to Get Rid of Texas Horned Lizards | Safe and Effective Techniques

How To Get Lizards Out of House?

How To Get Lizards Out of House

When trying to trap a lizard in the house, avoid using glue traps. The lizard gets stuck to the trap and slowly starves to death. Furthermore, when you try to peel off a still-living lizard, you are likely to leave bits of skin stuck behind and injure or kill the lizard. Instead, here are some tricks that may work to safely, humanely, and effectively get a lizard out of your house.

Noosing a Lizard

To noose a lizard, use a fishing rod or other pole to slip a noose of dental floss or fishing line over a lizard’s head, then carry it outdoors and set it free. Noosing requires a bit of patience and skill, but with practice, you will be able to grab your stray lizards and rehome them outdoors. 

Herpetologists use noosing when studying wild lizards. They capture the animal to study or simply weigh and measure it for research purposes. Learning how to noose a lizard inside your house may take some time, but if you master the technique, it may be the start of a new career! 

Boxing a Lizard

For small lizards, try boxing them for removal. To do this, put a small box over the lizard, then gently slip a piece of cardboard or poster board under the box. Pick the box up with your now-captured lizard and release it outside. Boxing a lizard can be challenging, as small lizards move fast, but it is a humane way to rehome stray lizards.

Grabbing a Lizard

If you are dealing with a larger lizard, or if cool temperatures have slowed the lizard down, you can just grab it gently and take it outdoors. Be careful when doing this, because if you hold too hard, you may injure or kill the lizard. Some lizards may even respond with a harmless but painful bite.

Try to scoop the lizard up by its body. If you grab a lizard by the tail, you will likely be left holding a wiggling tail as the lizard escapes. Lizards can drop their tails to avoid predators: the tail grows back in a few weeks, but it is stressful for them and you.  

Spraying Cold Water on a Lizard

When the weather is too warm to slow lizards down enough to catch them, you can use a cold water spray to create the same effect. Fill a spray bottle with ice water and spray the lizard and give it a sudden, cold shock – this causes it to stiffen momentarily. When it stiffens, simply place the lizard in your hand and take it outside. 

How To Get Rid of Lizards Around the House?

How To Get Rid of Lizards Around the House

How To Get Rid of Lizards in Yard?

Lizards are attracted to insects, so the best way to keep lizards out is to keep bugs away. Keeping your yard clear of clutter and your bushes neatly trimmed will not get rid of lizards around your house, but it will reduce their numbers. Keeping lumber, crates, boxes, and gardening equipment off the ground means fewer hiding spots for lizards.  

Do keep in mind that lizards eat many garden pests and can help keep your plants healthy. You might not want lizards in your home, but they can sometimes serve a valuable purpose in your yard and garden.

How To Get Lizard Out of Garage?

Whenever you have questions about keeping out lizards, the answer is almost always “keep out insects.” Keep your birdseed, pet food, and other edible items in airtight containers, and avoid clutter that provides lizards with hiding places in your garage. That should keep your lizards – and the insects they eat – safely outside the garage! 

How To Keep Lizards Out of House and Yard?

Beyond repelling insects, there are some other ways to deter lizards from coming into your house and yard, particularly substances to repel the lizards themselves. 

What Repels Lizards?

Here are a few tricks that you can try to repel lizards from your house and yard.

Store or Plant Garlic and Onions To Repel Lizards

Keeping bags of garlic and onions in your kitchen isn’t just convenient for the house cook, but it also deters lizards, which hate the sulfurous smell. For this reason, planting garlic and onions in your garden will discourage lizards and other grazing pests from visiting your yard. 

Spray Kaffir Lime Extract To Repel Lizards

A Malaysian study found that a mix of 50% water and 50% Silver Cloud Flavors Pure Kaffir Lime Extract repelled 90% of geckos. Spraying your house with Kaffir Lime extract will discourage both insects and lizards from entering – and leave your home smelling great! 

Pure Kaffir Lime Extract - 2 Ounce Bottle
  • Pure Kaffir Lime Extract for Baking, Beverages, Cooking and Ice...
  • All Natural, Water Soluble
  • Gluten & Sugar Free
  • Kosher

Drop Hot Pepper Sauce To Repel Lizards

You might love Tabasco sauce, but lizards hate the smell. To repel lizards from a room, sprinkle a few drops of hot sauce in each corner. If you find the sharp scent of hot sauce a bit overpowering, simply spray it on the outside of doorways and windows.


Nobody likes a lizard scurrying around in their house. Armed with these simple tips, you should have much better luck keeping lizards out of your house and safely moving them outside when one sneaks in! 

List of Sources

Brown, L., (2004). Beneficials in the Garden: Geckos.

Moorman, C. et al (2017). Reptiles and Amphibians in your Backyard. NC State Extension Publications.

Nawi, M.A.M. et al (2020). A Novel Green Technology Kaffir Lime Extract as Lizard Repellent. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering.

Todd, B. How to Manage Pests. Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Lizards. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Chance, W. Controlling Frogs and Lizards. Houston County Extension Service.

Thomas Matthews
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