Q: My wife is deathly afraid of lizards and we just seem to have an abundance at our house. Is there any chemical I can apply to the area where they seem to live?
A: No repellents work effectively and consistently to repel lizards or snakes. Tales of using kerosene, sulfur or lime are just that — tales.
The best way to keep either creature from your yard is to remove anything that looks like food or shelter to them. Remove log piles and rock piles near the house. Seal the foundation under the shed, keep the grass mowed regularly and try to keep landscape areas from staying wet. John Monroe, at Magic Gardens in Forest Park says he keeps his “face, fingers, feet and fanny” away from spots he knows would shelter a snake or lizard.
You can inform your family that most snakes and all lizards are harmless but I know that phobias are much stronger than logic. If they see you working to eliminate lizard and snake habitat, loved ones will feel more comfortable venturing outdoors. I am hopeful that they may someday accept lizards and snakes as being a natural part of the landscapes we cultivate.
Q: How can I get lizards out of my house?
A: There are no repellents for lizards. They are harmless but it can be startling to see one climb up the draperies! They are likely already trying to escape – help them along by keeping doors open. If they can not find the exit, you can try to trap them. Glue boards sold for mice will catch and hold a lizard. Place them along the baseboards where you see the intruders. If you catch one, take them outside and pour vegetable oil on their feet to release the sticky glue.
Q: I must be living on top of a gecko nest. I have cut the bushes down that are around my house, hoping to eliminate their living area, but to no avail. They are crawling on my brick and have invaded my screened-in porch. They have even gotten into my basement. Yesterday, I opened my screen door on the porch and one landed on my arm – I almost came unglued!! I have tried sprinkling Snake A Way around the foundation, but that doesn’t seem to help. I don’t necessarily want to kill them – just repel them. Any ideas?
A: I don’t know of any effective repellents…you’ve done well by cutting down their shelter in the shrubs. Try spraying garden insecticide on the ground to kill insects they might be eating because changing their food source might help them to move on.