The useful house lizard

I like lizards. I think their eyes are beautiful. I find it is possible to engage with them, however briefly.…

The useful house lizard

(Photo: Facebook)

I like lizards. I think their eyes are beautiful. I find it is possible to engage with them, however briefly. My granddaughter likes them too. But I know lots of people who will not enter a room which has lizards. Recently I received a letter from a child “Why do lizards enter my room and how can I get rid of them?”. He got the short eggshell answer. But I am giving you the many options.

House lizards are all friendly and useful. They come to your room because you have lots of small insects and flies in it and they come to eat them. If you leave crumbs and unwashed things like dishes in the kitchen, that attracts insects. If you don’t clean the corners of your rooms, both on the floor and where the ceiling meets the walls, you will get spiders who catch flies.

Lizards live in dark places, like behind cupboards, furniture. If you don’t air and clean those places, lots of other insects and spiders will flourish in your room and lizards will stay there.


So, the first thing is to clean and air your room and get rid of the insects. Then, the best remedy is what you have heard from your grandmother (and ignored) in the village.

The most fool proof home remedy to keep away lizards is to take eggshells and strew them round the house, especially near doors and windows. Lizards hate the smell of eggs. (So do I, by the way.) Just change them every week. Lizards will not enter.

If you don’t like the idea, you can use a smellier option. You can do the same with garlic. Lizards hate the smell of garlic so you can hang it round the house, or keep cloves of garlic near doors and windows to keep away the pests. You can also make a spray using garlic juice and water and spray it around the house. The point is, can you bear the smell?

You can spray lizards with a homemade spray which has no chemicals in it. Just mix water, ground black pepper and chili powder and shake well. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the spicy water around the house. Lizards will be repelled by the smell. However, it might make you sneeze as well.

Lizards have a very sensitive nose. They dislike the pungent smell of onions as well. Hang them near doors or windows or behind cupboards. They will leave the house. Or you can make a spray out of water and onion juice and squirt this round the house.

Another variation of the paper spray is to use Tabasco sauce. Mix it with water and spray it behind cupboards and wardrobes.

Naphthalene and Phenyl balls are so pungent that they act as lizard repellents as well. You can keep them on shelves and cupboards. However, I would not recommend these mothballs, as they are commonly known, as they are poisonous and smell truly horrible. In fact, I think people who put them in bathroom sinks are just wasting money and poisoning the water.

Some people recommend putting sticky-paper, flypaper on walls and areas where lizards are frequently seen, like the corners of walls and near light sources. They will get stuck and then you can release them somewhere else. I think flypaper is a cruel and vicious solution. The creatures go near lights to eat the insects that the light attracts, so ‘no lizard’ means lots of more insects including moths which eat your clothes.

Also, the person who wants to get rid of lizards is not going to bother to unstick them when he throws the paper out, so the lizard will die of starvation as it remains stuck to the paper probably on a garbage heap.

Lizards are rendered immobile with sharp temperature changes. Cold literally paralyses them. If you see a lizard on the wall, splash ice cold water on it. It will become immobile. You can pick it up gently with a dustpan and move it outside into the sun.

This one sounds like an old wives’ tale but you can try it. If you find the shed feathers of birds, you can hang them up in various places. Birds eat lizards so lizards might be fooled into believing that your house is frequented by them and stay away.

Cats are probably more effective than bird feathers. Cats eat rats and an occasional lizard. But lizards are not going to wait around for that occasion. They depart.

There is an electric lizard repellent that emits sound in ultrasonic frequencies that they cannot tolerate. You could get one of those and hope it doesn’t scramble your brains as well.

If you are brave enough, get a cardboard box and stalk the lizard. If you can corner it, put it in the cardboard box and remove it to outside the house. But this seems like an impossible thing for people, who fear lizards, to do. So the best way would be to remove the small insects in the house.When the lizard realizes its food is drying up, it will automatically leave for greener pastures.

You could seal up small openings on the side of windows, put rubber matting under the doors. This will prevent them from entering. You should, in any case, have netted window screens to prevent flies, mosquitoes and lizards.

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org