While the geckos are rare and exotic creatures for most parts of the world, they are a regular sight for those living in the tropical regions of Australia. There are hundreds of species, and some of them can survive in very tough conditions. In this article, we will focus on Asian Geckos and how to control them.
Geckos are nocturnal creatures with soft bodies and tiny granular scales. Their limbs are well developed and they have five digits, their eyes are large with vertical pupils, they have large fleshy tongues and no eyelids. So when they need to clean their eyes, they are using their tongue.
Many species have pores beneath the back limbs, males usually have a prominent bulge behind the anal area, and they also have multiple large tubercles on both sides near the base of the tail. Some species even have toe pads that give them extra adhesion and allow them to run on vertical or slippery surfaces.
Some species of geckos can even run across the glass, while others have feet similar to birds which allow them to cling to trees or rocks. They usually lay two eggs per clutch and hide during the day in confined spaces.
What Do Geckos Eat?
Most of them feed with insects, but also like sap and nectar. But other large species feed with vertebrates too. The Cyrtodactylus tuberculatus has been seen eating frogs and even other geckos.
Types of Geckos
There are hundreds of species of geckos, and their diversity in Australia is remarkable. They have various sizes and various patterns; some are smooth while others are covered with small tubercles. Other species have specific adaptations, for example, the spiny-tailed geckos have rows of projections that resemble a spine on their tails, and they can squirt a thick fluid through some glands on their tails. Another species, the knob tailed gecko, has a short tail with a projection on the end that resembles a kidney.
An even more interesting species, the Chameleon Gecko, make some loud squeaking noises from its tail. In Queensland, we can find 60 species of native geckos and one invader, the Asian House Gecko. And now we will discuss more Asian Geckos and how to control them.
The Asian House Gecko
Also known as the “Pacific house gecko” or the “house lizard”, the Asian House Gecko is part of the Gekkonidae family. As the name suggests, this species comes from Asia and it has spread across the world through ships and cargos, mostly in the tropical and subtropical areas. It feeds with insects and spiders and it can thrive in the cities, hunting during the night on walls and other hard surfaces.
In Brisbane, it was first recorded in 1983 near shipping wharves and it had expanded ever since, competing and even replacing the native gecko species. They are well suited to tropical and sub-tropical climates, and studies are showing that they will continue to spread in Australia.
An Asian House Gecko can have between 7.5 and 15 cm in length, males being longer and heavier than females. Their scales are uniform and they have enlarged spines on their back, arranged in groups around the tail. They can be grey, light brown but some also have green shades, while their belly is whitish.
As mentioned before, they lay 2 eggs per clutch and the incubation period is between 45 and 70 days. They reach sexual maturity after one year and can live for up to 5 years. Their eggs require a temperature of at least 28 degrees Celsius to incubate, so that’s why they are reproducing much easily in warm climates.
Asian Gecko’s Behaviour
They are territorial creatures with a social hierarchy, hunting all night, and spending the day hidden in various shelters. They are known for the sounds they make, which can be heard all the time and are louder than the native Australian geckos.
There are multiple occasions when males are making the specific “chuck, chuck” noises, such as when getting out of the shelter, after feeding, after fighting another male, when approaching a female, after mating and so on. They become very aggressive when meeting other species of geckos, and are much more willing to attack than other species.
What Does The Asian Gecko Eat?
If an insect or a spider is small enough for them to swallow it, they will attack and eat it. So they are not pretentious and they can choose from a wide variety of insects. This makes them more successful and allows them to survive in all sorts of environments. They also eat the larvae of paper wasps, and some Asian geckos have been found to eat the juveniles of other species of geckos, and even their own.
Identification & Habitat
They are very abundant in urban environments and are often seen on walls, on windows and gardens during the night. This is why they are known as “house geckos”. But they are not only found in cities and can survive in the woods, in rocky areas, coconut palm trunks, under rotting logs and various other environments.
They prefer areas with concentrated populations of insects (for example around bright lights) and with simple hunting spaces such as walls. This is why the cities are perfect environments for the Asian Gecko. Insects are usually more dispersed in forests, and that’s why they don’t thrive very well there. They are hunted by cats, snakes, rats, large spiders, larger lizards, and birds, and have various parasites and mites.
Even though they recently appeared in Australia, they are the most abundant species of gecko in Brisbane and they can be found in all states and territories of Australia. They are also widely spread in the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Florida and most countries of the Oceania region.
Are Asian Geckos A Pest?
While the Asian Geckos are not a threat to human safety, they can be annoying because of their noises or unpleasant for some people who do not like reptiles. They can also leave droppings in homes, yards or windows, or destroy air conditioner units. Some people see them as useful creatures because they eat spiders, moths, and cockroaches for free, while others simply hate the thought of having a lizard on their ceiling. If they keep on reproducing uncontrollably, they can also become a danger to the other species of geckos in Australia, and that’s why they should be kept under control.
Asian Geckos and How To Control Them
Unfortunately, geckos cannot be completely eradicated from a home. There are no registered substances available to pest control companies, and the various urban myths regarding homemade cocktails that can kill them are not that effective.
But, there are a few actions that you can take in order to protect your home against geckos:
– Get Rid of The Insects In Your Home – the more insects you have on your property, the more geckos you will attract. So it’s important to get the help of a pest control company and to keep any kinds of insects or spiders under control
– Seal Up Cracks – since geckos are also hunted by other animals, they prefer to have cracks or holes around in order to hide. However, if there are no hiding places around, they will feel vulnerable and will leave
– Use Insect Screens on Windows – this way, not only you will protect your home against flies, mosquitoes, moths and other insects, but also against geckos
– Turn Off Outdoor Lights and Pull The Curtains – when insects are swirling around a source of light, there will definitely be geckos around too. But if you remove the source of light you also remove the gecko’s source of food
– Use Glue Boards and Sticky Cards – you will find them in hardware stores and they can catch and eventually kill the lizards. Place them near lights, windows or other surfaces preferred by geckos. Be aware that this method does not kill the creatures on the spot, and does not allow for a humane release
– Or Use Glue Boards with UV Light – these devices will attract and capture moths, which will then attract and capture geckos. Place them at a certain distance to your home
Safeguard Pest Control
As mentioned before, getting rid of bugs, flies, mosquitoes or other insects in your home is essential for also getting rid of geckos. Safeguard Pest Control is here to help!
Early detection can save you a lot of money, so it’s better to act now than to be sorry later. Book your Safeguard Termite Inspection now by calling 07 5477 6675 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and allow us to protect your home.