Geckos live in tropical and subtropical climates. They hunt at night and call to one another with chirping sounds. A frequent house dweller, the Asian or common house gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus has pink or almost transparent skin. A close relative is the Mediterranean gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, with brown and tan striped skin. Inside a house, these small, nocturnal lizards run up walls and hunt on ceilings and around light fixtures.
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Sticky Feet and Flat Bodies
Sticky toe pads give geckos the ability to climb up slick tile, glass and vertical walls or to scurry along upside down on the ceiling. They grow 3 to 6 inches from nose to tail and have flat bodies that cling close to the surface. Geckos easily pass in and out of houses and other structures under doors, around light fixtures and through small cracks around windows and vents. In general, geckos sleep during the day under light fixtures and in dark cracks and corners.
Food and Hunting Habits
Geckos will eat just about any insect as long as it is alive and they can catch it. Moths and other insects flutter to lighted windows and light fixtures in the evening, making the perfect hunting ground for geckos. Geckos eat mosquitoes, flies, beetles, dragonflies, cicadas, ants, wasps, butterflies and crickets. They hunt primarily during the evening and at night, but it is not uncommon to see geckos hunting during the day, particularly in dimly lit rooms.
Natural Insect Control
Houses attract insects like termites, ants, and flies, which breed and live in walls and furniture. Insects attract predators like spiders. A healthy gecko population helps to keep insect populations down inside a house. Spiders are predatory arachnids that live where there is a food source. Not only do geckos eat spiders, they also help control spider food sources. Geckos also eat insect larva, particularly paper wasp larva.
Keeping Geckos Out
Not everyone likes sharing a house with lizards. If you live in an area where geckos are found in the natural environment and want to keep geckos out of your home, the best way is to keep insects out. Keep screens on all windows and keep doors and windows closed. Put brush guards under doors, and turn off lights at night. To keep geckos from coming in, caulk holes around windows and vents. Catch geckos in live traps and move them outside. Geckos are harmless to humans and they eat insects, making them good housemates to have around.
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