Lizards are squamate reptiles. Today, there are over 7000 unique species of lizards in the world – with Herpetologists making discoveries each year. You will find several small gecko species around your home and a diverse bunch of massive monitor lizards in the desert.
But did you know that there are only five groups of lizards? These include the Gekkota, Anguimorpha, Iguana, Lacertoidea, and Scincomorpha. So, the next time you see a gecko crawling upside down on the ceiling or an alligator lizard basking on the wall, they are probably waiting for a quick meal.
As you might have noticed at home, most small size lizards can climb vertical, horizontal, and diagonal walls comfortably – with some species even walking or resting on surfaces like the ceiling facing upside down.
Well, this article looks at lizards in general and how they can climb walls. We will try to mention each point with examples for you to differentiate and understand more about the topic of discussion.
Can Lizards Climb Plastic Walls?
Yes! Lizards can climb plastics – but not all of them. Only a few species like the common house geckos also known as the cosmopolitan house geckos can climb plastic walls comfortably. Other species like the alligator lizard and large geckos cannot climb plastic walls because of their weight.
Remember that most lizard species have padded feed that work like suction cups. So, species like the gecko lizard will walk on plastic surfaces comfortably because their feed can occasionally suspend on the plastic surface.
Can Lizards Climb Walls?
Yes! Most lizards can climb walls impeccably. Remember that walls are rough and easy to grip for lizards. Their well-padded feet, on the contrary, stick on the surface of the wall for sustainable grip. Equally, the tail of most lizards are prehensile to give them a firm grip while walking along the walls.
Apart from the small size lizard species, some larger species like the Komodo dragon and the Rock monitor lizard cannot climb an upright/vertical wall because of their heavy stature.
Nonetheless, you might notice large lizards on top of rocks during summer when the temperatures are above 22◦Celcius.
How High Can Lizards Climb?
Lizards can climb as high as the wall goes. Though, medium size and large size lizards like the bearded dragon, iguana, and the giant Tegu cannot climb extremely high walls because of their immense weight. The alligator lizards and other smaller species geckos can easily reach unimaginable heights on trees.
Small size lizards and geckos use their specialized webbed feet to climb walls. The feet have tiny hairs and suction cup construction, allowing them to balance along the walls.
A lizard will climb to the highest point on the wall to find its prey. Moths, lizards, and mosquitoes perch on high walls. Thus, a lizard will try to reach extreme heights to dine.
Can Lizards Climb Glass?
Yes! But only a few species can actually climb glass. Though it will depend on the type & size of the lizard and the nature of the glass. The crested gecko, for instance, can walk on glass comfortably because of its suction-cup designed web feet. But the rock-dwelling lizards will not climb glass.
More lizards that will climb glass are in the Gekkota sub-group. These species grow up to 20 inches long and have sticky pads on their feet. Furthermore, they are naturally adept climbers.
When we talk of the “nature of glass,” we mean the glass’ physical state. The gecko lizards can effortlessly climb medium-moist glass. But find it difficult to climb wet glass. This is because wet glass is slippery. A dry glass can also be difficult for a gecko to climb. This is because of the dust on the surface, causing the lizard’s toes to lack sufficient grip.
What Attracts Lizards to Home?
A lizard will be attracted to your home because of food, water, and shelter. If there is stagnant water on the pond, you will find insects like mosquitoes and ants breeding. So, lizards will be attracted to the pond because there will be plenty of food. Typically, the food chain will be complete for the lizard.
Remember that most lizard species are carnivores, except for a few like the common house lizards that are omnivores. If your home has enough comfortable environment for insects to breed, you should expect to notice a few lizards walking around.
The common house lizards and geckos are friendly and beneficial to the environment. They prey on flies, cockroaches, spiders, ants, termites, gnats, and a variety of other small insects.
Giant reptiles like the monitor lizard prey on chicks, snakes, and small rodents. These are a favorite menu for all large-size lizards. Therefore, they will be attracted to your home if these animal species are available in plenty.
Other reasons like comfortable shelter free from natural predators will attract small size lizards to your home. For example, if your home does not have the “lower-mid-level lizard-predators” like cats, snakes, mice, and birds, lizard will feel welcomed at home.
Remember: Lizards will also be attracted inside the house during winter for warm shelter.
What do Lizards Like to Climb on?
Lizards like to climb on walls and rough surfaces. This is not only because they can camouflage on the walls but easily balance. Also, most prey like flies hang on the walls. Remember that lizard legs are designed to grip walls naturally. The toes have millions of microscopic hairs for efficient movement along the wall.
The other main reason lizards like to climb on walls is to find food. Mosquitoes, home spiders, moths, beetles, and small critters prefer to walk along the walls. So, lizards have adapted the art of walking along the walls to find “easy food.”
Apart from the wall, lizards occasionally prefer to climb the bark of trees. Here, there are also plenty of insects for them to eat.
The alligator and wall geckos like to bask on top of walls, while the other species usually bask on top of rocks and abandoned stones.
How do Lizards Climb Walls?
Lizards have millions of tiny hairs known as setae at the bottom of their feet. Furthermore, these hairs have millions of microscopic pads/hair-like structures on the tip that act as suction cups. The pads create Van der Waals forces when the lizard’s toes get into contact with most surfaces.
When a lizard is walking, the tiny pads act as adhesive allowing it to stick to the wall.
Fun fact: Did you know that a lizard can dangle with one toe on the wall without falling?
How do You Get Rid of Lizards Outside?
Eliminating their food source might help to eradicate lizards from your home permanently. It is also a natural remedy most homeowners prefer to avoid killing these innocent critters. Another friendly yet effective technique is spraying natural repellants like pepper, cayenne, and hot sauce along lizard entry points.
Most home lizards are friendly and nonpoisonous. They help reduce unwanted bugs and insects in the garden or in the house by preying on them. Unfortunately, too many lizards around the home can attract natural predators like snakes and small land-based rodents. So, it is always advisable to eliminate these crawling critters before they get out of hand.
Here are a few approaches that might work to eliminate lizards at home. Note that all these techniques are friendly approaches that will not kill the lizards.
1. Eliminating their source of food
As you know, the common house lizards prey on insects, spiders, cockroaches, and other small critters. So, follow these steps to cut off their food source and drive them away.
- Spray eco-friendly insecticide in the garden and lawn to drive ants and bugs away
- Always keep the kitchen floor clean and free from food scraps to avoid attracting ants
- Get rid of leaking taps and water pipes in the garden to prevent lizards from crawling to drink water
- Attract birds like (owls, hood mockingbirds, and falcon) and domestic cats that prey on lizards in your home
2. Using natural home-made repellants
- Mix enough black pepper with water in a spray bottle
- Spray this mixture around your home. It could be around confined spaces like behind downspouts, behind kitchen cupboards, raised garden beds, or under the narrow gaps of benches & logs
- Repeat step 2 thrice a week and check if the lizards steadily disappear
3. Seal all entry point
Home lizards are flexible and tiny reptiles. Hence, they will comfortably fit in narrow cracks. Here are the steps you should follow to seal all entry points.
- Use clear silicone caulk to seal all cracks and holes
- Install weather stripping along the doors, windows, and ventilation
- Use wire mesh to seal access points
Tip: Check for gecko poop around your home to identify other spots they might be hiding in.
A few commercial techniques can also get rid of lizards at home. These include:
- Using electric repellant
- Use naphthalene balls
- Lower room temperature in the ceiling using an electric AC. Maintain at least 22°Celsius
Tip: DO NOT use LIZARD TRAPS because most of them might injure or even kill the lizards.
Lizards are beneficial to the environment. These critters will eliminate and maintain the number of insects crawling in your garden. Some species possess extraordinary characteristics like walking upside down on the ceiling.
Well, you should understand how lizards balance on the walls, plastics, and glass after reading this article. It should not be a surprise the next time you see a gecko or alligator lizard dangling upside down on the wall.