Skinks are strange-looking lizards—with no distinct neck and tiny legs. Interestingly, some skink species have no limbs, making their movement appear far more like a snake than a lizard.
Although some skink species are great reptile pets, most people find them very strange, and they wouldn’t accept them in their homes.
There are many approaches to getting rid of skinks on your porch. All these approaches are non-invasive and will make the skinks relocate instead of dying. But first, let’s look at what attracts them to porches and balconies, shall we?
What Attracts Skinks to the Porch and Balcony?
Skinks love insects, bugs, pests, among other invertebrates. Like any other organism, skinks are attracted to areas where their source of food is available.
Most insects are herbivores—they feed on leaves, roots, seeds, nectar or wood. So, if you’ve got any greenery, such as a garden, you’re likely to see insects fly by often.
Lights bulbs also attract many of the flying insects at night, perhaps because they give off heat. Your porch and balcony can attract skinks or other insect-eating organisms if you have a garden next to your house or you’d love to have security lights at night.
10+ Outstanding Ways to Get Rid of Skinks on the Porch
“But Before Getting Rid of Them, Find Them“
It’s an excellent idea to familiarize yourself with what you’re dealing with before devising a plan to get rid of it.
Skinks are lizards with very short legs or none at all, depending on their species. They love areas with vegetation, so that’s one of the things that attracts them to homes.
While skinks can reduce the number of insects flying over your porch, an invasion of lizards can be destructive or irritating.
Besides getting attracted to areas with vegetation, skinks also love humid environments with adequate water and lots of hiding spots. So, if you live in an area with such provisions, skinks will find your home their perfect habitat.
Skinks have strange and scary appearances, but there are no poisonous or venomous skinks, which means that a bite from them wouldn’t be dangerous.
Now that you have an idea of what attracts skinks to your balcony, let’s look at some of the best ways to eliminate skinks from your home humanely.
1. Do Away With Their Food Sources
The first step to doing away with skinks is to get rid of their food sources. While setting traps is an effective way, you’ll have to do away with what attracts these creatures into your compound before doing anything else.
Skinks feed on many insects, bugs, pests, and everything around. Besides, skinks also eat plant seeds and fruits, so any vegetation close to your house can attract them.
Clearing the bushes or shrubs near your house is essential if you want to get rid of skinks from your porch and balcony. More importantly, it will keep insects at bay because there won’t be any plants for skinks to feed on.
2. Control Your Bug Population
Areas with high numbers of prey are highly attracted to predators. As such, insects populations tend to increase in specific regions such as woodland, rivers, lakes and old houses mainly because these areas have adequate food sources and hideouts for bugs.
An area with such features creates a conducive environment for insects to reproduce quickly, and there could be myriads of them in no time if not taken care of. Consequently, the skinks, among other insect-eaters, will invade your home. So make sure your home isn’t conducive for insects, forcing them to move to better places.
3. Get the Lights Turned Off
When it comes to decreasing the number of insects living around your porch, decreasing the amount of light is essential. Flies, for example, enjoy light produced from the bulbs, which is why your patio is highly appealing to skinks and other insect-eating creatures.
Some types of lighting, such as porch, deck, security, and picnic lights, are usually overlooked by homeowners. Some individuals leave these lights on all night, not knowing they could invite skinks to their porch—consuming electricity and hiking your overall bills. So, it’s advisable to switch off the lights before hitting the sack.
4. Keep Your House Clean At All Times
Keeping your house clean is one of the best ways of preventing lizards from invading your home. Bugs, spiders, and cockroaches are attracted to trash, litter and other messes. Cleaning them up or tossing them away will ensure that there are no hiding places for these pests.
If you have a home office, going paperless is the way to go. Get rid of old magazines and newspapers in heaps as papers create an excellent place for lizards to hide. Finally, follow your local government’s guidelines on waste disposal management to ensure you aren’t going against them.
5. Do Away With Their Water Sources
Skinks and lizards, in general, like human beings, need food and water to survive. However, skinks need water to survive. However, they only need a small amount—meaning that only a few droplets on a leaf or a blade of grass will suffice.
Therefore, skinks can thrive even with little puddles of water around your house or porch, so drain water build-ups around your home to destroy their hideouts. Other water sources, such as water fountains and birdbaths, also provide refuges for skinks and keep them hydrated.
Many bugs prefer to live near water sources since water provides the conditions necessary for their reproduction. As a result, both insects and skink are attracted to water sources, so eliminating the former will ultimately reduce the latter.
If you reside in an area that does not receive much rain, the better because you will have the edge over skinks as they can’t survive in stagnant water for long periods. But please note—controlling skinks in areas with high rainfall can be a nightmare.
6. Replace or Fix Old Windows
Open windows are common entry point skinks. That said, old and unkempt windows can contain openings through which skinks can use to get into your house.
Therefore, be sure to check all of your windows to make sure that they are all screen-covered. Additionally, don’t forget to repair all loose screens with gaps, holes or rips.
If need be, please replace the entire screen, especially when the metal case does not fit the glass or is bent to keep skinks at bay.
Add screens to areas with opening gaps that can’t be closed or covered, including locations where utility pipes enter the house or vents on swamp coolers.
7. Get a Cat or Any Other Predator
If modifying the condition of your home does not solve your skink problem, you can adopt a cat or any other skink predator. Cats are a natural remedy for skinks and can significantly reduce the number of skinks around your porch by eating and scaring them away.
Skinks have been cat’s prey for many years, so it should come as no surprise that skinks will not stand the presence of cats.
By introducing a cat to your porch, you’ll be allowing them to fend off skinks and other small creatures around your balcony. Some birds also eat skinks, so rearing birds can also be a natural remedy for eliminating skinks. If you decide to use a bird as a remedy, it’s recommended to build its nest on your balcony, where it can spot the skinks.
As long as your cat enjoys staying on your balcony, they will scare away the skinks that could have made your porch their hiding spots. The advantage of this is that it’s a natural remedy for getting rid of these creatures and that it doesn’t have any negative impacts on the environment.
8. Cool Down The Temperature
Lizards are cold-blooded, so they will, in most cases, look for warm areas and make them their hiding spots. And their cold-blooded nature explains why they often get out to bask in the sun, especially early in the morning as the sun rises.
That said, reducing the warmth in your house could potentially reduce the chances of skinks invading your home. In a nutshell, if your house’s temperature is lower, skinks will move outside to look for warmer areas. And because skinks don’t thrive in low temperatures, they will mostly be inactive.
9. Sweep Your Porch, Windows
You can eliminate lizards from congregating around your house by cleaning up your kitchen and any other areas. You’ll make it convenient for the skinks if you don’t keep your porch as tidy as possible.
Skinks near or against the walls of your house can easily find their way inside your home. So make sure that your compound is kept clean—and that the bushes around have been cleared.
Furthermore, clean your house’s window sills, door frames, and junctions. Those tiny holes and crevices are good hiding spots for small reptiles and are frequently used to catch bugs.
10. Check for Lizard Havens
You may also need to check out around your house and see if there could be potential hiding spots for the skinks. If there are several hiding spots for lizards around your home, there are higher chances that they could get into your house.
Check for wood piles, rubbish, or rock mounds that lean against the house and don’t forget to check your porch or decks as well. Bushes are another attraction for lizards since they provide a hiding space. Finally, bugs are attracted to shrubs, woodpiles, and other areas.
11. Empty Kitchen Trash Cans
Even families that maintain high hygiene standards can leave dishes in the sink from time to time, and dirty utensils attract lizards and bugs. Despite their preference for bugs, lizards can eat human food too.
The last thing you want to do is leave your dishes in the sink for long. If you have to leave them in your sink overnight, make sure they are washed early in the morning. This is to limit the chances of skinks around your house.
Additionally, keep the kitchen sink clean by rinsing your dishes, taking out kitchen trash daily to ensure that your kitchen is clean every time.
Honestly, getting rid of these tiny reptiles could be easier than you may have thought. You don’t have to put up with skinks on your porch anymore. You have lots of options to use as a remedy, and this will depend on your situation—the invasion and the place you live.
Once you’ve realized the invasion of skinks into your compound, the first step is to eliminate skink food sources. Blocking water sources and limiting the amount of light inside and outside your home will also keep skinks away.
By cleaning up your porch and adopting a house cat or pet, you’ll have scared skinks away, and you’ll have also limited the chances that they’ll make your habitat any time soon.