Bug-eating house lizard?

I remember reading somewhere a few years ago that there exists some type of lizard that you can set loose in your house and pretty much never see again. IIRC this creature would reside behind your refrigerator durring the day and at night would come out and eat all the bugs in your house. This miraculous creature would even eat its own feces (never thought that would be a good thing), leaving no evidence of its existance other than your bug-free home. Can it be true? Where might I get one? Thanks!

Even if all the rest is true, which I doubt, this bit absolutely HAS to be bogus.

On this page, somebody claims they used a gecko for this purpose (You have to scroll down a bit - search for “lizard” on the page). They don’t mention any shit-eating though.

Havinglived with geckos on several occasions let me say that they do not eat their own shit. It’s astounding that even a moderate sized gecko will produce as much shit as a canary or budgie. And they leave it wherever the mood takes them.

Definitely not freindly household critters.

A friend told me of his trip to Tahiti. He stayed in a little cottage/hut. He said, “the man came around when we arrived to see if we had any lizards in the house. He said if we didn’t have one, he’d bring us one.” In Tahiti, it is much better to have a lizard than bugs.

Those of us with pet lizards can tell you that they are often temperamental and quite fragile. I would never dream of letting mine loose in the house for fear she’d get stuck in a bad spot, stepped on, or killed by the cats or dog. She needs UV light (although not all species do), a good variety of vegetables, and vitamin and mineral supplements to keep her healthy. And I don’t dare feed her just any old bugs; “wild” insects may have come into contact with pesticides, which could make her sick or kill her.

I imagine that if you didn’t care about the lizard, you could get some type of fairly hardy reptile that could survive the dangers of the average household. You might need to get more than one if you wanted efficient pest control, though, and I imagine that in time you’d find yourself with a lizard problem instead of a bug problem.

No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They’ll wipe out the lizards.

Hey, that reminds me…

The first year that I worked at the zoo it was in a different location. We had a little house gecko that had been loose for quite a while. It just zipped around, living off spiders and the odd escaped cricket. Never could nab the little guy.

Just over a year after I started working there, it came time to move. As we were dismanteling the snake room, lo and behold, there was the gecko. A quick flick of the net and he was in custody, all neatly caged and ready to go.

I swear it wasn’t more than a week later that he booked it again. No cozy cage with hot and cold running bugs for him!

Last I saw of him was back in May, three and a half years later. For all I know, he’s still in there, somewhere!

I’m somewhat alarmed that a zoo apparently has exotic animals running around unrestrained. Do you adopt the same policy with the tigers? :eek: :smiley:

A quick google search about nocturnal lizards mostly returns results about geckos. The Mediterranean Gecko is:

Doesn’t sound like the miracle lizard of the OP. Nothing about feces eating and it’s not clear whether these guys would enjoy living full time indoors.

Well, there was that one incident with the alligator… :stuck_out_tongue:

Nope, no tigers at our zoo anymore. The last one outgrew us before my time and went on to a bigger facility.

Actually, the gecko had maybe a 3" body and about the same for it’s tail. The whole thing could sit on your hand quite easily. Kinda cute, really.

Living in a Hawai`ian house might not count as “full time indoors”, but these little critters:


Would fit almost every bill described in the OP, minus the feces eating bit.

Plus they’re cute as the dickens, make charming chirping noises, eat bugs… Can’t beat geckos. When I lived in A`iea our porch light would regularly have a crowd of 10-20 geckos swarming around it feating on termites…

Having lived for a couple years all told in India, I can definitely attest to the usefulness and convenience of house geckos. It’s not true that you never see them, especially if you happen to have a light on during the night, but in my experience they never bother you, and boy do they eat them some bugs. I never encountered any gecko poop, either.

However, Indian houses tend to be a little more porous to the outdoors than some in the US. I don’t know if a gecko would be happy running around a tightly sealed modern apartment with few crannies and hideyholes and water sources, nor if it would find enough to eat there.

(You’re probably not talking a huge health or sanitation hazard if the poor critter doesn’t survive, though. I once came across a dead gecko squashed between the pages of a large Sanskrit dictionary :eek: and it seemed to be merely flat and mummified.)