As a new leopard gecko owner, you’re likely wondering if it needs to be misted, especially in hot weather. They have specific moisture needs that must be fulfilled, and it’s up to you to provide that. Continue reading to find out if you need to mist them and how frequently you should do it.
Should I Mist my Leopard Gecko?
You need to occasionally mist your leopard gecko to help with shedding and keep them hydrated. Misting can increase the moisture and humidity levels inside the habitat, too. This makes shedding significantly easier for your Leo.
You may find manual and automatic misting systems at any pet store. That way, you can provide infrequent bursts of mist to the body or into the habitat. The leopard gecko can lick the water droplets from its head, get out of its old skin, and stay healthy.
Most people think that leopard geckos don’t need to be misted because they’re from a non-tropical or arid terrain. However, they enjoy it to stay content and cool.
How Often Should You Mist Your Leopard Gecko?
It would be best if you misted your adult gecko twice a week and whenever they are about to shed. However, you may not need to mist if you create a moist and humid environment.
Hatchlings and babies up to three months old need daily misting, even if you give them a moist and humid box. A baby leopard gecko’s skin sheds all the time. Overall, it’s easier for them to get rid of the old skin when they are moist.
However, a baby leopard gecko might not go into a moist or humid box to shed their skins at that age. This happens primarily when they share the habitat with a hostile mate. Misting is necessary to help them in that situation.
The best time to do it is near shedding time. You only need a little water. The mist evaporates quickly and doesn’t harm the leopard gecko.
Do Leopard Geckos Like Being Sprayed with Water?
Leopard geckos enjoy being sprayed with water. However, you must use a gentle mister. Large spray bottles and hoses don’t work. They’re too rough and could make the leopard gecko fear you or get aggressive.
Every animal is different. Therefore, your leopard gecko might not like getting misted directly. If the animal seems upset about it, consider spraying in their general area or into the tank. They still get the moisture and humidity necessary without getting water in their faces. Leopard geckos don’t like being directly in water, so just make sure to use a fine mist.
Shedding issues might mean that your leopard gecko loses its toes. If the bits of skin get stuck around the toes, they dry up. That skin starts tightening, constricting the area.
Since the blood supply to the toes is cut off, the blood can’t carry enough oxygen to the area. From there, the toes begin decaying, fall off, and could lead to an infection.
You can tell that the shedding process has started when the leopard gecko’s skin turns dull. Gently misting the habitat or even lightly spraying the gecko itself can help with the process.
If your leopard gecko seems to have trouble shedding its skin, seek professional help. You may notice that skin is stuck to its body. A veterinarian can evaluate your pet and determine the best course of action.
It’s best to get the remaining skin off the leopard gecko. However, the vet also treats the underlying complications and causes. Leopard geckos sometimes eat their shed so be aware that you may not even know that the shed has taken place already.
Typically, shedding problems happen because of incorrect humidity levels. Lower humidity indicates that the habitat is too dry, and the skin can’t loosen up properly. They may feel uncomfortable, which stresses them out.
Tips for Misting Your Leopard Gecko
Here are a few things to do when misting the habitat or your gecko:
- Mist your gecko’s habitat each day, especially if you keep no water source inside. Leopard geckos require water to live healthily and survive, even though they come from a dry environment. Moisture is also crucial for shedding skin.
- It’s best to keep the humidity levels at about 40 percent or lower. While you don’t want it to be too low, high humidity can fog up the tank and cause poor ventilation.
- Sometimes, leopard geckos have shedding complications if the humidity level is 20 percent or lower. However, when things go the opposite way, they may be more prone to infections.
- Ideally, you should mist the habitat a few times a week.
- The goal of misting the habitat is to ensure that humidity levels stay at the same amount. That way, your leopard gecko gets enough moisture. Don’t confuse misting with watering.
- Misting means that the substrate inside the habitat stays moist. Therefore, you may never have to water the area.
How Do You Mist a Leopard Gecko?
There are two methods for misting the leopard gecko and its habitat. You can do this manually with a gentle spray bottle or purchase an automated system to make life easier for you.
An automated misting system is more convenient, and you don’t risk forgetting to do it. They work well if you can’t routinely mist the habitat yourself. Plus, it protects the leopard gecko from issues that might arise when you don’t routinely mist them.
Forgetting to mist the leopard gecko while they’re shedding means potential health issues. Even if they aren’t shedding, a habitat with no moisture can cause death and many other problems.
Life gets busy with taking care of the family and working. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to forget to mist a leopard gecko and the habitat. Plus, they are nocturnal, sleeping in the daytime and being up at night. You may not even think about it until it’s too late.
Generally, an automated misting system turns itself on when humidity levels start dropping. This can be excellent when nighttime levels start getting lower.
It’s simple to use one of these machines. Put it in the habitat, set it to the right humidity and moisture levels, and let it go. Just make sure to read the instruction manual and use the recommended information. That way, you know things are done correctly.
Some people don’t have the money to purchase an automated mister. While it might be best, you can still manually mist the habitat. Buy an inexpensive spray bottle at your local store. Fill it with room-temperature water, and spray it into the habitat.
If you find that your leopard gecko likes being sprayed directly, you may do so. However, if they seem agitated or upset, try to mist around the animal or at the other end of the tank. That way, you don’t stress them out while trying to shed and stay healthy.
It might be wise to set a daily alarm in your smartphone to remind you to spray the habitat a few times a week. That way, you don’t neglect your pet because of your busy lifestyle.
Most people wonder why they can’t just spray a lot of water into the tank at once. That way, they don’t risk forgetting to do it throughout the week—excessive misting results in higher humidity levels. Leopard geckos could develop respiratory problems.
A leopard geckos ability to breathe correctly is strained if they inhale humid, hot, and thick air. It makes it harder for them because of their tiny lungs. Therefore, you should only put in a few sprays of water or do so when the humidity levels drop too low.
It’s wise to check the habitat before you go to bed and when you wake up. Give it a spray each time to keep humidity levels steady.
You should invest in a durable hygrometer and watch it in the evening. That way, you know the humidity level is between 20 and 40 percent. Please note that dropping humidity levels is a common problem if you live in a humid area.
Why Should You Only Mist with Purified Water?
Contaminated water can negatively affect your leopard gecko’s health. Therefore, it’s ideal to use purified water when misting. They may lick the water drops from their bodies or off objects inside the habitat.
Most people think bottled water is safe, but it still contains harmful chemicals. There are trace contaminants from the plastic, the packaging, and everything else. Tap water is the same way. You don’t want to expose them to bacteria that could hurt them accidentally!
You may wonder why it’s safe for you to drink bottled water and not your leopard gecko. However, your body is stronger and can flush out toxins easily. That doesn’t happen as effectively for geckos.
It’s easy to grab a bottle of distilled water from the grocery store. Incorporate it into your weekly or monthly shopping trip to always have some on hand. If your Leo won’t drink it, here are some possible reasons why.
Leopard geckos require misting periodically and daily when they shed. That way, they stay cool, hydrated, and healthy. Consider buying an automatic mister if you’re worried about remembering or use a spray bottle with a fine-mist feature.