How to Catch a Gecko Inside the House (5 Safe Methods)

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A run-away Leopard Gecko can be nightmarish and nerve-wracking for gecko owners. Leopard Geckos move quickly and, if not tamed, can be hard to capture. Fortunately, there are plenty of techniques to find and catch geckos safely. Find all common methods and advice here. 

Knowing your gecko’s behaviors, preferences, and schedule can make it easier to capture them. Setting secure traps with foods and conditions they favor, knowing where to find them and how to catch them makes the process considerably more straightforward.

How to catch a gecko inside the house 

Remaining acquainted with your Leopard Geckos’ behaviors and preferences and staying patient are critical when searching for and capturing these fast and sneaky reptiles. 

Here is a concise and easy-to-follow guide with some pointers on finding and capturing your Leopard Gecko safely. 

Step 1: Secure and block escape routes 

Blocking all escape routes should be prioritized when noticing your Leopard Gecko has escaped its enclosure. 

Not only will this ensure your gecko does not escape outdoors or get harmed by your pets, but it also makes searching for them a lot simpler. 

Keep all pets and children away from the isolated area, close doors, and windows, and cover any potential escape routes with duct tape. 

Step 2: Remain calm and identify the escape cause

Leopard Geckos are fast, and it can take several attempts before successfully capturing them. The process can be more complicated if your gecko is new and untamed.  

It is helpful to remind yourself that geckos are highly resourceful and can go without food and water for a reasonable period.

Try to remain calm, and before beginning your search, try to uncover how your Leopard Gecko may have escaped. Discovering how they escaped will help prevent it from happening again. 

Step 3: Search for clues and narrow down the search area

To start with, run-away Leopard Geckos usually remain nearby their enclosure. Most owners find them 6 feet (1.8 meters) from the enclosure. 

Remove and thoroughly search any carpets or objects lying on the floor to simplify your search. 

Finding gecko feces, leftover food, or listening for chattering or chirping noises during awake hours can help you narrow your search. Several gecko owners have successfully sprinkled flour or powder on the floor and waited for any evidence of footprints. 

Step 4: Consider preferences and schedules

Most gecko owners are familiar with their Leopard gecko’s temperament, likes and dislikes, and daily schedules. Knowing your gecko’s behavior makes capturing them much faster and simpler. 

Leopard Geckos are not climbers. They spend most of their time on the ground. Consequently, searching for them under or in objects near the ground would be a good first step. Search under furniture, behind curtains, in shoes, bed blankets, or lifted carpet edgings. 

Geckos are also cold-blooded and need to self-regulate their heat. Search in dark, tight, warm areas of the house, such as under your appliances, couches, or television. 

A moist environment would also be a gecko’s first preference: search bathrooms and other humid home environments. If your gecko has a favorite hide, you could try leaving it on the floor and repeatedly checking on it.  

Knowing your gecko’s favorite food can also help when setting up traps. 

Your Leopard Gecko is most active between 9 pm and 5 am. Although awake times are not the most suitable time to attempt capturing your gecko, it can be helpful when trying to spot their hideout location.  

Step 5: Setup a Trap (Ideas Below)

Box Trap

An inexpensive option for attempting to catch your Leopard Gecko would be to source a box or old shoe box and cut 3 or 4 small holes in it. Add their favorite treats and damp paper towels to the bottom of the box to help lure them in. 

Most Leopard Geckos cannot resist a waxworm or super worm in a warm, safe, humid environment. Place the box in a dark, quiet area of the house and check up on it every hour or so. 

Your Leopard gecko will prioritize searching for food and shelter when away from its enclosure. 

Funnel trap

Another trap option that works relatively well is the funnel trap. The funnel trap is unique because it allows the gecko easy entry but makes it substantially complex to escape. 

Making a funnel trap is advisable rather than purchasing one online or in-store. Purchasing a funnel trap can be expensive. Still, this trap type is one of the best ways to trap geckos and is also relatively easy to set up. 

Cut out a 0.12, 0.25 and 0.33 inch (0.3, 0.6 and 0.8 centimeter) mesh cloth into 18 inch (45 centimeter) wide pieces. Roll the larger mesh piece into a cylindrical shape and secure it with a cable tie or something similar. This will make the body of the trap. 

Roll the other pieces in the same manner but leave a small opening of approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter at the bottom of each funnel. 

Insert each funnel with the opening facing down into the larger cylinder. Cut a small flap near the opening on each side to make it easy for the gecko to climb inside but not as easy for them to climb out. 

Temp them further by adding a small wet sponge and their favorite snacks to the trap’s main cylinder. In addition, set the trap up in a dark, shaded, and quiet area of the house. 

Bottle trap

This is one of the simplest traps to set up. Find a bottle, place Leos’s favorite food inside, and place it in a dark, quiet spot for the night. The idea is that your gecko will climb in to get the food and will be unable to climb back out. 

If you find a visitor in the bottle the following day, you may find that adding a little water makes the bottle slippery enough inside to slide the gecko out easily. 

Use a box as a safe house

If you spot your gecko on the floor, try to place a box with a small opening on one side of it close to them. Ensure the opening faces the gecko and is near a wall. Try to lure them into the box with a small stick gently

Most geckos will try to look for safety and hopefully try to hide in the box. Once inside, cover the opening with some cardboard to stop them from escaping. 

Never attempt to push the stick against your gecko’s skin, as you can easily injure them. The stick should be used as a guide. 

Use the box and plastic wrap trick

This is a relatively simple trap. 

Get hold of a box and cover the open top of the box with plastic wrap. Cut a long slit in the plastic wrap. Add your gecko’s favorite food inside the box and near the slit on the top of the plastic wrap. 

The goal is that your gecko will be tempted by the bait and fall through the slit into the box. Ensure to repetitively check the box as your gecko may be able to figure out how to escape if left there for an extended period. 

Best and worst methods and gadgets to catch geckos 

There are numerous store-bought and DIY trap options available for catching geckos. The store-bought varieties are usually not meant for Leopard Geckos and can cause unintentional harm. 

Stay clear of any harmful traps that use adhesives for trapping your geckos. Geckos have fragile limbs and skin, and glues can severely damage or injure them when you attempt to remove them from the trap. 

The DIY options require more effort but are, without a doubt, a better choice. With any option, always endeavor to remain calm and gentle when catching your gecko. Never grab your gecko by the tail or limbs, and always attempt to keep the process as stress-free as possible. 

Final thoughts

Capturing an escaped Leopard Gecko need not be stressful if you secure the area and begin your search immediately. Knowing your gecko’s preferences, behavior, and awake schedules is advantageous when setting up traps or looking for potential hideouts. 

DIY traps are typically a safer and less stressful option for your Leopard Gecko. Remaining patient and consistent is key to capturing these bright and speedy reptiles. 

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