Lizards Eating Your Plants? Facts & Simple Solutions


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We have heard many times that lizards are the most irritating creatures to be found around the garden and having them eat your plants adds to the creepy nuisance they already create. However, lizards in the garden rarely eat plants and there may be some other culprit at work.

Lizards vary from being almost entirely insectivorous to largely herbivorous. The larger the lizard, the more likely it is to be herbivorous and smaller the lizard the less likely it is to be of any harm to plants in the garden. Having Lizards around plants is beneficial as they tend to eat insects which may cause harm. 

Iguanas are the likely culprit when it comes to eating plants and they can devastate an entire plant crop if left unchecked. 

Lizards which are hated by the majority of people can also turn out to be helpful sometimes. We all are aware of that one specialty for which lizards are well-known for, that is eating mosquitoes and small insects. They definitely will help you get rid of those insects but there are other pros of having a lizard in the backyard garden, to ponder upon. 

Let’s quickly have a look at some of the majorly faced issues and frequently asked questions and answers, with respect to the lizards and it’s pros and cons. 

Why do Lizards Eat Plants ?

Oftentimes the larger lizard, such as iguanas, are usually the culprits when it comes to eating plants. These larger lizards will veer towards leafy greens and will totally bypass the smaller insects crawling around in the garden.

Smaller garden lizards will rarely eat plants and will be more attracted to the creepy crawlers in the garden. This is exceptionally beneficial to both plants and plant owners alike.

On rare occasions those smaller lizards eat the plants while they are trying to eat the insects and other worms. But they do not cause much damage to the plants. Unless they like to eat the fruits and small vegetables present in the garden.

see our post on mushrooms growing in vegetable garden.

What Plants do Lizards Like to Eat ?

The majority of lizards are insectivorous but few are herbivorous, which like to eat some leafy vegetables. 

Some known leafy greens which are most attractive to lizards are:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Pac Choi
  • Water crest

Lizards also prefer eating berries and flowers along with some squashes while some lizards are also observed eating peas and sweet potatoes.

My aquaponic garden was once attacked by an iguana which ate most of the leaves and flowers  from my cucumber plants, and as a result the plants produced little or no fruit. See the detailed post here.

How to Catch a Garden Lizard:

There are many ways in which a lizard can be caught but it is very essential to be careful and watch out for catching a wild lizard. 

Lizard in a cage

A wild lizard can bite you which is not very dangerous but can lead to some disease or cause illness. Therefore exercise caution when catching garden lizards and take note of the species to verify if it is poisonous or not.

As mentioned, lizards might be poisonous while others aren’t. But if we look at this the other way, then the general garden lizards are not poisonous and do not cause much harm. 

Here are some tricks to safely catch garden lizards:

Using a net:

One can use a simple net or stick in order to catch a garden lizard. All you need to do is slowly take that net towards the lizards and very quickly and smoothly try to capture that tiny creature within the net and set them free in some safe and far distance. 

Use a towel:

In order to catch a lizard very quickly from your house premises. Just don’t panic and throw a soft and thin towel on the lizard and try to cover it fully and then set it free. 

Prepare a fake bait :

Another way of tricking lizards is by preparing a fake bait and trapping them inside it. You can use any small insects or pests to attract the lizards for your prepared bait. 

After catching the lizard it is recommended to not keep them in captivity for more than three hours. The lizards should therefore be released in an area far away from your garden where they can seek safe refuge from other preying animals.

10 Ways to Safely get Rid of Lizards from the Garden

It is often found that garden lizards might cause immense trouble to the gardeners and sometimes it becomes very much necessary to fling them out of the garden. Lizards can often cause a lot of trouble in the garden and shall also harm some of the plants and small low-growing stands such as strawberries. 

In such a case, it becomes essential to get rid of those garden lizards. It is very important that you safely get rid of those lizards without causing any harm to them and you as well. 

Here are few tricks and tips which might turn out to be useful to you, if you are trying to get rid of stubborn garden lizards:

1. Hot sauce spray:

Using a hot sauce spray might cause acid and heat in the environment. This shall cause an irritating and unsuitable atmosphere for the lizards, ultimately forcing them to leave that area. 

But it is very essential to note that there must not be a longer gap of time while spraying in the garden. It must be sprayed frequently and reapplied quickly as having long time lapse shall not be much effective. 

2. Inducing a hot environment:

It is difficult for the lizards to survive in the very hot environment. There are few species of lizards which may sustain a hot environment such as in deserted areas but garden lizards generally can not take in much heat.

Garden lizards are more prone towards getting a nice shade all the time. Preferably under leafy and dense plants.

3. Using an Eggshell:

The most common discomfort caused to lizards is by the smell of eggshells. It is observed that lizards hate the odour of eggshell. So it is the most likely way of dragging the lizards out of the garden. 

Note: That the smell or odor of eggs comes out stronger when the eggshells are placed without washing them. 

4. Coffee Powder:

It is shown that coffee powder’s smell also irritates the lizards and they do not like that smell. So this could be considered to be an effective and cheaper alternative to get rid of lizards. 

5. Tobacco Powder: 

Another way of getting rid of garden lizards is sprinkling tobacco powder near the areas those lizards reside. It is observed that garden lizards can not tolerate the smell of tobacco either. 

6. Using Garlic Cloves:

The enzymes present in garlic tend to produce a smell that is intolerable by lizards. This is a very good as well as easy way. This remedy can be implemented very quickly without any extra efforts as garlic cloves are already present in every household. 

7. Onion peels:

Placing onion peels at various corners also helps in getting rid of lizards. The smell of onion also contributes in keeping lizards away. 

8. Dried red chilies or chili powder:

Red chili powder also helps in keeping the lizards away as the spicy scent makes it difficult for the lizards to survive near it. 

If leaving red chili powder around is causing much chaos then leaving dry red chilies is also an easy alternative. 

9. Black pepper:

As we are well aware of the fact that spicy scents and elements cause difficulty in living for lizards, black pepper is also a very good and affordable option to get rid of lizards easily. 

10. Cold water:  

Lizards are not very much trained for living in cold environments. This is the only reason we see lizards very less during winter times.

They prefer going into hibernation during cold and breezy nights. Sprinkling cold water on lizards makes them feel angered and those lizards try to move out of that area. 

Smells that Repels Lizards

There are many smells which keeps the lizards away. The odor which repels lizards is very easy to obtain and the substances which penetrate such smells and odor are very easy to find either in every household or nearby your house areas and stores. 

There are some smells which makes it difficult for the lizards to survive. These odors create an intolerable atmosphere for the lizards which ultimately in a way forces them to move out from the existing place. 

The substances which repel the lizards are already listed above but still there are some more effective ways and tricks which shall help the gardeners get lizards out of their gardens. 

Naphthalene balls:

Naphthalene balls not only help in keeping the lizards away and repel them to come back to the place but also keeps the small insects and various pests away from your garden. 

Lizards repellent spray: 

Besides all the other homemade solutions and combinations of various chemicals, there are already lizards repellent sprays which exist in the market and do claim to keep the lizards away from your place.

These sprays help to keep the lizards away from the house areas. This is a very effective and guaranteed way of repelling lizards away. 

There are some plants that will help in repelling lizards from the garden because the scent they emit acts like an irritant to lizards. These plants can also be incorporated with other plants in the garden with the aim of deterring the unwanted nuisance. 

Planting mint plant

Lizard repelling plants are: 

  • Mentha Piperita, Peppermint.
  • Eucalyptus, Nilgiri.
  • Mentha Arvensis, Japanese Mint.
  • Pencil Tree, Euphorbia tirucalli.
  • Recommended Soil:

Lizard Benefits in the Garden: 

LIZARDS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE OR WE CAN SAY TAGGED AS GOOD COMPANION IN THE GARDENS OR THE GOOD GUYS OF THE GARDEN.

The main reason for having lizards in the garden is that they keep the insects and pests which harms the plants, away from the garden and prevents any other insect from causing damage to the plants.

Lizards basically help gardeners and plant lovers to safeguard and protect plants from such small insects. 

Lizards should be welcomed in the garden since they eat unwelcomed bugs and insects such as:

  • Beetles
  • Ants
  • Wasps
  • Aphids
  • Grasshoppers
  • Spiders

These bugs when trapped can be used in soil to help increase the nutrient available for plants by increasing the organic matter in the soil. You might want to see the detailed post on how adding dead bugs to plants can be beneficial.

The effects of having these bugs uncontrolled in the garden would have devastating effects on crop production.

Bugs & InsectsDamages Bugs can Cause in the Garden
BeetlesFlea beetles chew irregular holes in the leaves. Severe flea beetle damage can result in wilted or stunted plants.
AntsAnts are beneficial to the garden and soil but are a nuance to gardeners as they may bite and cause irritation to the skin
WaspsWasps are beneficial for pollination but can cause allergic reaction to gardeners if stung.
Grass HoppersGrasshoppers feed on grasses and the leaves and stems of plants leaving large gaping holes on them. See other reasons why plant steams break or split.
AphidsSome aphid species inject a toxin into plants, which causes leaves to curl and further distorts growth.
SpidersSpiders are also beneficial to the garden when it comes to smaller insect control but are a nuisance to gardeners.

How to Attract Lizards to the Garden

In order to attract lizards to the garden to reep their benefits you will have to create the right habitat for them to live. 

In order to create a lizard friendly environment your will have to:

  • Avoid using chemical pesticides
  • Give them plenty of hiding places
  • Have a well mulched garden
  • Have open areas for lizards to sunbathe and regulate body temperature
  • Have an open water source to prevent dehydration 
  • Have a food source (most likely the insects in the garden)

Final thoughts on Having Lizards in the Garden

Wrapping away the thoughts on lizards pro’s and con’s and whether or not lizards are beneficial for your gardens or not. 

Garden lizards with no doubt help you keep the small insects and various pests away from your dedicatedly planted crops which are cured with your pure love but also sometimes these lizards are the cause of fear and there is need to have them removed for your peace of mind.

Having a garden lizard has its own two sides. It one way helps you protect your plants from other insects but can also sometimes eat those plants all by themselves. Their poop can also cause some harm to the delicate and sensitive plants growing in your garden. 

Some lizards have a memory of recognizing similar humans. They will remember their touch and can sense their humans when they are around and shall behave in a different manner than they behave around strangers.  

We hope these tips and tricks turned out to be useful for you. Go ahead and keep your gardens safe and take all the necessary steps and precautions required to protect it and now you no longer will be complaining about lizards in the garden anymore.

JayLea

JayLea has a passion for plants and has been gardening since 2015. He has valuable knowledge about gardening and houseplant care and can answer everyday practical questions that every plant owner has.

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