So Your Reptile Got Out

by Jacob Parzych | December 17th, 2013 | Care, Reptiles

loose geckoOh snap!  You were feeding your favorite gecko and you left the lid off of his tank while you went to get water from the other room … and then he was gone!  In a flash, he snuck out and disappeared from sight.  What do you do?

  1. Grow a brain.  Seriously, don’t leave the tank open if you are going to leave the room.  That’s just a flat-out bad idea, so don’t do it.  That’s like leaving a baby at the top of the stairs and not closing the baby gate.  Just don’t do it, please.
  2. Look nearby.  Most reptiles move fairly slowly.  While they may have quick bursts of movement, overall they are fairly slow creatures.  Make sure that you are checking under and behind objects, especially dark areas.
  3. Attempt to seal in the reptile.  If you can, close off the room you are in immediately.  While there is no guarantee that this will work, you can always try, if nothing else.
  4. Be quiet.  If you are loud, then you will most likely scare the reptile that you are looking for.  This will only make them harder to find.  So, move gently and avoid talking too much.  It’s not like your reptile is going to respond to you repeatedly yelling their name.
  5. Be careful.  You really don’t want to squish your reptile, do you?  Unless you do, you should be very careful.  Pick things up and put them down gently, avoid shaking items to dislodge reptiles, and watch where you step.  The last thing you want is to find and kill your reptile in the same motion.
  6. Continue to expand your search radius.  As time goes on, you need to look further and further from the point of origin.  This depends on the speed of your reptile.  Eventually, you will reach a point where you can expand no further (such as your whole house).  Now, just go over what you have already covered.
  7. Leave out food and water near where the reptile escaped.  While this is a long shot, it might be enough to draw them out or sustain them.
  8. After a while, if there is no sign, check behind your fridge.  This is a popular place for reptiles to hide, especially geckos, because it is warm and damp.

An escaped gecko can be a major problem, but with these tips, hopefully you can run your own search party successfully.  But, above all else, don’t let them out to begin with.

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