Skip to Content

How to Catch a Lizard

Are you looking for advice on how to catch a lizard? Well then, you have arrived at the right place!

different types of lizards

People want to catch lizards for several reasons. Some people might find having lizards crawling around openly in their houses unpleasant. Therefore, they want to get rid of them. Some people enjoy catching lizards for a day or so to take pictures of them, examine them, or just for fun.

Remember the advantages of having lizards within the house. Some people capture lizards and keep them inside the house so that they can get rid of pests. Whatever the reason for capturing the lizard, catching it with your hand can be difficult, annoying, and even harmful.

Some people keep it as a pet, while others use it as a natural pesticide. However, you should catch them with extra care because they are fairly delicate. Here we will discuss different methods you can use to catch lizards safely.

Want to jump to a specific section? Click below

Caution: Some Lizards can be Poisonous:

Gila Monster
Gila Monster

Although most lizards are harmless to people, some can bite you badly. Therefore, avoid touching them with your bare hands if possible.

The Mexican beaded lizard and the Gila Monster both have toxic venom. Never try to capture one of these lizards. It’s best to let the professionals handle them. Contact a professional pest control agency to help remove these lizards.

Tips and Tricks to Catch a Lizard Safely:

Catching lizards is a challenging task. They are experts in finding escape routes and are fast on their feet. They can, however, be caught with a small amount of time and patience. However, it is essential to be gentle while catching them. Below is a step-by-step guide to catching the lizards safely:

Identify the Location of the Lizard:

The first step in catching the lizard is finding the area or room where the lizard is commonly seen. The lizard is a steady creature that can often be found in the same area and sometimes even in the same spot.

After discovering their location, examine the room. Close the windows and doors to stop it from escaping. You can even put towels under the door’s crack to keep it from leaving.

Close all the Escape Points:

After locating the lizards, the next step is to cut their escape points. As a result, you’ll need buckets and a blunt stick. To cover any openings inside the buckets, stack many buckets on top of one another.

Place the buckets at the lizard’s regular spot after that. Lizards enjoy hiding in holes. Therefore, camouflaging a crack with ink or paint will help to draw them in further.

Create or paint a crack in a bucket’s bottom. Therefore, a lizard might see it as a regular hole and go toward it immediately. To make the paint chemical-free and safe, let it dry before attempting a light wash.

Try to Identify the Lizard:

If you want to catch a lizard and lead it to safety, you must know what kind of lizard you’re dealing with. Note its size, coloration, and other characteristics if you can get close enough to it.

The size of the lizard and its preferred diet will also affect how you can catch it. Knowing the lizard’s species will also help you determine whether it is aggressive or gentle. Avoid trying to catch the large or poisonous lizards by yourself.

If the species is big and dangerous, it’s better to get in touch with your local wildlife officials. Consider contacting online reptile hobbyist groups if you are unable to identify it yourself. Show them the pictures of the lizard, and they will guide you.

For more info regarding Getting To Know Different Types of Lizards

Gather all the Supplies You Will Need:

You’ll need a variety of supplies to capture the lizard. The lizard’s size and behavior will determine how they behave. Very large reptiles, such as iguanas, can be dangerous when provoked.

Humane bait traps make it much easier to catch smaller creatures. In some cases, you can (gently) hold the lizard. In order to catch a lizard indoors, you may need the following supplies:

  • Thick leather gloves.
  • A container with enough air openings to hold the lizard temporarily.
  • Lizard-friendly foods, including insects, fruits, and vegetables, to use as bait.
  • Foods that lizards like, such as insects, vegetables, and fruits, to use as bait. 
  • A long-handled object, such as a broom, to direct the lizard.
  • To construct a humane trap, use a box, plastic wrap, and tape.
  • A net with a handle.

Move Toward the Lizard Slowly:

If you come across a lizard in your target region, approach it quietly and slowly. Make absolutely no noise, not even a tiny bit. It would still alarm the lizard and make it cautious.

So, to ensure the success of your attempt, keep away from making any noise. Consider taking off your shoes before reaching the lizard.

Wet the Lizard:

Sprinkle cold water on the lizard using a spray bottle to slow it down. After spraying, gently point the lizard in the direction of the bucket. Make use of your stick for this. Keep in mind not to touch the stick with a lizard to prevent waking it up.

Check the lizard’s behavior if it enters the bucket quickly. Then walk over to your bucket and start sealing it. However, if the lizard is not moving toward the bucket and is still standing in its spot.

Then, invert a bucket over the lizard. Make a cover by sliding a Manila envelope below the bucket. Flip the bucket over and seal it with an envelope.

Methods to Catch or Trap a Lizard:

different types of lizards

There are many humane methods to catch lizards. Below is a detailed description of some popular and safe methods:

Use of a Cardboard Box:

Take a cardboard box, and wrap it with plastic wrap entirely. Use tape to fix it in place securely. Next, make a 4- to 5-inch-long hole in the plastic of the box’s center. Ensure that the slit is not too big. Then, insert the bait over the hole.

The lizard will move to the hole and enter once it notices the bait. But the hole is narrow and cut in the middle. This means it won’t be able to climb out of the box. Remove the box, cut the plastic wrap, and let the lizard escape.

Using a Bait and a Net:

You will need a plastic jar, insect or fruit bait, and a net. Put the bait in a plastic box or container. After that, put the container where lizards are frequently seen.

The best results come from using live bait, such as crickets or flies. However, it is not always viable to use live bait. Therefore, you can also use fruit pieces or dead bait.

Cover the hole with a net as soon as the lizard enters the jar. After that, give the jar a light shake to encourage the lizard to enter the net. Then go outside with the net and jar and release it.

Catching it With a Towel:

This is one of the easiest methods that can be used. You may use it to catch a lizard with your hands, which doesn’t require much effort. Just cover the lizard with a towel if you see one on the floor.

Use a very light towel for this purpose. You want to catch the lizard, not kill it. The lizard will become immobile as a result of the towel covering it. Once still, you can carefully bring the towel up by placing one hand over it and lifting gently.

Put the second hand under the towel and flip it over so it is on its back. Make sure you don’t apply too much force. Set the lizard free by taking the towel outside.

Using Toilet Rolls and Cushion Covers:

Lizards are usually found climbing walls. Therefore, setting this trap against a wall will provide the best results. Tie a pillow cover to one end of the used toilet paper roll with a string.

Make sure the cushion still has a small opening in it. Next, attach this device to the wall with tape. Place the roll in such a way that the cushion cover drapes down. Put some bait on the toilet paper if needed.

The lizard will gradually move inside the cushion cover when it steps into the toilet paper. The lizard won’t be able to escape once inside. It’s because the cushion cover’s entrance is so small. Furthermore, walking on a fabric surface is rather difficult.

You can cover the toilet roll with a net to prevent it from escaping. It will increase your chances of catching the lizard. After that, take the equipment outside and release the lizard.

Using a Fishing Pole:

Although this method may appear difficult, it is quite effective. Get a wooden stick with a minimum length of 3 feet. Next, cut a length of waxed dental floss, measure it, and attach it to the stick’s end.

The floss should be longer than the stick, but not too much. Tie a slip knot at the loose end of the floss to make a noose. Your fishing rod is now ready. Slowly make your way toward the lizard.

In reality, the lizard normally becomes immobile when you approach it from the front or the sides. This strategy is most effective since the lizard will be more preoccupied with your approach than with the stick.

Slowly wrap the noose around the lizard’s head until it is loose. The lizard will become motionless if you carefully hold it by its belly rather than its head, limbs, or tail. Once you capture it, set it out.

Using a Lamp:

The light that lamps produce is very attractive to lizards. This procedure is most effective at night. Switch off all of the room’s lights. Place the lamp on the ground and turn it to its lowest setting.

Prepare a towel, cup, and paper towel to catch the lizard. Ensure you’re a little bit away from the lamp when standing. There are two possible outcomes. The lamp will initially gather insects, which will then attract the lizard.

And second, the lamp’s heat will draw the lizard to it. Use one of the two techniques after the lizard is in place. Put a towel or cup over it, then gently lift it up by the belly. Set the lizard free after catching it.

Set Up a Trap:

This is one of the best methods for catching a lizard inside a home. You’ll need a lizard trap and insect or fruit bait. You can also use a mouse trap successfully for this if a lizard trap is not available.

Ensure that the openings are not too large for the lizard to crawl through. Set bait inside the trap. Although mealworms and crickets are the best, keeping them in one place might be difficult.

Therefore, you can store some fruit in it, such as a papaya, a melon, or a mango. The trap door will automatically close after the lizard enters through it, trapping it within. You can then safely take it out and release it.

Using a Cup and Paper Sheet:

If you need to catch a lizard lying flat on a surface, try this technique—it works brilliantly. You’ll need a Styrofoam cup and a sheet of paper. You should approach the lizard from the front or side to keep it still.

Once it is completely still, carefully slide the cup over the lizard to trap it. After that, tuck the paper under the cup to seal it. Next, carefully lift the cup while keeping the paper in place. Set the lizard free in the backyard.

How Can You Make a Lizard Trap With a Water Bottle?

keeled earless lizard
Inage Credit: Joshua J Cotten; Unsplash

You can easily create a simple homemade lizard trap out of a water bottle by following the procedure below:

Take a water bottle that is empty and take off the cap.

Cut the bottle right under its neck.

After that, take the neck and insert it into the bottle’s opposite half. Hence, the bottle’s mouth is facing the bottom.

Put some insects, flies, or other insects into the trap.

After setting the trap, wait a while in a shady place.

The lizard will enter the trap in search of food but will be unable to escape.

Place the trap away from direct sunlight. Otherwise, your lizard will be roasted inside the trap when you return.

How Can You Make a DIY Lizard Trap?

You can also catch a lizard by creating a simple trap out of a plastic cup or container:

Take up a plastic cup or container and take off the lid first.

Add some bugs there so the lizards can eat them.

Then, cover the cup in Saran wrap.

Create a square hole in the Saran wrap now.

Put this trap in a shady spot in your yard and wait a while.

When you return, there will be a lizard in your trap.

Are Glue Traps Effective at Capturing Lizards?

Using glue traps to catch a lizard is one of the cruellest and most painful methods. It usually results in dismembering or killing it. As a result, utilizing this strategy is strongly discouraged. A glue trap is a tool used to capture animals like lizards.

This technique uses an adhesive on a surface designed to trap animals. When the lizard comes into contact with the glue, it becomes stuck and cannot escape. And if they are not freed, they will die slowly and painfully.

Always Return the Lizard to the Wild

jesus lizard

If you had to place a trap to capture the lizard, make sure to check it at least once every few hours. If possible, place a camera near the box. You can quickly rush in once the lizard swallows the bait and climbs into the box.

Then, lock the box’s cover or move the lizard to a more secure container. Transporting the lizard requires great care to prevent scaring it. After that, you can let it out into the wild. Additionally, you can give it to the local wildlife authority.

Wrapping Up on How to Catch a Lizard

YouTube video

In short, collecting lizards is tricky but not that difficult. All you need is a basic trap. However, in most cases, these lizards are good for your backyard. They destroy insects damaging to your plants and serve as a natural insecticide.

Also, before capturing a wild lizard, you need to know whether it is harmful. If it’s poisonous, don’t touch it. Use a special trap to capture it.

Moreover, when choosing a location, try to release the lizard in a secure area with lots of dense plant cover. Avoid taking the animal too far from its original location. It can cause the animal to get disoriented.